Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have made it to the New Year. Great. It is as if the clock stopped and restarted about 72 hours ago and now all is erased ... Not so fast. There is no automatic fix, you have to do some work.
A New Year can be like a new beginning; an opportunity for a fresh start and to change some things. I have never been fond of New Year resolutions, because for most, these resolutions disappear long before the month of March. I believe in making conscious life changes. For me, it is looking at the past year with a critical view, sizing up what worked, examining what failed and purposing to take the next step to improve upon last year’s scores.
In the first instance, I review the goals that were established last year and place a check mark next to the ones that have been achieved. It is vital to set goals, as they serve as markers allowing me to see where I am on the journey of life. The goals must have objectives (smaller steps outlining how the goals will be accomplished), that are realistic, practical and measurable. For example, a goal may be to obtain my college degree. Objectives to this goal may include, a) apply to the University of the Bahamas by March, b) complete all scholarship applications by April, and c) get a part time job to defray the cost. Goals should be written and clear to follow. A goal can take a period of time to accomplish, but the objectives are a step by step procedure, that can be marked off the list, once completed.
Once goals are established, I must remain focused in order to meet my quota. This may involve change of habits, such as how I spend money, or my sleeping patterns, change of position, such as a physical, change of social situations, such as where and how I “hang out,” or how much time I spend on social media, change of relationships, such as evaluating the people who are in my life and deciding who is important to keep in my life at this time, and who needs to be released from my life. Most importantly, I need a changed mindset. My thoughts, emotions and actions, must be aligned to fit my goals. Therefore, at the end of the year, I have many things that have to be evaluated. I ask forgiveness of all I may have offended during the past year, and forgive all who have offended me, before continuing my trek.
If a goal, set for a specific period, say six months, has not been met by the targeted date, I do not beat up on myself, but I examine the goal, review the objections that may have presented challenges, honestly state why I think this step was incomplete and re write the step.
Be advised, that in the midst of all of this, life happens. There are trials, tribulations, sadness, happy times, disappointments, distractions, pain and surprises, of which I may have very little control. The key here, is to acknowledge everything that comes my way, take time and work through each situation, while being mindful not to get off track. Some things may take a bit longer than anticipated to resolve, but I resolve them, taking every caution to preserve self and move on. This is not always easier and may require external help. I Get the help and get it done.
While on this journey, I live. Meaning, I do things to uplift my body, mind and spirit, as well as, things that bring me pleasure, I help others, contribute to society and I laugh. I create a balanced life, while pursuing a fulfilled life.
Remember, we are all accountable for self, so we should spend time developing the same. Perhaps my plan can work for you. Have a great New Year, with a new direction and a more enhanced life. Dr. Pam
POINT TO PONDER: I can begin again.
• Askdoctorpam is a column that appears in this journal every week. Your letters and comments are encouraged. You may email your letters or comments to askdoctorpam, or write to Askdoctorpam P.O. Box F43736. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all areas of mental health.
Published Wednesday, January 4, 2017