So, tomorrow is the start of a new year, full of new beginnings, a fresh outlook on life and a bright future ahead.
Yeah right. Just like that. Overnight.
Just as mental health issues impacts are different from one person to another, so too is what a new year means, or a birthday or an anniversary for that matter.
Who know what triggers are set and what happens when they are met.
Some celebrate the arrival of a new year, most do, and a lot with genuine excitement.
Others participate in the celebrations behind a façade, whilst a great many more shy away and curl up in a ball and wish the world away.
Some do the 2nd whilst wishing desperately they could do the 3rd.
Please take time out today and tomorrow to check in on a friend or family member who has a day-to-day struggle with life, or are on an unending emotional rollercoaster. They need to know we love them and care for them. Some need to know that almost every day. Always.
So what does a new year mean to me? This year,I am going to make it what I want it to mean to me.
So, before I get to the new year, I am going to take time out to reflect on 2016 with a focus on the many, many good things I achieved – if you have any please share in case I have forgotten! – and try not to cloud those silver linings with thunder and lightning and dark skies. It is not an easy task for someone who is inherently self-critical first, but I think I can do it.
My next task is to then look ahead. This year there are no resolutions; vague notions often with no end – I am going to lose weight, I am going to get fit, I am going to give up…
In place of resolutions however, I am going to look ahead and commit to a number of goals, a number of things to FOCUS on. Each of these will be specific, measurable and achievable. I suppose I might as well throw in realistic and time-based too!
I will be writing these goals down and checking in against them regularly; if to no-one else, I need to be accountable to me. I will, however, share (some) of these goals as I find that a goal shared means that I am accountable, or I perceive myself to be, to more than just myself; I find that I often need this sort of motivation to keep going, others are wired differently.
Most of these goals will be ego-centric because they are, after all, my goals. They may impact others and I need to be considerate of that but ultimately they will be designed to make me happier.
I strongly believe that if I have a number of goals to focus on, to achieve, I will be a better person, less erratic and uncertain and have greater confidence in myself as I tick them off one by one.
New goals will evolve, some may be reviewed or even discarded. And that’s OK, because they are my goals.
So, what are your goals for you in 2017? What are you going to do for you? That is the important thing – to do what is right for you.
If you want to share your goals (or resolutions) privately or for support in how to develop them from an idea to a goal, IM the Black Dogs & Blue Skies Facebook page and I can help you now, and along the way.
Next week I am going to share with you the philosophy that my psychologist shared with me and that which has changed my mindset and made a big difference to me.
Some of you I know and love, others I just love anyway. To all, no matter how you feel or what you have done, know that there is someone, many someones, close to you that care for you and love you unconditionally. Always.
Remember, check in on your friends today, tomorrow and whenever you can… Every day is R U OK? Day. Always.
Whatever you are doing tonight, I urge you all to stay safe, be responsible and always look out for your friends and loved ones. Always.
If you are struggling, please talk to someone. Anyone.Call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 155 1800, MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978 or check out beyondblue.org.au for more resources. In emergencies, please call 000