We tend think of December as the time of year when things are winding down, and we’re getting ready for a fresh start in the upcoming New Year. What if, instead of waiting to create change, we got a head start in counseling? Think about all those resolutions you made for this past year. Did you actually make any? If you did, were you successful in getting where you wanted to be? If you’re like most of us, you probably made a list with the best of intentions, stuck it in a drawer, and now you’re wondering exactly where that list might be.
When it comes to self-care, it’s not uncommon for us to stick ourselves in a drawer, as well, getting lost in the details of the every day. Making the decision to get started on creating change before ‘it’s time to get started making change’ is like sticking that list on the bathroom mirror, instead. You have to look at it every morning, rather than forgetting about it and waiting for things to magically transform themselves.
Therapy Offers Support
Waiting to set goals or think about making changes until the start of the New Year is something like buying a car before you know how to drive. A car opens up tremendous possibilities and presents endless opportunity, but if it just sits in the driveway, all of that gets lost. Think of beginning counseling before the start of the New Year as sort of like Driver’s Ed. You have a chance to test things out—get a feel for the road, learn to recognize blind spots and see the potential dangers of on-coming traffic—all with the help of a seasoned guide who not only has your best interest in mind, but wants to see you successful in your journey.
Starting counseling now, rather than waiting, also provides you with the opportunity to get some support around the holidays themselves. For many of us this can be a stressful time for all sorts of reasons—from managing difficult family relationships to simple holiday shopping and gift-giving. You might want to role-play that inevitable conversation with Aunt June, talk about boundary-setting at the company holiday party, or work through the random, free-floating anxiety that comes up for many of us at this time of year.
Therapy Helps You Create Accountability
Possibly more important than all of this is, making the choice to begin counseling sets you up to be accountable—to both yourself and someone else—so your resolutions don’t end up in that drawer, again. Instead, they will be front and center every week or so, to be worked through, worked around and just plain worked on, so you can make things happen and get where you want to be. That might sound a little daunting—or even off-putting—at first, because we all want to believe we can do it ourselves, whatever it is. That, however, leads us back to the conversation on self-care, when we can easily end up in that drawer, just like our resolutions, ignored for the sake of those pesky everyday details.
You can also begin planning for the changes you want to make in the upcoming year, rather than starting that process when you’re already in it. If you’re being career-minded, you might discuss what you can do now to set up the future changes you’re anticipating making, like a job change, going back to school, developing a self-marketing plan or expanding your small business. Maybe it’s time for you and your partner to marry, or you need to start planning for children’s education, or even get your own financial future in hand. Perhaps it’s time to make a home purchase or think about how to manage your aging parent’s affairs. Whatever your concerns, talking to a counselor and planning for next year now is a great way to empower yourself and start creating the change you want to see in your world.
We invite you to contact our office here or call for a free 15-minute phone consultation at 860-258-4171. We’re happy to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about counseling and our practice.