Creating a vision for an amazing year

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” 
― Neil Gaiman

 

A couple weeks ago I shared about a trend I’d noticed in people around me who seemed to be struggling with barriers in their life that were keeping them from opportunities and experiences that they want. As we dug in deep to what the block was, it turned out these boulders were typically fear or discomfort. 

It’s hard to persist through a tough situation when you’re scared or uncomfortable.

So to start out 2017 let’s focus on getting clear about what your vision is for this New Year.

What are the things that you want in your life for this next year? Be bold and creative and honest about what you really want.

Dig deep!  What are the secret desires you have… the dreams that you have fleet through your head but it’s even difficult for you to admit to yourself that you want it.

Most of us tend to limit ourselves when we dream about our futures.  

We let ‘reality’ set in and tell ourselves we don’t have the money, or time, or support, or intelligence, or ability.

Let me tell you right now, that’s bullshit. That kind of talk is often inaccurate and blatant lies that your brain tells you based in fear or discomfort.

What likely has happened is that you unconsciously or consciously believed messages you’ve heard throughout your life from others that had those same fears.

Creating your vision is about breaking away from that fear and discomfort.

Here are a few different ways that you can create your vision for 2017.

For those of you that love to write:

Grab a journal and start exploring. Some prompts to get you started:

·       What do I want? What is important me right now in my life?

·       What am I missing from my life that I need more of? How can I bring that into my life?

·       How am I going to get to my goals?  What are the steps I need to take to get what I want?

·       What can I do this week (or today) to get started toward my goal?

For you visual, hands-on people out there, get crafty:

Pull out some poster board, scissors, glue, and a bunch of magazines. Spend some time selecting pictures, photographs, and words that represent what you would like to bring into your life for 2017.  You can cut up magazines, flyers, grab old photos or print photos off the Internet. Arrange and glue down on a piece of poster board and display proudly where you can see it frequently (cubical at work, closet door). 

For you techies out there… here’s an on-line option:

Not feeling like writing or crafting?  Pinterest is another option.  Create a board for yourself for your vision and pin articles, photos and ideas that inspire you and represent your vision for yourself.   Here’s an example of a board I made for travel and vacations that I would LOVE to take this year.

 

So my wish for you is that you break free from the fears, doubts, discomfort, and barriers that keep you stuck. To reiterate Neil Gaiman, make mistakes, get messy, try new things. And keep taking chances!  It’s YOUR 2017 so be bold!

Adriana

 

Adriana Joyner, LMFT, is a Sacramento Area therapist specializing in counseling for people healing from painful life experiences and traumas, support for individuals exploring their gender identity and expression, and the LGBTQIA community. Her office is located in Gold River, CA located off Highway ‪50 at Sunrise Blvd. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call ‪(916) 547-3997 or email adriana@adrianajoynertherapy.com.

Are you growing together or growing apart in your relationship?

My grandparents have been married 65 years.

Some couples stay together for 20, 30, or 40 years and the deep passion or love they once had slowly disappears as the years drift by. These couples stay together for a multitude of reasons (children, family, religion), but don’t seem to be very happy.

My grandparent’s relationship is not like this.

As humans, deep in our authentic core, we desire and crave meaningful connections with others.

So what is the formula for a long-term, committed relationship?

Over the years I’ve watched my grandparents keep their relationship committed, loving and passionate toward each other.

While there are many factors that have made their relationship work, when it comes down to it, for my grandparents at least, there is one that stands out above the rest: they grew together.

Throughout their 65 year marriage, my grandparents have had many interests, hobbies, passions and adventures together.  They began their relationship with common goals and desires for their future, they supported each other throughout their careers, they supported each other raising a family, and they supported each other in their own individual friendships and personal goals.

Most importantly, they found ways to constantly evolve their relationship interests together.

Over the past 65 years together, their interests have changed. The activities and adventures they participated in 50 years ago are different than the pursuits they have now.

When I was a young child, I remember watching (and helping) my grandparents build their dream home together and play fiercely competitive games of gin rummy at lunch time. 

As a young adult, I recall my grandparents traveling the US and world together.

They’re older now, so their interests have changed again.

The important thing is their interests change TOGETHER.

As individuals we evolve and grow throughout our lives in many ways: emotionally, relationally, and intellectually. 

It’s no different for the relationships we are in. This is easy to see in the friendships we’ve had from childhood.  Keeping a friendship active from childhood means evolving and changing as we enter teen years and into adulthood.  The things you shared in childhood differ from the activities you participated in as a teenager or adult. To remain friends, to remain close, it’s vital to remain connected. To shift and change as each person develops individually.  It’s a natural process, but without some effort there will be increased distance and separation, and the relationship will drift apart and end.

