New Beginning, Failures and Moving Forward.

Photo by Crazy nana on Unsplash

The beginning of the year has so much promise…and so much expectation. “New year, new you”, new year’s resolutions, fitness and health goals. Multiply that times a thousand at the beginning of a new decade. “Where were you ten years ago, where will you be in ten years”. All of these phrases and expectations land us in the past…or the future. It is very difficult to be present at this time of year.

Many have already failed their resolutions, and are stuck with the hopelessness of a whole year (or decade) of failure ahead of them. Many looked back to ten years ago and feel they haven’t gone far enough, grown enough, saved enough, learned enough… The list goes on and on.

When we set hard resolutions, and do not accomplish them, we feel shame. According to research by Brene Brown, we cannot move through shame.

This year I encourage you to try something different. There is a trend that invites you to choose a word, and to be intentional about that word throughout the year. I love that word: intentional. It allows for imperfection, and choice. To be intentional means to make choices. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” (Viktor Frankl).

Choose a word, and be intentional about it throughout the year. For example, my word this year is adventure. I am going to be intentional about choosing adventure. However, in the space between stimulus and response I also get to choose whether to be adventurous in this moment. For example, maybe an opportunity for adventure comes when I am in a space that needs seclusion. Intention means I will explore if adventure is right for me in this moment and make the choice that works. Intention means that I will be more aware of opportunities presented to try new things, see new places and learn more about myself through these experiences.

Within this intention, find self-compassion. Life is not a list of goals accomplished, or things checked off a list. It is the sum of your experiences, both alone and in the world. What we learn about ourselves, through both success and failure, influences the choices that we make in the moment between stimulus and response. And it allows us to flourish and feel self-love.

Happy New Year everyone, said with no expectation of what the last ten years have brought, nor what the next ten will bring.

To learn more about how to creating withstanding goals consider scheduling an appointment with Melanie McClung, LPC, RPT,, 720-923-2328.