Welcome to 2023. Being a goal-oriented person, this is one of my favorite times of year. I like making lists, outlining tasks, and of course, making resolutions. For me, January first gives me an excuse to start fresh and begin anew.
If only it were that easy.
How have your past New Year’s resolutions played out? Losing weight? Exercising more? Breaking a bad habit? Creating change is hard because when we try to move forward, our brains remember, and often dwell on how things have gone in the past. We cling to what we know, and our negative experiences cloud our ability to stay optimistic.
I find this especially true for kids who exhibit challenging behaviors. They have a hard time believing things will get better because their history of past failures is what they project as their future. They assume the worst, and often, this outlook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
My suggestion? Give yourself and the kids with whom you work grace as we move into January. Create change by simply changing your perspective. Assume positive intent, adopting the philosophy that we all do the best we are able given the skills at our disposal. This might not dramatically alter behaviors, but it should lower your stress level – which is good start.
Happy New Year, friends. I plan on making it a great one – and hope you will do the same.