Are you growing together or growing apart in your relationship?

Ask yourself a few questions to evaluate this:

  • What am I doing in my relationship to stay connected with my mate?
  • How am I working to evolve in my relationship?
  • What activities do I enjoy doing with my partner?
  • What are some things that are on my ‘bucket’ list?  Have I shared them with my mate?
  • How am I communicating with others about my interests?
  • What new things would I like to try with my partner?
  • If I notice that we are drifting apart what am I doing to reconnect?
  • How am I showing my significant other that I’m committed to making our relationship last?

It only takes fifteen minutes to starting evolving with your mate.

Begin by exploring the activities, interests and passions you and your mate both have individually.  Listen as the other shares about their ‘bucket’ list desires. Are there things in common? Maybe you’ve both dreamed about traveling through South America, starting a business together, living in the mountains, raising foster children, the sky is the limit!

Starting this discussion will serve as a foundation to creating a life map together. Having a common goal or passion that you both work toward together will start your relationship on the path of growing together.

What small step can you take today to create this passion together?

Remember… Grow Together.

I’d love to hear about how you are working to grow and evolve in your relationship. Share with me in the comments or email me here.

Adriana

 

Adriana Joyner, LMFT, is a Sacramento Area therapist specializing in counseling for people healing from painful life experiences and traumas, support for individuals exploring their gender identity and expression, and the LGBTQIA community. Her office is located in Gold River, CA located off Highway 50 at Sunrise Blvd.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (916) 547-3997 or email adriana@adrianajoynertherapy.com.

Want to be more productive? Eat the Frog

I’m sure you’ve had this experience: you know you need to do something but you just can’t muster the energy to do it?

Maybe it was working out this morning, making a phone call to a company to resolve a billing issue, choosing salad instead of fries. Or maybe it was finishing that work project that only has a few more details but it feels like pulling teeth to sit down and complete them.

Well, that’s how I’m feeling right now.

I just don’t want to write. I want to do something else. I can feel my forehead all scrunched up; in fact I can feel wrinkles forming deep crevices in my brow. My mind is distracted; it’s telling me I should do all kinds of other things, ANYTHING but writing.

It’s strange to me, because in all actuality I love to write. But writers block can be vicious. There are times where everything flows and writing is a lovely, happy experience.  And then there are days like today.

So as I sit here, having an epic battle in my brain about writing this post, I am reminded of the phrase “Eat the Frog.”

Not the most visually appealing phrase, but there’s some real value there.

Now, I’m not talking literally eating a frog. What I mean is choosing the most difficult, yucky, and figuratively painful task to do first (swallowing your frog). Then it’s easy sailing for the rest of the day. Because really, how much worse can your day get if you start out eating a frog!

A year or so ago I read an awesome article by Dale Partridge about productivity. I love his recommendation to start your day with the most challenging task and reward yourself afterward. He rewards himself with breakfast, but I think a coffee or perhaps chocolate would work well too!

Being successful at eating your frog also works well when you have a defined timeframe. The Pomodoro Technique uses a schedule of focused work periods with brief breaks (for example: 25 minutes with a 5 minute break). These short bursts of working will help you focus your attention and eliminate distractions. The creator of the Pomodoro Technique even developed a tomato shaped timer just for these intervals – so cute!

Now that you have your timer going, and DING, it is break time, how do you use that refreshing 5 minute break? By stretching and moving your body!  It doesn’t necessarily help you get the task done, but helps you shake out your body to then sit back and focus.  Try doing a few burpees or a cycle of yoga sun salutations.  Although, I have to admit, dancing to Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off video works well too. Find what works for you and get the blood flowing.

Now, I was honest and shared what my frog was today.  What have you been putting off and avoiding because it’s too _______ (enter your description of a miserable experience here)?

Need a pep talk?  Here you go….

Go Eat That Frog!

Set a time frame for focused attention.

Shake and move your body.

Reward yourself with a treat.

Coast through the rest of your day!

Whew! Now that I’m done swallowing my frog for today, I’m off to enjoy the sunshine outside!

 

Adriana Joyner, LMFT is a Sacramento Area therapist specializing in counseling for people healing from painful life experiences and traumas, and gender support for those within the LGBTQIA community. Her office is located in Gold River, CA located off Highway 50 at Sunrise Blvd.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (916) 547-3997 or email adrianajoynermft@gmail.com.