January 10, 2007

Indy Shrink

What Difference Does A New Year Make?

Okay, you made it through another year. Good for you! There are two things you can do at this point. The first is to look back on that year and come to some understanding about what it has meant for you. Questions are always useful; that is, they are useful if they actually evoke some purposeful result. Questions that simply rattle around in your mind and heart without any purposeful point of exit into a meaningful reality are just exquisite ways to torture yourself. And you don't want to do that now do you?

Let's start with questions that might have the chance of being purposeful. First, what is there about the preceding year that you are most disappointed in? This is not to evoke negative feelings, but to see what there is about having lived through that year that has resulted in some real dissatisfaction.

Okay, so you have answered that. Is what you have discovered something that is still an important part of the agenda of your life now? If no, then consider going about letting go of whatever it was that did or did not happen for you in a way that might have been satisfying. I have written so many articles now at this point about how to question yourself lovingly and effectively, so just explore the archives of my columns and you will see the headings with questions that will help you in this exercise.

If it is still part of your agenda, ask yourself why. Take time to consider its importance and if you still want to pursue it, then make sure that your pursuit of it is not out of some unhappiness, fear or desperation. If that is what is going on, then it is important to explore that carefully by yourself or with friends or with a professional who can help you sort things out.

Okay, now what about the preceding year are you most satisfied with? What brought you the most joy and good feelings? Is it something that is still with you now in terms of its effect on your life? If not, can you bring it to life in such a way as to make it a viable part of your existence; can you use it to engender good feelings in other parts of your existence?

Again, exploring this can be done on your own, with caring family or friends or with a coach or professional who can help you make the most of the good things that you have helped create in your life over this last year.

Alright, now what about the year to come? What have you learned that can be applied usefully to how this year is shaping up? What are you fearing or dreading about the coming months? What are you most looking forward to? You see, then, that the work you do examining last year in terms of the good and negative experiences you have had will work very well in coming to grips and exploiting to the full the same kinds of experiences that may arise in this coming year.

So, let's all greet the new year with confident and positive expectations; realistically we obviously are not going to get or achieve all we may wish, but we sure can create an attitude that will keep us on an even keel while we navigate the time to come and meet again at the end of the year with an even greater sense of having done well by ourselves and those we love. Let me know what you think.

Frank Mosca PhD is a licensed counselor, life and marital coach with a practice in Hampton Bays and Garden City. His views can be accessed at puttingmindsinmotion.com.

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