Saturday, 5 January 2013

New Year resolutions and making changes

Even if you don't call it a New Year resolution, this is a time of year when many of us think about making a fresh start or at least trying to do things differently to in the past. Then all too often, we end up back in the same old habits as usual, stuck in the same old ways. It can seem like it should be easy enough to make changes but somehow it doesn't always work out like that. Seemingly small things can get in the way. It can be disheartening when this happens.

Stepping stones across the waterCounselling may be helpful in exploring what is going on, and perhaps uncovering underlying issues that prevent us from making the changes that we feel would be good for us. If making changes seems worthwhile, then giving yourself the best chance of achieving your goal seems to make sense. Perhaps there are obstacles that need clearing out of the way.

Yet some people may be afraid of failure and think that if they don't really try, then they can't really fail.  This can stop any attempt at change from getting off the ground. On the other hand, others may appear to sabotage themselves in a way that suggests they are more afraid of success. Unravelling these processes, whether conscious or unconscious, may give some clarity and help with seeing a way forward...

January is named after the god Janus who had two faces - one looking back to the past year and one looking forward to the year ahead. We may review the past year and make plans for the coming one - hence the New Year resolutions. Nothing wrong with that, but how much time do we spend then focusing just in the present moment? The past and the future may have an influence on how we live our lives, but we live them in each present moment - ultimately the present is the only place we can really be.

Lin Travis Counselling Services