Many of us put a lot of emphasis on the first couple of months of the year by inadvertently believing that if we’re going to have the year we want, we’ve got to get things right up front. We start the year all perky and full of gusto. This year’s going to be different. It’s new year, new me. I’m going to be optimistic and attract a different life. Next thing, as life tends to do, something goes awry. Or life doesn’t look the way we pictured it.

Maybe we have a dream about our ex, and we attach the meaning that we’re not over them. We think we’ve carted what we thought were our forgotten feelings into the new year. In our minds, we pictured that if we were going to get off on the right footing, we wouldn’t think of our ex, and we wouldn’t have to make efforts to not chase after thoughts.

Maybe we experience a trauma or have a series of stresses and unfortunate incidences and decide that there’s no point in gradually dealing with these and recovering. We decide there’s no point.

Why should I bother changing unhealthy beliefs? I tried to think positively and I still ended up stressed/hurt/disappointed, etc.

Sometimes we fall into the trap of believing that because we’re trying to project a sunny attitude or are making changes, that we have the power to control the uncontrollable.

I’m trying to think happy thoughts and squash negativity. Why are things still happening to piss me off? 

Maybe we feel tempted to go back to an unhealthy relationship. Even if we don’t act upon it, we shame ourselves over having even thought of it. We forget that we’re only human and that it would be more useful to look at what the trigger was for feeling this way.

Or maybe, despite having started 2014 resolving to do better by us, a week in and we’ve fallen off the wagon. Now we’re thinking, Well, I’ve started, so I may as well finish, as if to suggest that a wobble or a fall makes for a waste of time. Sometimes we’re so busy berating ourselves for not having handled something or for slipping into an old habit that we continue on a poor course of thinking and behaviour in the hopes that maybe we can make something good come out of it. It becomes about making a return on investment when we actually stand to make more from folding.

Don’t write off the year over a bad day, week or choice in the early part of the year. Hell, don’t do it at any point in the year. Do it and you end up growing weeds instead of nurturing and growing seeds.

Many people judge themselves so harshly over these, colouring their perception of their options and distorting their self-image. It’s as if they believe that it’s wrong to hit inevitable bumps in the road. They believe they have to get things right first time because, in their minds, they’re all out of chances. This mentality causes them to predict that the past will be the future, and if they don’t gain perspective, it has a domino effect on their subsequent thinking and choices.

Writing off time that hasn’t happened is a trap. No matter what the time of year is (beginning, middle or end), thinking this way means you’re going to do the proverbial throwing the baby out with the bath water. It’s a disproportionate response that clouds learning, growth and, ultimately, your recovery.

A bad day, rough week, or a dodgy choice doesn’t make the year a write-off; it’s your mentality and actions that decide this. And, of course, you can evolve these. It’s too much to expect that there won’t be eff-ups or that life will occur according to the predetermined picture and plan in your head. You will get back up. You’ve successfully managed to do this on every day of your life so far, so keep your eyes on what matters – you and this on-the-job training experience that is life. Aiming to have a perfect grade year is a futile pursuit!

Your thoughts?

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