Debbie Gross, LCSW, Ltd. - Individual, Marital & Family Therapy

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One Therapist's Reflections

Bring on the New Year!

From December 27, 2009

As another year comes to a close, let’s take a few moments to set some goals for the upcoming year. I don’t want this to be a list of resolutions that are filled with unrealistic expectations. If we do, by mid-January, we'll end up hanging our heads, feeling miserable at our lack of success. Instead, I want to identify goals that focus on respect, simple kindnesses, and bringing happiness to ourselves and others.

Watching one of my favorite Christmas movies this past week, It’s a Wonderful Life, Clarence, the guardian angel, shared a very important concept when he stated, “Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?” We need to be conscious of the lives we touch each and every day, and make sure that we are paying attention to those around us, even during those inconsequential moments we sometimes don’t even consider important.

Please examine the list and identify the ones that you think will make a positive change in your life or the lives of the people with whom you interact. Then, when the ball drops and welcomes in the new year, let’s make a positive difference in our world.

1. I will wait as I let someone else merge into my lane ahead of me while driving, or let someone with fewer items go ahead of me in the grocery line, Life should not be so rushed that offering common courtesies effects my time, and if it is, I need to budget more time for these events.

2. I will not hang up on person A when person B is calling, nor will I use call-waiting to tell person B that I am busy and will call them back, unless it is an urgent issue. Letting the call go to voicemail lets caller B know I am busy and will call them back! I will speak to the person I am on the phone with at the time with my full attention.

3. I will not answer my phone, text, or check the Internet while having an in-person conversation with someone, unless the situation warrants it. I will maintain full attention on the discussion, and will attend to my personal and work calls, emails, or texts after we are done talking.

4. I will make sure to end my phone calls or texting when I am dealing with a sales clerk, in line at the bank, in a movie or in a restaurant.

5. I will return phone calls in a timely manner. My life is no busier or no more important than anyone else’s, and it is not respectful to forget or delay a callback.

6. I will take responsibility for my actions and not make excuses for my problems. I will come up with reasonable solutions or strategies for problems, forgive my own mistakes, and seek forgiveness from those I offend.

7. I will find something each day that makes me smile, laugh, feel good about, or be grateful for - finding those ‘penguin moments’, as I have referred to in previous blogs.

Please feel free to comment with any additional goals you feel might enhance our lives. May you all be blessed with laughter, peace, success, love and friendships in the coming year.


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