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

Removing the barriers in the way of your perfect day

What does your idea of a perfect day look like? 

This is where you get to dream big… allow yourself to imagine what you really would love your day-to-day life to look like, without being constrained with what your current job, family, and life obligations dictate. What if you had a magic wand and could create situations that would be perfect in your eyes? What would that look like?

Take a few moments and really explore your ideas.

Let yourself get detailed about this! Start with when you wake up, what time is it, what are you feeling like.  Add in specifics about your morning routine. Continue through your day and describe details about your experiences, interactions and activities.  All the way through when you go to sleep.

I ask this, because a theme that keeps swirling around in my therapy practice are the barriers that keep people from living a life they love. What if you could lessen the barriers and take steps toward having that perfect day?

Now if your perfect day involves being independently wealthy and living on a beach somewhere, that may be difficult to implement for tomorrow, but keep that dream alive for the future!

For most of us, our perfect day would have qualities or aspects that we could start fairly easily (even tomorrow).

What if you really enjoy waking up 30 minutes before everyone else to drink a cup of coffee in the quiet… that is pretty realistic and easy to implement.

There are likely aspects in your perfect day that will take a bit more time to implement. The big picture ideas that you want that take some work to reach: career advancement, going to college, buying a home, relationships, family. 

What I’ve seen lately are dedicated and passionate people trying to make their ‘perfect day’ happen but getting STUCK.

It’s like there is a rock in the road (and let’s be honest, it feels like a boulder).

Has this ever happened to you… you have the option to make a choice that would benefit you (getting you closer to your dreams) but you pass it up anyway? 

Any of these sound familiar?

·        Setting your alarm to work out in the morning but hitting snooze and sleeping instead.

·        Packing a healthy lunch but skipping it for fast food.

·        Knowing you may be furloughed from your job but not apply to new jobs.

·        Wanting to have more friends in your life but not putting yourself in situations that would give you the chance to meet more friends.

·        Being aware your apartment lease ends in two weeks but choosing to spend time with friends instead of apartment hunting.

·        Wanting your name and gender marker legally changed but not filing the paperwork.

·        Wanting surgery but not researching a surgeon to find someone you feel comfortable with.

·        Knowing you want to attend college but not filing the application.

·        Wanting a better grade in your classes but not doing the homework.

·        Wanting a stronger, closer relationship with someone but not telling them your interest.

·        Knowing you want to buy a house but instead spend your down payment on a vacation.

All these choices amount to a rock in the road… a barrier that is keeping you from something that you want and desire in your life.

For most of us, the common thread underlying these ‘rocks’ is fear or discomfort.

One of the best ways to combat fear is by recognizing it, putting a name to it, and facing it head on.

Let’s put this in practice: Maybe you want more significant and closer friendships in your life. When you look at your life you may realize you haven’t taken the steps to open yourself up to opportunities that would let you meet new people. Recognizing that you have some fears is a powerful first step. Were there experiences you had a child, teen or adult that shifted how you view friendships?  Have you had some experiences that made it difficult to trust others? Is being in social settings and meeting new people overwhelming because you’re an introvert? This exploration of your fears or discomforts will help you understand how you came to the place you are now.  Understanding what that boulder looks like is helpful when you’re trying to move around it.

Once you see the boulder and put a label on it (fear, discomfort, etc.) then, it’s time to gather the courage and do what you fear anyway. This may mean joining a recreational sports team, attending church or a spiritual group gathering, attending a Meet-up group, or taking a crafting class.  Whatever you choose, putting yourself in situations where you are stretching yourself to meet new people is facing your fear and discomfort head on.

So what is it for you?  What are the rocks (or boulders) that are in the way of YOU reaching your perfect day?  And now that you’re aware of them, how can you kick them out of your pathway? They don’t belong on your journey. You don’t need them! 

It may help to use this perfect day visual as the motivation needed to help you make changes on a day-to-day basis.

As we continue through the holidays and New Year I hope you find some time to unwind and de-stress.  If you need some ideas, check out this handy-dandy Self-Care Checklist printable just for this reason.  It’s a great way to make sure you’re nurturing your body, mind and soul while on your path toward a ‘perfect day’. 

Also be sure to come back on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2017 where I’ll be talking about how to dig in deep to create a vision for your 2017! If you’re worried about missing it sign up for my newsletter to have it sent straight to your email in-box. 

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


Slowing Down and Investing Energy in Yourself

I don’t know about you, but I get pretty nostalgic toward the end of the year.  There is something about the holiday season, the year wrapping up and a new year starting that causes me to reflect and evaluate in all areas of my life.

I had a whole blog post written about setting intentions and creating a vision for yourself in 2017.

But I’m not posting it today. Why not, you ask?

The more I looked at it the more inauthentic it felt for me to send it out today. 

I started thinking about what I really need this time of year and more specifically today.  And I realized I didn’t need to see another post about how to think ahead, and plan, and squeeze things in. Those things felt too busy and hectic and not what my heart wanted to hear about or talk about. 

What felt authentic, I realized, is talking about slowing down. 

We make choices every moment of every day on how to invest our time.  For most of us, we learned valuable lessons in our childhoods about what selfish and selfless mean.  We saw others around us who we labeled with these titles and either chose to be like them or to be the opposite of them. Likely it was our parents who role modeled these best for us.

Through all your experiences in life you may have come to a place where you find you give too much of yourself to others and don’t have enough left for you.

I admit, there are obligations that require your time and resources and make it difficult to slow down (children, work, your partner, household chores, appointments). If you really look closely, is there a task that can wait for an hour or a day so that you can focus on yourself in this moment?

When you find ways to invest your energy into yourself you will reap the benefits for hours and days to come.

The other areas of your life will also reap the benefits.  You will have more to offer emotionally to your relationships, more motivation at work, a more positive outlook around parenting, and on and on.

What it may take is shifting away from a mindset of “I’m selfish if I ____ ” to a mindset of “I’m investing in myself if I ____”.  

There will be a time in the next few weeks when I post my initial blog on creating a vision for 2017 … but it’s not today.  

Today I want you to create a vision for this moment.  How do you want to feel in this very moment?  What can you do to help you get there?

Today I challenge you to savor every minute of this day. 

Today I challenge you to make a choice to connect deeply with someone in your life, even if only for a few minutes.

Today I challenge you to give in to one splurge without guilt.

Today I challenge you to skip one chore for an activity with someone special.

What are you going to do TODAY to enjoy THIS MOMENT and invest in yourself?


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