A new year is a good time for renewal

By John Grohol, Psy.D.
January 6th, 2022
new year, new beginnings

When we start a new year, it’s often a time for reflection, a time to review and renew our commitments to others and ourselves.

To others, we may look around and find we are spreading ourselves too thin. Maybe we offer to help out just a little too often with external activities like the PTA or within our community. Maybe we see that we’re taking on extra work around the house or doing chores that others have slacked off on. It’s common for us to want to say, “yes” to everything asked of us, even if it comes at the expense of our own mental health.

To ourselves, we may take a look inwards and realize we’re not being true to our needs. We may find we’re not being assertive in asking for what we need to feel emotionally secure and safe. Maybe we’re not being entirely honest with ourselves about something we really wanted to try and do in our lives. Maybe it was in terms of forming a new habit or breaking an old one.

Like a client in psychotherapy, we’re capable of immense change too. Of course, it doesn’t just take the initial commitment, but the follow through. And that’s where we so often lose momentum after a few days or weeks of trying. Because as is so often said in therapy, change is hard. Little changes are easier than bigger ones, so it always seems helpful to try and start small and work our way up to the bigger things.

I can’t claim this new year will be any different than the last. We all have our challenges to face, especially as we enter another season where our future in the midst of an ongoing pandemic is uncertain. But you have to believe that change is possible, not just for your clients, but for yourself as well. Enroll the help of a trusted confidante or friend to help hold you to it.

Be kind to yourself in the process, because setbacks are inevitable. But you’ve got this.

Happy New Year!

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