“Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.” ~ Abraham Heschel
At this time of the year, we are encouraged to develop our New Year’s Resolutions. The resolutions may play upon our heartstrings, moral compasses, religious ideological viewpoints, or the need for physical and mental improvement. Resolutions are not only geared towards improvement of the individual, but as well as the improvement of societies’ moral and ethical compasses. While many may disagree, I unequivocally believe that the key to moving forward, as well as, establishing new pathways in this life, must begin by forgiving ourselves and forgiving others.
FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY TO MOVING FORWARD
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
A key to moving forward, is forgiving others, as well as your own person. Forgiveness is not only a state of mind, but it is a state of being. It is woven through the very essence of our being. Forgiveness is a constant attitude occurring through a purposeful action. As humans, we are instinctively designed to forgive. It is only when we choose not to forgive that our minds, bodies, and spirits begin to experience disrepair. Those who choose not to forgive; choose to harbor the wrongs of others and of their own person. Thus, frequently developing physiological and psychological signs and symptoms associated with stress, anxiety, and depression. Forgiveness cleanses the body, ridding it of the decay of negativity, disappointment, and heartache. It is through the act of forgiveness, that we can live a balanced and well-adjusted life. Forgiveness is the key to living life productively. Being productive enables us to be effective in this life, by producing the desires and intended results with which we may choose to acquire. Forgiveness is a purposeful action filtered through a permanent attitude.
WHAT IS A RESOLUTION?
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.” ~ T. S. Eliot
The basic principle of a resolution is to be firm with one’s decisions, opinions, intentions, and expressions. It is through a resolution that we clarify our stance, becoming a decisive person. Being decisive is intent on settling an issue or a set of issues, by producing a definite result.
MY PERSONAL NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C. S. Lewis
As a clinician, I am frequently known to assign goal setting tasks. A goal is not unlike setting a resolution, in fact, it is a resolution. When we set goals, we are seeking to achieve measurable, attainable, viable, and time oriented objectives.
“Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later, a 2002 study found.” (Sparacino, 2015, Online)
My goals have always involved the following: my personal (what will specifically effect my own person); my professional – career (what has an ability of effecting my employment, vocation, occupation or the pursuit of a career); my academic (my pursuit of knowledge, instruction); my familial (my goals for my immediate family or a desire for my future family); and my overall life (specifically geared towards the global picture of my life).
Consider the following questions when establishing your goals:
- Do I believe in myself?
- What is the overall purpose and intent of my goal?
- Do I believe in my goal?
- Do I rely upon others for admiration, acceptance and approval?
- Have I an ingrained attitude of approval, acceptance, and self-worth?
Goals should always involve a combination of the following ideas:
Acceptance: the ability and willingness to unconditionally receive oneself or another.
Admiration: the warmth and approval through a pleasurable contemplation.
Approval: the direct action of completely and unconditionally accepting oneself or another.
Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about oneself and one’s life.
Career: an occupation with which an individual commits himself or herself for an extended period of time.
Education – Academics: is the pursuit of knowledge, whether through a formal institution, a trade school or some other avenue; knowledge is the foundation of personal liberation.
Expressive – Artistic: Researchers have shown that the self-expression of art is one of the greatest tools towards developing one’s ability to think in the abstract.
Family: a group of individuals that you have a biological or nonbiological connection to. As a parent, I may choose to set a goal to be a good and healthy parent.
Financial: typically applies to a monetary currency or commerce. Financial stability leads to financial liberty.
Physical: our physical body which is not including the mind or the psychology of the person. We may have physical aspirations to improve our health or to reach a particular physique.
Pleasure: an ultimate feeling of bliss, happiness, satisfaction and enjoyment. As a person, I may need to improve on my time spent being blissful. I may need to set a goal to spend more time playing and pursuing healthy expressions of entertainment.
Psychological: the psychology of the human condition is the study of the mind, interactions, and behaviors of an individual. As a person, I may choose to focus on techniques to have a healthier mind. I may choose to seek out peace, joy and loving messages, rather than messages that are negative.
Public Service: as a person, I feel strongly that we should all give back to local and global communities. If I have an opportunity to serve others, it improves my outlook on the world and encourages others to serve as well.
KEY STEPS TO SETTING GOALS
- You should begin by identifying the goal.
- Declare the purpose and intention of the goal.
- Make your goal a personal vision and quest.
