Looking back on the year, what do you see? This was a year of change for me. I took on a new role in my work life. This new job brought a longer commute and other surprises. I was reminded that change, even the positive kind, can be stressful. I also tried lots of new things, including tango lessons and a ropes challenge course!
What about you, dear readers? How did you cope with unexpected circumstances? Did you encounter any obstacles that kept you from meeting your goals? Did you set goals and meet some of them? To what do you attribute your success? Were there habits you changed? Successful people, especially leaders, often acknowledge that much of their success is backed by their team. Who was on your team? Whom did you have supporting you, either personally or professionally? A few days ago, I received a Christmas card from a client, with a simple message inside: “Thank you!!” It was encouraging to be reminded that the work we’ve been doing throughout the year is helping my client along the journey to where he wants to be. Who were the people who helped you in 2016? Is there someone you’d like to thank personally?
As you look ahead to this next year, what do you envision? I came across the following quote and couldn’t help but wonder–how would the pages of our lives written over the coming year read differently if we viewed ourselves through the lens of potential and opportunity, instead of limitation?
“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.” – Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, author, speaker and commentator
I’m not suggesting an Extreme Makeover for your entire life. But I am suggesting starting off the year by changing our mindset-what we look for-to opportunities for growth and adventure, rather than problems to fix or weight to lose. While there may be habits we need to change, I think the coming New Year can be our best yet, if we begin with positive expectations.
How will you approach things differently in 2017? Will you do more of what’s already been working well? What are the small, practical steps you can take to get you from “here to there?”
Elicia McIntyre, a licensed clinical social worker and graduate of Smith College School for Social Work, has 17 years’ experience providing counseling to adults, children, and families in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. She has helped clients navigate life transitions, depression, anxiety, and relationship difficulties. Ms. McIntyre has also spent several years traveling nationally and overseas, providing education and intervention to military service members and their families.
This article is intended for general education purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling, please call The Stone Foundation at 410-296-2004.