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It's 2024 already!? Cheers!

Updated: Jan 3

Is it just me, or are the years starting to sound like the year described in a science fiction movie about the future? Not that this is a new experience - in Back to the Future, part II, they travel to 2015. That's right, 2015, and there are flying cars and mini Pizza Hut pizzas that expand in the microwave.

Either way, it often feels like the years fly by, even when the January days are long. Which makes me think that maybe, it's more about being able to reflect back on the past year of your life with a feeling of peace and contentment, instead of immediately moving on to the next goal, and the next step. I think a lot of growth and change happens here too.

At the same time, it's natural to want a reset this time of year, after all the "fresh start effect" has some real science behind it and what better start date than a brand new year (especially when that fresh start is right after a potentially treat and stress packed holiday season).

Here are a couple things to remember when thinking of 2024 (related to goals, areas of change, in addition to making a goal SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based):

  • A little less unhealthy, a little healthier goes a long way. Change doesn't have to be big to make a big impact. Overzealous goals tend to be overwhelming and easily forgotten.

  • It has to be important to you. What's the "why" behind the goal? If you can't easily think of it, it might not be a goal that's worth effort for you right now. I think a lot of goals are declared because it's what we think we "should" be doing. No one will argue that exercise, drinking water and daily breathing practices are good for you (and most definitely not this psychologist), but maybe there is something you want to do more of simply because it brings you joy. A goal like that should move to the top of the list.

Wishing you a huge Bills win this weekend and a little more joy in 2024!


Dr. Kate

p.s., I saw this idea somewhere years ago and loved it. It's a family friendly activity, regardless of your Pinterest status. Grab any jar (a clear jar might be the most fun), cut a few colored strips of paper, and write down the good stuff that happens over the next 52 weeks. Any memorable event, large or small, or when something exciting happens, or someone learned something or overcame a challenging situation, worked really, really hard and earned a C+, went out of their way to be kind or helpful - write it down and add it to the jar. It would be easy to focus on outcomes here (e.g., won a championship, got straight As,) and you can definitely include those accolades, but don't forget to include the really important things (like effort and kindness).

You can definitely use different color papers, but I wouldn’t assign colors to family members. It’s not a competition, and you’re all on the same team anyway!

Then, on December 31st 2024, your family can go through the jar and read each piece of paper and take a minute to remember the highs of the year.

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