Family

7 Steps to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Congratulations! Despite the sarcastic negativity and nay-sayers, you have chosen a path of self-improvement. Here are seven simple things you can do to make sure you achieve all of your 2016 goals.

Treat yourself.
Your goals require a special type of strength from your mind and body. Acknowledge this, own this, and love yourself for deciding to improve despite the challenge it will be.

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General

Be SMART and Avoid Failing at New Year’s Resolutions

Do you know people who have a hard time maintaining their big New Year's goals past February? Who are the people around you who joke, "Yeah, I made a resolution to lose weight, but then Valentine's Day came around." Or "I made a resolution to quit smoking, but then I needed a break at work."

If making and sticking to goals is hard for you, it does not mean that you are helpless, hopeless, or should give up trying. Far too many people make goals that are too big, too general, way too difficult, and without any tracking tools. People tend to create large, grandiose, long-term goals with no short-terms goals to guide the process. Follow the SMART method below to reach your resolutions for 2016.
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General

New Year’s and Values

In Hamlet, cranky Polonius gives his son Laertes, who is about to venture out into the world, this advice: "This above all, to thine own self be true." (As it happens, it is ironic advice, as Polonius himself is duplicitous and rarely shows the self-awareness he wants his son to embrace.) Deep down, what Shakespeare is getting at is that you need not to be afraid to know yourself and accept yourself, flaws and all.

I'm not a big one for New Year's resolutions, but this past New Year's I had what I call a New Year's revelation. Taking time out to disconnect and detox, I realized what happens when you fight feelings of anxiety and vulnerability and are not being your true self. When you shut those feelings off, you are disconnected from that which brings meaning to your life.

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5 Tips for Coping with the Post-Holiday Blues

Do you hear that sound? What sound, you ask? The sound of calm after the holidays. The moment when we realize the guests have left and the errands are complete. The moment when we finally look around and notice all we have missed while immersed in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holidays.

Personally, the days immediately following New Year's Day are mixed emotion days for me. The first couple weeks of January, I relax in the glow of Christmas and the expectation of new beginnings. Yet, mingled amid my joyous feelings, there is a feeling of sadness as I realize that the holiday season has ended and normal life has returned.

Since I was a young child, I have loved the period from Halloween to New Year's because of the festivities, the traditions, the foods, smells, and sights. Yet it seems that as soon as Halloween is upon us, in a flash, we are past New Year's Day.

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Depression

Surviving January — the Most Depressing Month of the Year

January 24 is on record as being the most depressing day of the year. It’s not hard to figure out why. The bills come in from all those generous gifts you gave back when the holiday spirit had you feeling rich. The resolutions you made on December 31 are, well, broken. And it’s cold, dark, and dreary -- the roads wear the kind of brown slush that is unbecoming.

However, my mood dips long before the 24th. It does a dive the Monday after the New Year -- the first full week of January. I call it Yuck Monday or Yuck Week.
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Brain and Behavior

Why It’s OK Not to Make New Year’s Resolutions

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you stick to them? Many of us spend the last days of December thinking about what our resolutions should be in the coming year. This can lead to discussions with family and friends about what we should change and resolve to do differently. Then we make our resolutions and commit to them, or maybe not.

This has become rote behavior for many of us -- a ritual we follow, year after year. We typically choose resolutions to change ourselves into who we want to or feel we should be, but are not. Sometimes we choose something really big to accomplish, which can become too overwhelming. Why do we do this to ourselves?

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General

3 New Year’s Resolutions You’re Going to Break — and How to Plan for Success Instead


The first days of the new year are always the same. You start off strong, a long list of resolutions planned, ready to conquer your career goals. And you do -- for a week, maybe two, or even a few months if you’re on a roll.

Then, something throws you off track. The culprit may be a seemingly insignificant workplace annoyance, but it has the power to affect your motivation in a big way.

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General

Tips for Writing a Successful New Year’s Resolution

As we begin a new year many of us turn our minds and thoughts to resolutions. We use this time of the year to reflect on the year gone by. Actually, I encourage all of us to spend time reflecting on this past year, as long as your reflections aren't focused solely on the negatives nor used as a time to chastise yourself.

Mindfulness is about living in the moment. The past no longer exists, but in our minds. Reflecting on the past, when done nonjudgmentally, allows us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves from our past experiences and choices. We can celebrate those moments when life was wonderful. We can examine those moments when life didn't go well to determine what we can do differently now. We can plan for the future. In this way our past isn't ignored, it is honored for what it teaches us.

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General

Happy New Year 2016!

I'm blown away by the fact that another year has come and gone already. Maybe it's just me, but some years seem to go by more quickly than others. Perhaps that's a sign that it's been a particularly good year.

In dealing with mental health issues in society, I think 2015 will stand as a fairly good year on record. While U.S. politicians spent a lot of wasted breath trying to link mass shootings to mental illness -- ignoring all of the evidence to the contrary -- the rest of us were focused on helping bring a more positive light to mental health in America.

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Family

New Year’s & Coping with Loss

As soon as the Christmas rush subsides and the wrapping paper is thrown away, we start to think about how we will ring in the new year. Images of smiling faces, popping champagne corks, and fireworks tell us how we might be behaving, thinking or even feeling. Yet for many, the persistent feelings of loss and sadness about a person, a relationship or life once lived limit the awareness that a new year is truly a new start.

The spotlight that is placed on our lives at New Year's creates a make-believe time where we imagine that the thoughts we engage with can assist us in navigating the year ahead. While the powers of intentional thoughts have their place in our emotional well-being, for many facing lost loved ones or relationships, their desires can be beyond their grasp.

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Disorders

7 Self-Compassionate Practices and Habits for the New Year

Inevitably every holiday season, there are lots of articles about adopting punitive habits as resolutions -- everything from "work out every single day" (whether you like it or not) to "cut out all that dessert you consumed at Christmas."

This leads many of us to think that rigid rules, strict regimens and even self-criticism are the way to go.

But self-compassion is a lot more powerful. Self-criticism keeps us stagnant. Self-compassion helps us to learn and grow. It helps us to better understand ourselves. And it helps us to lead healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

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