Every year people the world over make personal resolutions hoping for a better year than the one recently deceased. Sometimes they actually keep them. Generally though, research shows that New Year’s resolutions don’t even last to the end of January.
One year my brother sent out a list of resolutions which he felt he could reasonably be expected to keep – he planned to “…continue doing what I’ve been doing, good and bad, and add a dash of something new.” Compared to my list that year (lose weight, relax more, take up a hobby) I thought he had a pretty good chance of outlasting my good intentions.
This year, I have eschewed personal resolutions. I’ve already been working on wellness renovations over the past year and plan to continue with mindfully pursuing a sustainable, enjoyable lifestyle with optimum health, so I thought I’d consider some professional resolutions this year.
1. I resolve to extend to my fellow professionals and colleagues the same unconditional positive regard I choose to offer my clients. When one of them disagrees with me, I will choose to assume it’s because they have a perspective that is neither foolish, unethical, nor intemperate but as reasoned and well-considered as I believe my perspective to be.
2. I resolve to be mindful of the limitations of social media and communicating in print. Consequently, I will attribute the best possible/most benevolent meaning to comments or opinions in discussions, threads, and forums in which I participate and respond from that place.
3. I resolve to learn something new, outside my current body of knowledge, from a professional within my social media sphere. I mean really learn – by engaging with that expert in multiple ways in order to truly embrace something I don’t currently know or practice.
4. I resolve to stop thinking of selfcare as a “reward” for overwork. I choose this year to mindfully incorporate caring for my own body, soul, and spirit in ways which allow me to be wholly present for the broken, wounded, and searching people who may become my clients.
5. I resolve to speak up with dignity and resolve when things about my beloved profession are not good. It will no longer be enough to simply not do those things which are damaging or disrespectful to others and call the practice of people-helping into disrepute. I will speak up – respectfully and firmly.
That’s enough. Actually it’s a lot, and I hope when I look back a year from now I will be able to say with some truth that I managed to fulfill this year’s resolutions in a way which made my relationships with my fellow professionals and the practice of psychology, just a little better.
May 2013 be all that you work for and more than you imagine. Peace and quietness to you and yours in this New Year.