As you reflect on 2017 and think about what you would like to achieve in 2018, make sure that you do not overlook the important role that your personal well-being plays in your ability to achieve your goals. In particular, take time to think about your quality of life and the soundness of your personal relationships. There is always room for personal growth in these areas, and there are many steps you can take to optimize your enjoyment of life in 2018. Below are five ways to make positive changes in the new year.
Make a Commitment to Improving Your Life and Your Relationships
"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The path to positive change in the new year begins with your commitment and dedication to facing your challenges and nurturing your relationships. You must go beyond simply thinking about making positive changes in your life and craft a plan. A good first step is to write down your top three personal goals and post them in a highly visible location where you can see them every day.
Assess Your Overall Satisfaction with Life
Making positive changes will be difficult if you are dissatisfied with life or if you are experiencing depression. Some people know whether they feel happy or unsatisfied with their lives while others are unable to assess their satisfaction with life. One way to assess your degree of life satisfaction is to take a minute to complete a Life Satisfaction Scale. A score under 10 indicates that you are extremely dissatisfied with your life in general and could benefit from making positive changes.
Take a Marriage Fitness Test
A marriage fitness test can help you assess the strength of your marriage and highlight areas of your marriage that could benefit from improvement. Even if your marriage is rock solid, vow to take some special measures to keep your marriage strong. Here are a few simple ways to help maintain a strong marriage with your spouse:
- Communicate openly with your spouse
- Tell your spouse you appreciate him/her
- Make spending time with your spouse a top priority
- Participate in enjoyable activities with your spouse
Strive to Achieve the Proper Work - Life Balance
Pouring your heart and energy into your employment may help you meet your financial goals. However, devoting an excessive amount of time to work activities can cause your relationships and personal well-being to suffer. Make sure that you have plenty of time in life to enjoy the following:
- Family activities
- Exercise and physical pursuits
- Relaxation and spiritual fulfillment
- Personal development
- Volunteer activities
Vow to Improve Your Relationships with Friends and Loved Ones
If you are like most people, you are involved in at least one personal relationship that can benefit from improvement. Take a few minutes to think about your relationships with family members, close friends, and work colleagues. Are any of them strained? Have you noticed any counter-productive patterns emerging in your relationships with others? If you answered "Yes" to either of these questions, then you should take the necessary steps to improve your personal relationships.
Start the New Year with a Fresh Outlook on Life
The best way to face the new year with renewed strength to overcome your challenges is to seek the guidance of a trained professional. A Licensed Professional Counselor can help you develop the skills to successfully cope with your everyday challenges and help you approach your relationships with a positive, productive approach. To learn more about the many benefits of seeing a counselor, please contact me. As a licensed counselor who has helped countless individuals overcome their anxiety, depression, and grief, I look forward to becoming your trusted resource for self-improvement.