The end of the year is coming and many of us are looking forward to the New Year in 2018. Setting New Year’s resolutions is always a great idea, but why wait until the New Year to get started on promoting positivity in your life!? Start wrapping up 2017 now with the following tips:
- Looking Back: Make a list of the top 10 things that you did this year, big or small. Maybe you started a new job, established a new friendship or finally read that book you’ve been meaning to finish. A year is a long time and sometimes our accomplishments can be forgotten, so take some time to be proud of yourself and how far you’ve come during this year.
- Looking Forward: Think about the things you wish you’d done this year, but didn’t find the time. Maybe you wanted to try a yoga class and never had the chance, or take that cooking class you’ve been interested in. Make a list of these things to use to help establish your goals and resolutions for 2018.
- Express Gratitude: Thank your friends, family or co-workers for all of their help over this past year and express gratitude for all of the great things in your life. Acknowledging the things that we are thankful for helps promote a positive environment for yourself and others and helps to reduce negative thought patterns.
- Forgive: Many times we think about forgiveness as being a gift for someone else, when in reality when we forgive we are opening ourselves to more positive experiences rather than dwelling on something from the past. Forgiveness is about self-compassion rather than giving in or giving up.
- Accept Shortcomings: Everyone makes mistakes and faces hardship. Accept that things didn’t always go your way during 2017, and know that 2018 may be just as challenging. Letting go of shortcomings from the past and accepting responsibility allows you to accept the challenges ahead while finding the motivation and resources to keep pushing forward.
- Socialize: The holiday season can be overwhelming and it is easy to feel stressed about finances, family, parties and presents. Take time to remember what the holiday season is about and surround yourself with those whom you are closest to and care so much about.
- Be Mindful: Let go of worry about the future by using mindfulness to stay in the moment. Being open-minded, non-judgmental and using the five senses helps to stay grounded in the current moment and reduce those “what if?” thoughts about the future.
- Self-Awareness: If you woke up tomorrow and your life was exactly how you wanted it to be, what would that look like? Getting caught up in current problems can make it difficult to stay focused on goals and solutions. Thinking about where you would like to be can help raise self-awareness and increase problem solving skills. Start by asking yourself this question before jumping into setting New Year’s resolutions. Once you have an idea of where you’d like to be, you can start to make a plan of how you can get there!
By: Melissa Major, MHC-LP