Every therapist you meet will probably tell you new year’s resolutions are a waste of time. In fact, by mid-february, 80% percent of resolutions of a new you are out the window and you are left with the feeling of complete failure. We can totally lose ourselves while trying to improve ourselves.
As we start a new year let’s agree to ditch the impossible and often judgmental resolution-making and instead take some time to reflect on 2021 and set a vision for 2022. Self-reflection, by definition, allows us to look neutrally at our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. Through this practice of self-reflection, we are able to look at ourselves with interest and curiosity without judgment. If you only look with judgment you will limit your life and all its possibilities! Without the weight of judgment, you can allow more vision and fresh intention for what’s ahead.
You only see what your eyes want to see. How can life be what you want it to be?” – Madonna
Before you set a vision and intention for what’s ahead it’s important to first reflect on where you’ve been. Take a look at 2021 – highlight a few of your favorite moments from your social media, or sit down as a family to go through photos from the past year – moments of connection that maybe you forgot. Then as we do here at Austin Therapy for Girls, take time to review some difficult moments after the last year. This kind of reflection is not only a way to honor the pain, the growth, and let go, but also to make room for what you want to bring into 2022.
We have a free Year in Review worksheet you can download HERE to help with this reflection and intention-setting process. On this worksheet you’ll find a prompt to write down the things you loved about this year – for me it’s HUGS. I’ve loved being able to hug my mom without the fear of giving her COVID. I have even coached my dog, Bagel, to ”do hugs” every morning.
On this Year in Review worksheet we ask you to write down a favorite memory from the past year. Get specific! Who were you with? Where were you? What was happening? Capturing this memory will put a smile on your face – and it’s a moment you can go back to when things feel hard. Speaking of, we don’t shy away from the hard things. On this worksheet you will be asked to remember a challenging time from 2021 and ways that you learned to deal with the hard stuff.
Shayna here and one of my hardest moments in 2021 was also a highlight of the year (weird how those things happen). In 2021 I was able to fulfill my dream of having a space just for Austin Therapy for Girls since opening 10 years ago. This was a BIG move with lots of logistics and an even bigger financial commitment. Even big dreams take hard work and my body took the brunt from the stress of it all. I injured myself while moving and didn’t bounce back as quickly as I’m used to! I knew I needed to take care of myself but I knew I had to start small – so I made a decision to drink more water and get a weekly treatment for a pinched nerve. It’s amazing how much this helped.
For many of my clients – young girls and teens – the hardest thing in 2021 was grieving losing someone important. Recently on my couch, I have been hearing a lot about break ups and broken hearts. One of my favorite break up lines comes from Samantha Jones, the bold, sex-positive, stylish, and arguably the most empowered character on Sex and the City: “I love you but I love myself more.” It’s only when Samantha accepts herself for who she is that she realizes that sacrificing herself for a man was not working for her. Sometimes, looking back on the way we learn to deal with the hard stuff is the greatest accomplishment of the year…
SETTING GOALS & INTENTIONS
After reflecting on 2021, it’s time to set some intentions and goals for 2022. I like to start goal-setting around how I want to feel vs specific actions. For example, instead of making a goal to workout 5x a week try setting a goal to feel strong and healthy. From there you can create small and specific action steps that will support how you want to feel. Expanding on the example of wanting to feel strong and healthy, your small and specific action steps might include going for a 10 minute walk, drinking a full 32 oz bottle of water, or taking a YouTube yoga class once a week. One of our favs is yoga by Adriene and she is in ATX.Move – A 30 Day Yoga Journey | Yoga With Adriene
Another way to accomplish your goals is to identify your very own superpowers that will support you along the way. Your special superpower is what comes easy to you and will help you find momentum. Your superpower might be commitment, bringing the fun, connection, listening, or resilience. So for example, if your goal is to feel strong and healthy and your superpower is bringing the fun your action might be joining a dancing your way into shape!
Of course, we all have our days when we want to say “fudge it” ( replace it with your favorite f word *wink wink*) so preparing for what you will do when you want to give up is helpful. Big goals can be hard work and it’s not always easy. Find an accountability buddy, journal your feelings, track your daily habits along the way, or light your vision candle (more on that below) to remember who you want to be when you want to throw in the towel on your goals.
TRY THIS CREATIVE ACTIVITY: VISIONING CANDLE
In this creative activity, we create a vision board on a plain white candle using stickers, magazines and paint pens, and set an intention for the year ahead. The vision candle can be around hopes and dreams and also setting intentions. Pick a word of the year to include on the candle to represent what you want to bring more of into the new. Everytime you light the candle your vision lights up as well. (Just remember to blow out your candle before heading to bed! Your room going up in flames is not on the moodboard for 2022.)
If you need help reflecting on your year (the good and especially the bad), setting new goals and intentions, and identifying your super powers we’ve got therapists here at Austin Therapy for Girls here to help. Contact us here to learn more >