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New Year, Fresh Start

by | Jan 2, 2020


How do you feel about starting a new year?

Happy New Year! It is a new year, a new decade, and a time that many of us think about goals. This time can bring energy of change and opportunity- like a new chapter yet to be written, a fresh blank page. However, thinking about change and goals and resolutions can also be stressful. Following are some ways to approach the idea of goals for the New Year. See if one or more might be helpful to you.

Try to think of this as an opportunity – not a ‘should’ or something you have to do.

  • Reflect on the past year
    What have you learned? What has been hard? What has been good?
  • Consider a Word or Theme for the new year
    What is a word that might represent something you want more of? My word for this year is Peace. I hope to cultivate everyday peace and stay grounded in a peaceful (enough) state. My friend chose the word Health. She is committing to thoughts and actions that support her health.
  • Work Backwards
    Think about this time next year. What do you want to be celebrating? What changes do you hope to have made? How would you like your life to be different? Ponder these questions and write down your thoughts. Then consider the steps that you need to take now, and throughout the year, to move toward your vision and goals.
  • Set SMART goals
    If you are setting goals try to make them SMART. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely or Time-Limited.
  • Develop a Plan
    Good intentions are rarely enough. We greatly increase our effectiveness and success if we have a written plan. Also, it’s important to identify what might get in the way of your goals and what you can do to overcome obstacles. If your goal involves a difficult change, see below for a link to a plan that can be helpful in changing behavior.
  • Seek Help
    Change is not easy and we need tools and support. We may need information and resources, a mentor, emotional support, or professional help. Friends and family can be good supports, but if you need something more or someone outside of your everyday life, contact me to set up an appointment. We can clarify your goals, develop a plan and work through obstacles.

Wisdom & Inspiration 

  • Think progress not perfection. Allow yourself to be human. We are all a work in progress. – Linda Stiles J
  • Your most important work is always ahead of you – Stephen R. Covey
  • The future depends on what you do today – Mahatma Gandhi

Articles & Resources

Your Personal Change Plan

This template can be a good starting point if you are trying to change behavior. – Download Template

What’s Become Clear – Identify, Shift and Reflect

Susan Fowler shares an approach that can create the motivation required for habit change. “By identifying your current motivational outlook and shifting to an optimal outlook, you can experience a breakth rough on habits and goals,” she writes.

SmartBrief/Leadership (12/26)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Linda Stiles

LSCSW, LCSW, CFSW, Certified Imago Therapist

I am dedicated to creating an environment where clients feel safe to share and be both supported and challenged in their journey toward self-healing and growth. I specialize in helping people find peace, joy and balance in their relationship with themselves and with others.

Learn more about me