Are you ready to welcome 2013?
What are your hopes and dreams for the coming year? If you are about to enter a new stage in life, you may have a lot of questions about how to create a plan that makes this time fulfilling. Research in Positive Psychology suggests that how you think about yourself and your situation will impact your results.
Before you decide what you hope for and what you want to be optimistic about, you need to discover what is important to you. Whatever turns out to be important to you at this time in your life determines your values. Being able to live out your values brings happiness and meaning to your life.
To discover what is most important or what will make your life more meaningful, complete each of the following sentence stems six to eight times. Write a different ending each time you say the stem. Use whatever comes to mind without judging your response. If you can't think of something, invent a response.
- One of the things that is important to me is …..
- One of the things I hope for this year is ……
- One of the things I'm optimistic about is ……
Look back at your responses for each stem. Are most of the things that are important to you reflected in what you hope for and are optimistic about? If not, what can you add or change to make it reflect your values. As you look at your responses, write down several things you learned or what surprised you. What pattern, if any, do you see?
The last step is to translate one or two of your hopes into goals with action steps. What are some of the initial things you need to do to make what you hope for a reality? It is important to write down several small steps that will move you forward. Following these steps helps you move forward with confidence.
You can also write down several steps for one or two things you are optimistic about.
Meaning Centered Counseling (MCC) which is based on Positive Psychology uses an intervention referred to as ABCD to keep you on the right track. As you progress through the year, it is important to:
- A – Accept what cannot be changed.
- B – Believe and affirm that your life can change for the better; positive meaning can be discovered no matter how negative the circumstances.
- C – Commit yourself to responsible actions regardless of how you feel.
- D – Discover the positive and reinforcing effect of following through with ABC.
Following the above suggestions will make 2013 more meaningful and fulfilling. See this time as an opportunity for you.
How you approach the beginning of the year will have a lasting affect on how the rest of the year will be for you. Let me know what you are hoping for that will make you thrive in the coming year.
Until next time,