Here’s To A Happier and Healthier 2016

The New Year is a time of renewed energy and focus for many people. This is the time of year when we review our ambitions and goals. Some of us stay focused for a few weeks or maybe months, while others are able to follow through with their new year’s resolutions.


I have found a way to help myself (and my clients) stay committed to new year’s resolutions. As I was reflecting on the new year and how to move forward in 2016, I was struck by four questions that came to mind.

I have tried to keep a daily journal, but find myself avoiding the task, because trying to commit to anything that demands our utmost attention and focus – especially after work hours – is simply asking too much! (That’s the key to following through with your new year’s resolutions – keep them realistic, and they’ll be attainable!)

Instead of trying to journal every day, I have chosen to focus on four key areas of my life that I will strive to improve throughout the year.

I was able to gather my thoughts and think about some of the lingering questions over the holidays, and then proceeded to make a plan of action. Ideas are useless without a working plan!

As I tried to organize these thoughts,  the following four questions arose.

  1. What do I want to leave behind in 2015?
  2. What am I looking forward to in 2016?
  3. What do I want to embrace in 2016?
  4. Where do I need guidance in 2016?

Here are some of the answers to my questions:

  1. I want to leave behind judgment of myself and the constant comparisons I make of my journey and the lives of others.  As a therapist, I have learned that I am not alone in this quest. Many clients feel the same way.  The more we compare ourselves to others the more anxious and dissatisfied we become. Social media feeds into this concept as we look at happy images of other people’s lives. Instead of  sharing their joy, we sometimes resent them for having lives that appear easier or more enjoyable than our own.
  2. Looking forward to 2016, I realize that I am really excited about the concept of SoulCollage. I will explain this in a future post, but basically, SoulCollage is a technique that helps you gain insight and clarity. I recently held a workshop with breast cancer survivors and used this concept, and was struck by the powerful results.
  3. I am embracing the idea that I would like to do a few things differently in 2016. One is to  take better care of myself. This includes more balance between work and downtime, and figuring out how to motivate myself to exercise regularly.
  4. I also realize that I need guidance and assistance at work. For me, this is the least interesting aspect of owning my own business, because it includes advertising, marketing, and updating my website. Areas that I am not very familiar with. I now realize that I need a team of people to help with this concept. I also need guidance to connect to who I am and what I want the next 20 years of my professional life to look like.

The point of exploring these four areas of my life has helped me form goals and allowed me to see which path I must navigate to achieve happiness and success.

I will keep you updated on my progress throughout the year!

Now it’s your turn to make a list of what areas in your life require a resolution. This is the best way to ensure a more enjoyable, healthy and happy 2016.

Happy New Year!

Karen Stabley, Art Therapy (ATR)

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