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As the clock strikes midnight and we bid farewell to the old, the New Year beckons with promises of fresh beginnings and personal growth. At Angelus, with offices based in both New Castle and Hermitage, we embrace this transformative season with open arms. Our community-focused mental health counseling office, grounded in a strength-based approach, is committed to empowering individuals on their journey toward positive change. We firmly believe in whole-life care, recognizing that self-care must permeate all aspects of one’s life – at home, at work, in social environments, and in supportive mental health or medical settings. Join us today for an informative blog focused on the tradition of setting New Year’s Resolutions.

The Psychology of Setting New Year’s Resolutions

Setting New Year’s resolutions is deeply rooted in the human psyche. It’s a symbolic act of self-reflection, an opportunity to redefine and pursue a better version of ourselves. The excitement surrounding resolutions often stems from the belief that a new year brings a clean slate and a chance for personal reinvention.

However, the psychology behind resolutions involves both the thrill of new beginnings and the challenge of sustaining motivation. At Angelus, we recognize the importance of harnessing this enthusiasm while acknowledging the potential pitfalls that can hinder progress.

The 5 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions and Potholes

Weight Loss and Healthy Living
  • Resolution: Committing to healthier eating habits and regular exercise.
  • Potholes: Unrealistic expectations may lead to discouragement, while a lack of motivation and self-criticism can sabotage progress.

 Additional supports to help you in 2024:

  1. Podcast Recommendation: Listen to episodes of “The Model Health Show” by Shawn Stevenson for comprehensive insights into fitness, nutrition, and mindset.
  2. Podcast Recommendation: Explore “Food Psych” by Christy Harrison for discussions on intuitive eating and body positivity.
  3. Book Recommendation: Read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear for actionable strategies in building positive habits.
    Financial Wellness
    • Resolution: Implementing effective budgeting and saving practices.
    • Potholes: Impulse spending, unforeseen financial setbacks, and inadequate planning may disrupt financial goals.

     Additional supports to help you in 2024:

    1. Podcast Recommendation: Tune into “The Clark Howard Podcast” for practical financial advice and money-saving tips.
    2. Book Recommendation: Explore “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez for insights into transforming your relationship with money.
    3. Financial Literacy Program: Attend a local financial literacy program for hands-on guidance.
      Stress Reduction
      • Resolution: Managing stress through mindfulness and self-care.
      • Potholes: Overcommitting, neglecting self-care, and unrealistic time management can exacerbate stress levels.

       Additional supports to help you in 2024:

      1. Podcast Recommendation: Find serenity with “The Calm Collective” for discussions on mindfulness and stress reduction techniques.
      2. Mindfulness App: Incorporate the “Calm” app into daily routines for guided meditation and relaxation exercises.
      3. Support Groups: Join stress-management support groups to share experiences and coping strategies.
        Career Advancement
        • Resolution: Pursuing professional development and career goals.
        • Potholes: Burnout, fear of failure, and a lack of work-life balance may impede progress.

         Additional supports to help you in 2024:

        1. Podcast Recommendation: Listen to “The Tim Ferriss Show
        2. Mentorship Programs: Seek guidance from industry mentors for career advice and growth.
        3. Professional Development Workshop: Attend workshops offered by local professional organizations for skill enhancement.
          Relationship Improvement
          • Resolution: Strengthening relationships with loved ones.
          • Potholes: Communication breakdowns, unrealistic expectations, and neglect can strain relationships.

           Additional supports to help you in 2024:

          1. Book Recommendation: Read “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman for insights into understanding and improving relationship dynamics.
          2. Couples Counseling: Consider couples counseling for open communication and relationship-building strategies.
          3. Relationship Workshops: Attend workshops on effective communication and relationship maintenance for valuable insights.
          The Power of Intentions

          While resolutions often focus on specific goals, some of which may feel elusive or unattainable, intentions offer a different perspective. Intentions delve into the underlying values and motivations that drive personal growth, providing a positive and supportive framework for embracing change. At Angelus, we advocate for the transformative power of positive intentions as a sustainable and adaptable alternative to New Year’s Resolutions.

          What is an intention? 

          Intentions are the compass that guides your actions, the internal roadmap that aligns with your deepest values and aspirations. Unlike resolutions, which can sometimes feel rigid and outcome-focused, intentions are about fostering a positive and supportive mindset. They encourage you to visualize the person you want to become and the life you want to lead. Setting intentions involves cultivating a profound awareness of your values, allowing them to shape your daily choices and interactions.

