It's time to say 'YES'

It's time to say 'YES'

Around the beginning of each year I tend to talk about intentions, a lot.

I’m not a huge believer in resolutions (you can read why here), but the idea of creating an intention for the year has a very different meaning for me. To me, intentions are a shift in your mindset, the overarching structure that you guide your life by. Setting an intention is also not something you can succeed at or fail at, but instead a shift in your way of living.

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Is your mindset helping your life? ... or hindering it?

An interesting thing happened to me while I was out on a walk.

I used to run long distance, but due to various injuries and a surgery over the past two years, I’ve been limited in the types of exercise I can participate in.

But the other weekend I decided to go for a 3-4 mile walk. It was a beautiful day outside, cool and sunny.

About half way through, the walk gets hilly and a bit more challenging. I’m out of breath. Muscles starting to feel tired. Pretty exhausted in general. Questioning what the hell I’m doing outside when I have a perfectly good couch and Netflix at home. My mind was talking me out of continuing. Pointing out that I can bypass the hills and cut the walk short. That’s when my internal dialogue got real nasty: “You’re so out of shape, how could you let yourself get this way?” (and this is just a mild example).

It spiraled down pretty quick; it caught me off guard.

Here it was a beautiful day outside, and at the first experience of physical discomfort my mind resorted to put-downs. It has been a while since I’ve actively and consistently worked out, so it was tough to get out there. It’s also difficult knowing your body can’t do what it was once capable of. 

However, there was no reason for the negativity popping up in my brain.

So I did what any therapist would do (well at least the ones that try to practice what they preach) and started working on shifting my mindset.

I started giving myself credit for what I was doing. “Good job on getting out here today. You’re a trooper for continuing when you want to quit. You’re going to feel good tonight, better than if you just watched Netflix.” And I started smiling (at first by force, then because I started paying attention to the beauty around me). And I finished the walk. I even went a little farther than I planned.

Shifting your mindset is all about perspective.

You get to choose the perspective that will benefit you.

In my walk today I had two options: criticize myself for struggling or praise myself for trying.

Considering the two options, I shifted and choose that option that was going to feel good, help me succeed, and motivate me to try harder.

I can’t think of anything that putting myself down would have accomplished. Honestly, if I would have indulged in the criticism I would have taken the short cut and ended the walk early.  Then I would have felt regret and shame at not finishing the walk I had set out for.

Can you think of any time that harshly criticizing yourself has served a purpose?

I talk a lot of choosing joy. And I realize that sometimes it can come across as trivializing.

Choosing to shift your mindset doesn’t change your reality.  My reality was that I was exhausted and struggling on a fairly easy walk. This would stay the same no matter what option I chose to focus on.

What did change was my attitude, my perspective, my mindset.

When I suggest to people to choose joy I don’t mean it to be trivializing. There are some realities that will continue to exist, including depression, anxiety, trauma, or ending relationships.

But what shifting your mindset can do is for just one moment, one minute, you can shift inside of you. You can feel a sense of control, no matter how fleeting, over your thoughts and mood.

It’s really all about perspective. 

If you have two options, why not choose the one that will be helpful to you and bring something good to your life?

Be bold,



Adriana Joyner, LMFT, is a Sacramento area therapist specializing in helping people lead authentic lives.  Adriana’s most passionate about supporting individuals exploring their gender and sexuality, and advocating for 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


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 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