This in an usual topic of discussion at the start of the year? In my experience the idea of new year resolutions for most people is s bit like marmite 'You either love it or hate it.' It is often linked to joining the gym or improving diet.
However in my bloc I want to go beyond 'empty words' such as joining the gym and turning up twice in the whole year.
I want to look at new year resolutions as a way to improve out overall wellbeing.
When things in life run smoothly we do not think about taking care for our mental health and wellbeing.
As a psychotherapist I work with people suffering with mental health difficulties and for most lack of motivation is one of their main problems. This makes setting goals very difficult, and yet we need to set ourselves goals to build a life worth living.
I do not usually have New year resolution, but in 2018 I decided to set myself a goal!
Having worked with few people through the strategy I knew that to make it worthwhile I had to set some time to think about it.
So I scheduled it and when the time came I got a pen, paper and a cup of tea..........................after 30 minuets I was still staring at a blank page. My first self-critical thought was 'I am a therapist I should know how to set myself a goal', but saying this to myself did not help me come up with any ideas. I felt stuck!
I had to accept that the answer is not going to come easily, but I knew where to look.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), one of the approaches composing the 3rd wave of CBT. ACT therapy is a behavioural approach, its latest development called contextual approach (Hayes, 2005). One of the main strategies are motivational in their nature. I am going to focus on the topic of goals setting, values and commitment.
But what are values?
The dictionary defines it as one's judgement of what is important in life or principles of behaviour such as Authenticity. Honesty or kindness. ACT defines values as quality of action, so each action in its context can be linked to a value. For example if I set myself a goal to get up at 7 am, instead of 8 am, it can be linked to my values of effectiveness.
But can use the strategy the other way around, if I identify my values I can set myself goals. This can increase my motivation by creating a reward system. Also if unable to achieve my goal I can continue working towards my values and set yourself another goal in the desired direction.
So I identified my main values as: caring & alliance; dedication & trust; development & flexibility; enthusiasm & playfulness; adventure & creativity. The main three are caring, enthusiasm and creativity.
Knowing my values & priorities helped me set myself goals and I am going to share them with you. To develop my private practice, to establish regular mindfulness practice & improve my aikido. I am now going to bear up my goals into smaller steps.
Indeed writing this bog is taking me one step closer to my goal.
Please let me know what you think about it?