By Tiffany Meyer
I’m a big believer in the idea that we’re all a work in progress. I also believe our family — whatever shape it comes in — can be an exceptional source of inspiration and support in our continued self-improvement. The beginning of a new year offers the opportunity to reflect and set goals for self-improvement. Resolutions can be a great motivator.
Most resolutions go by the wayside a few weeks into the new year because they fit a particular profile. If written on paper the resolution sounds more like a self-reprimand or a pie-in-the-sky daydream than a realistic goal.
Take some time with paper and pencil in hand to reflect on the past year. I suggest dividing your paper into two columns, listed below:
List and describe all of the big and small actions you and/or your family took in 2011 that stir positive feelings in you. Next to each, write down how you feel reflecting upon that celebration, and what needs were met in acting in this way.
Now, list and describe all of the big and small actions you and/or your family took or did not take in 2011 that stir negative or uncomfortable feelings in you. Next to each, write down how you feel reflecting upon that item, and what needs were not met in acting/not acting in this way.
2. Share your reflection with your family.
Talking through your positive and negative feelings together can be a powerful process. You’re likely to discover some similarities in your lists. Additionally, sharing can create a space of power — opening up the possibility of shared commitment for different actions in the future.
3. Translate a negative feeling into a future action request.
Remember, the best resolutions are positive, future-action requests you’re making of yourself. So, it’s important to put your future action request in context of the needs it’s likely to meet for you and/or your family. And, it’s important to keep the request realistic and achievable.
Setting resolutions can absolutely be a positive experience. And, setting resolutions as a family can be a powerful tool to realize the support that’s standing right in front of you. This week, get out the paper and pencil, and sit down with your family to realize your goals for self-growth this coming year. You’ll be glad you did.