“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” — T.S. Eliot
I sit here thinking about how the holidays are soon coming to an end, and the New Year is around the corner. With a new year comes a better me… or so I like to think of it that way.
It gives me a chance to have a clean slate, to work on the kind of person I want to be, and to reflect upon chapters of my life that are coming to an end. Over the last two years I have realized that things don’t always work out the way I want them to, but perhaps in the end they work out for the best. This has given me hope to work toward creating a better me…one who does not have any regrets, or carry guilt. One who can say, “I do love myself,” and “I will be a better person, not for anyone else, but for me.” I spend the last day in each year writing a letter to God, thanking him for another chance, another year. I list all I have learned this year, and what I want my New Year to look like.
I like to think of this as a cleansing for me; to learn from the old, and create a new direction for myself. These thoughts lead me into imagining how I am going to write my New Year’s Resolutions and what they will entail. This is not an easy task. I ask myself a lot of questions. What do I really want to change in my life? Is it realistic? Can I do this? How will I be able to achieve my goals? Here are some examples of resolution’s that are realistic and can help keep you true to who you are:
• Spend time on yourself. Carve out at least one day during the week where you can unwind, read a book, pamper yourself, and have time to just “relax.” Ask yourself, If I don’t take time out for me, then who else will make it happen? and Am I really enjoying life or just letting it fly by? I try to spend part of at least one day a week pampering myself where I enjoy reading a good book, or painting my nails as I listen to my favorite music.
• Strengthen connections with family members. Keep in contact with your loved ones, even if it’s just making a short phone call, or sending a sweet text message. Keeping in contact with family ensures that we have a support system to turn to in our time of need, and vice versa. Plus, a good conversation never hurt anyone. Whenever I have a minute in between seeing clients or during my lunch break, I make sure to send out a message to my family telling them I love them, and I hope they have a blessed day.
• Make spending time with friends a priority. As life gets busy, we tend to isolate ourselves. Make sure to take time to have dinner with friends, catch up over a cup of coffee, or even make use of FaceTime or Skype. Even though I prefer “socializing” in person (at Starbucks), I have to be realistic and resort to using technology to connect with friends and loved ones who live across the country and around the world.
• Be happy. I have realized that I am truly at my best, and most happy, when I can just be myself…when I don’t hide behind a mask or humor. When I can be honest and accept my emotions, even pain, I feel truly free. This is what opens the door to happiness. Are there people in your life who expect you to be someone you’re not, in order for you to be with them? Clear yourself of any toxic relationships that aren’t working, and think about inviting positive energy your way.
• Create a vision board. Writing a list of New Year’s resolutions can be quite a boring task. However, if you have a creative spirit, you can construct a vision board to depict your resolutions. Once you have an idea of what you plan to accomplish in the new year, use pictures from magazines or the internet to make an inspiring collage of your future achievements. Place it where you can see it each day. This vision board will be a daily reminder of how you are going to create a better you.
If you find yourself struggling with setting goals for the New Year, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando at (407)-443-8862 to speak with one of our experienced mental health counselors that can help create a better you!