          Imagine intentions as seeds planted in the fertile soil of your consciousness. As you nurture them with mindfulness and self-compassion, they gradually blossom into positive habits and meaningful experiences. Rather than fixating on specific outcomes, intentions focus on the journey, embracing the beauty of personal growth along the way. They empower you to navigate life’s twists and turns with resilience, fostering a sense of purpose and fulfillment. At Angelus, we believe that positive intentions can be a guiding light, illuminating the path toward a more authentic and fulfilling life.

          Realignment & Focusing on your intentions Throughout the Year

          Incorporating Intentions into Daily Life

          Mindfulness Moments: Incorporate mindful moments into your daily routine. Whether it’s a few minutes of deep breathing, gratitude journaling, or a mindful walk, these moments can reinforce positive intentions. Check out our blog: “Capturing Mindful Moments” for more information and suggestions on how to apply this into your daily routines.

          Reflection Practices: Reflective practices, such as journaling or regular check-ins, help you to assess alignment with intentions. This ongoing self-assessment fosters self-awareness and facilitates adjustments as needed. Read our blog “How to Create Mental Health & Balance with Journaling” for detailed insights and to help you learn how to craft this skill into practice.

          How Can the Shift from Resolutions to Intentions change your life?

          Embracing positive intentions is a powerful catalyst for personal growth. Picture a life with renewed self-esteem, prioritizing well-being. Envision motivation driving you toward learning and fulfillment, unburdened by unrealistic expectations.

          Imagine the transformative power of building emotional resilience, navigating anxiety-inducing situations with newfound ease. These are glimpses into the potential shifts awaiting you.

          As you embark on the journey of setting intentions, let others’ success stories inspire you. Noteworthy, although the individuals described below aren’t specific clients of Angelus their examples are very real. Any similarities are coincidental, emphasizing the universal nature of these experiences. It’s a journey worth taking, filled with the promise of resilience, growth, and a more intentional way of living.

          Improved Self-Esteem: Example: Lisa initially set a resolution to lose a certain amount of weight, tying her self-worth to a specific number on the scale. Shifting to the intention of embracing a healthier lifestyle allowed her to focus on self-care and positive habits, leading to a more resilient sense of self-esteem.

          Increased Motivation: Example: John aimed to achieve a promotion at work as his New Year’s resolution. Shifting to the intention of continuous learning and skill development increased his motivation, making the journey more fulfilling, regardless of the specific outcome.

          Improved Mood: Example: Sarah resolved to eliminate all stressors, an unrealistic goal that left her feeling defeated. Shifting to the intention of managing stress through mindful practices allowed her to improve her mood by embracing life’s challenges with resilience.

          Decreased Anxiety: Example: Mark set a resolution to eliminate all sources of anxiety from his life. Shifting to the intention of building emotional resilience and coping strategies helped him navigate anxiety-inducing situations with greater ease.

          Consider Embracing Change with Professional Support in the New Year

          At Angelus, our counseling services are dedicated to fostering positive change. Whether you’re overcoming challenges, navigating life transitions, or aligning actions with your intentions, our experienced counselors are here to guide and support you.

          Considering Counseling for Your New Year’s Resolution? In the pursuit of lasting positive changes, seeking counseling is an empowering step. Despite societal pressures, we challenge the misconception that asking for help is a sign of weakness. At Angelus, we encourage you to view counseling as a valuable resource for creating and sustaining meaningful changes in your life.

          Personalized Growth Plans: Our counselors work collaboratively with clients to create personalized growth plans. These plans integrate intentions into practical, actionable steps, ensuring that mental health is a priority on the journey to positive change.

          Challenging Distorted Beliefs: It’s crucial to challenge the stereotype that seeking counseling is a sign of weakness. In reality, it demonstrates strength and self-awareness. Recognizing that everyone can benefit from support is a powerful mindset shift, empowering others to seek the help they need.

          Building Confidence and Encouragement: Engaging in counseling as part of your New Year process is an investment in your well-being. It offers a dedicated space to explore values, set intentions, and develop strategies for personal growth. Our experienced counselors provide guidance, encouragement, and a supportive partnership on your journey.

          Crafting Intentions with Counseling: Collaborating with a counselor provides a unique opportunity to craft intentions with a deeper understanding of your strengths and challenges. This enhances the likelihood of accomplishing and maintaining these intentions, fostering a sense of fulfillment and well-being.

          As we enter the New Year, consider counseling not as a last resort but as a proactive step toward a more intentional and fulfilling life. Embrace the support available at Angelus to navigate the complexities of change and growth.

          In the spirit of embracing the New Year with positivity and resilience, Angelus extends a heartfelt invitation to our community. As we navigate the path of self-discovery, personal growth, and positive intentions, remember that you are not alone. Together, with a strength-based approach and the support of our counseling services, we can turn aspirations into realities. Celebrate every step forward, and may this year be a testament to the power of intentional living and compassionate self-discovery.

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