A New Beginning...for the New Year 2018

12-01-2017Counselor's CornerBeverly Winterfeld, M.Ed. Guidance and Counseling

As 2017 comes to a close, there are many new doors, opportunities and challenges ahead in the New Year, 2018. Many of us will be renewing our commitments to forge ahead with our daily life as usual, but still others will be shedding unneeded baggage in the form of memories or events and grudges, by beginning a fresh, new, more positive outlook filled with goals and challenges.

Some suggestions from professional experts to assist you along your new beginning toward a goal is to be open to different ideas, accept challenges with the idea of learning something new, and always surround yourself with supporters. Faith, Prayer and meditation prove helpful for some, while others enjoy hobbies, music or exercise.

Experts remind us that overthinking or over-analyzing anything can reduce your success because it changes your brain chemicals and slows your thinking down. In order to achieve any new goal or challenge, it’s important to visually see yourself succeeding and working on it every single day. Celebrate success daily, weekly and monthly with a posted checklist/timeline. This releases good hormones in your body. Asking God to bless our decisions is always good.

However, it’s important to remember that setbacks are not failures but short term hiccups. Be realistic in your expectations and make them achievable.  An example might be losing two pounds a week, for a total goal of forty pounds over several months. Having two or three goals are fine, but having too many can overwhelm you so prioritize them accordingly. Remember, God promises to always be with us, and practice optimism, forgiveness and reconciliation with your past mistakes.

Some helpful resources are books like “Change Power” by Meg Selig, 37 Secrets to Habit Change Success. There are Internet articles on the website “Hack Spirit” for self-improvement or TED talks on the “Art of Mindfulness.” Local churches have support groups for grief and loss, divorce and family issues. Public community agencies have resources and Counselors available for mental health or aging parents issues. It’s important to have a professional help you identify your needs in this New Year.

Here are some ideas on how you can feel better in 30 seconds a day.

  1. Take long, deep calm breaths and focus 3-4 times a day.
  2. Look for and identify simple things to be grateful for like your home or food to eat, which are often overlooked.
  3. Acknowledge that things could be better, but it isn’t all-bad and identify what didn’t go wrong, and what you are doing right. 
  4. Just smiling and not frowning sends happy chemicals to your brain, and you will be healthier and feel better.
  5. Name your feelings, write it down and throw it away, such as anger or loss and get rid of it. Get negative things out of your head or your life, and let positive wash your brain.
  6. Stand tall, posture releases feel good hormones to your brain
  7. Find two things to be thankful for every day and write them down, pick yourself up and remind yourself you will get through challenges.
  8. Look for the silver linings, remind yourself that we all have bad things happen and usually they happen for a reason which is revealed later.
  9. Keep pictures around of good times, those you love and things you enjoy. Put them up to see everyday. Celebrate fun and love in relationships.
  10.  Seek out and Surround yourself with positive people, and reach out if you need help, it’s a sign of strength. 

Celebrate the Beginning of a New Year.

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