- Devise a course of action and plan to achieve the goal.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes, because mistakes are key to growth.
- Focus your time, energy and desires towards reaching or attaining your goal.
- Believe in your person, your ability and the capability of accomplishing the goal.
AN EXAMPLE BREAKDOWN OF MY GOALS
In 2015, My goal is to reach a maximum and desirable physique. My goal is to achieve a healthy mental and psychological outlook on life. My goal is to obtain whatever messages are available to have a healthier perspective on my personal perceptions and worldview.
My goal is to find ways to improve or enhance my job performance. In 2015, I have a goal to enroll in a course on modern dance. In 2015, I have a goal to enroll in a course involving a foreign language. Your academic goals may involve completing a degree, a certificate, a diploma, an associates, a designation, a skill or some other sort of academic training.
My Professional – Career
My goal is to obtain whatever training is necessary to further my ability to prove an effect and more competent practitioner. What is your chosen career? How can you improve as an employee or employer?
Throughout my life, my goals for a partner and family have evolved. A majority of my aspirations were focused on being with someone of likemindedness. I always wanted to be with someone that I could call my best-friend and soul-mate. As a father, I have always had hopes to be the best father possible and to encourage my children to be their ultimate best. Fatherhood and marriage are the greatest gifts received in this life. Ultimately, once I can love my own person, then can I wholeheartedly love another. In 2015, I have intentions on spending more quality time simply having fun with my family.
My Overall Life
My overall life goal encompasses all of my goals. As a person, I hope to pursue avenues that will only improve my character and my overall personhood. As a father and a spouse, I hope to continue my life pursuit on becoming physically and psychologically healthier, more mindful, showing appreciation, encouragement and unconditional love. Moreover, as a spouse, I have set goals that will only fuel the flame and passion for the love of my life and my best-friend. As a person, I hope always to be open to correction, growth and maturation.
NEVER CAP YOUR CEILING
Caping your ceiling gives an allowances for mediocracy. When we set goals, we should always be aware that there may be a ceiling, however, we should not allow this ceiling to become a barrier from the potential of further growth and/or possibilities. When we place a cap upon our ceiling, or allow others to cap our ceiling, then we are denying our right to reach our maximum potential for success. By eliminating the cap, we are essentially leaving room for the maximum opportunity for growth. Placing a cap upon your ceiling, may prevent you from reaching greatest potential in life. Placing a cap will eliminate our ultimate potential for growth.
HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF AND YOUR PURSUITS
“Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.”~ Abraham Heschel
The power of faith in oneself is a remarkable commodity. Faith is an ultimate player in goal setting. Faith is an empowerment in your desires. If you have the faith to believe, then you shall succeed at whatever your heart desires. The lack of faith in one’s ability’s or capabilities, is frequently the greatest obstacle preventing someone from reaching ultimate success.
What is it to have faith in oneself? Having faith in oneself, is to deny room for negative communication. When you deny the room for negative communication, you are preventing communications that would prevent you from reaching your fullest potential. Words like: impossible, implausible, improbable, and no are not welcomed into a life filled with faith and desire. Faith in oneself is the key that grants the individual freedom from limitations and boundaries. Faith in oneself allows for each individual to prove the ultimate superhero.
REACH FOR THE STARS OR THE MOON
Do not allow anyone to deny your ability to reach for the heavens. My precious daughter Esperanza, a whopping 3 1/2 years of age, informed my wife approximately a year ago that her daddy created the moon for her. As a father, it is a humbling remark, but as a child, I am encouraged to see that she believes that we can accomplish anything in this life including creating the heavens and the earth. I beseech you to reach for your stars, create your moon, and to conquer the heavens.
Author: Dr. Asa Don Brown, Ph.D., C.C.C., N.C.C.M.
Brown, A. D. (2013) Forgiveness. Retrieved January 6, 2013 from http://www.ccpa-accp.ca/blog/?p=2820
Mayo Clinic (2013) Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness. Retrieved April 7, 2013 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/forgiveness/MH00131
Public Broadcasting Service, PBS (2013) Understanding forgiveness; What is forgiveness? How does forgiving another help us? And how can we cultivate forgiveness in our lives? Retrieved April 7, 2013 from http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/forgiveness/understanding-forgiveness
Sparacino, A. (2015) Top 10 Healthiest New Year’s Resolutions. Retrieved January 8, 2015 from http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20452233,00.html
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA