BY: Pat Cooper
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Who else enjoys setting New Year’s intentions more than opening their presents? Nothing feels more refreshing than planning for the future, reflecting on the past, and focusing on the importance of self-reflection. This is what I do each year and want to share with you. Now – grab your journal and answer the following questions honestly. Feel free to share with your loved ones and kids too!
2019/2020 Self-Reflection Activity
Five of the most significant events from last year:
I am most proud of these three accomplishments from the past year:
Three valuable lessons I’ve learned in the past year:
Three personal improvements I’ve made in the past year:
Three things I would change over the past year:
The greatest influences on me (products, people, viewpoints, other) in the past year on me were:
The smartest decision I made in the past year:
The biggest risk I took last year:
A crucial relationship that improved in the previous year:
Two things I need to do less of in the new year:
Two things I need to do more of in the new year:
This is the time of the year when nature tells us to rest, slow down, and reflect. Following a spending splurge and overeating during the holiday season, you likely feel you have little energy to develop new habits. However, with these self-reflection exercises, you can start with small changes and implement them slowly. One of the biggest reasons new year resolutions fail is that they are too hard or too big to sustain.
What’s New With Me
Millie will be 1 in January, and her smile and appetite continue to make us smile! I discovered the Peloton App for running on a treadmill. Total game changer! The “Bigs” are getting big, and trying to keep up with all of their interests can be a full-time job. My husband and I are looking into a little new business adventure for couples; I will keep you posted.
What’s New With You?
Did you survive the holidays?
Any New Years’ goals that I can help to support?
What are some ways you stay active in the winter?
Are there any new books or experiences you would like to share?
And as always… how’s your sleep schedule?
The start of a brand new year and a new decade is the perfect time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going. Speaking to a professional counselor can give you some insight into the importance of self-reflection and the support you need to become the best version of yourself. Don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me to set up a private session. I would love to hear about your self-reflection!
BY: Pat Cooper
Couples Counseling / Featured
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Conflict in a relationship can be healthy, natural, and helpful for building intimacy, but only when both partners are committed to resolving the issue. If your partner refuses or is resistant to making healthy changes, you must assess the overall health of your marriage, as well as your partner. Here are the essential dos and don’ts that can lead to civil conflict resolution with your spouse today.
What You Should Do
- Set the tone and speak to each other face-to-face
- Work through different conflict resolution strategies
- Get rid of all the potential distractions in the room
- Voice the conflict as a concern, not a complaint
- Remember the three F’s: Fact, Feeling, and Fair Request
- Take time to reflect on each other’s concerns and emotions
- Ask for clarification if you need it, don’t nod your head pretending to listen
- Remember that you’re on the same team and offer each other support and guidance throughout the civil conflict resolution
- Brainstorm how you can avoid the same conflicts in the future
- Thank each other for taking the time to listen and peacefully resolve the conflict
Actions You Should Avoid
- Using deflections to get off topic and bringing up your own concerns
- Calling each other names and using defamatory terms
- Personally insulting each other’s character during an argument
- Using dismissive body language
- Involving your children or friends (solve this conflict together)
- Arguing under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Working on conflict resolution when you’re hungry, tired, or upset
- Attempting to work through conflict resolution over text messages or phone calls
- Bringing up more than one issue at a time
If you feel like your arguments involve more of the actions you should avoid than the ones you should do, you may be in an unhealthy relationship. Take a quick non-clinical assessment to find out more.
Conflict is natural in every relationship; these periods can help you grow and learn as partners. However, it’s crucial you maintain a civil conflict resolution to avoid fighting with one another and causing irreversible harm to your relationship. To learn how you can work together to resolve issues you may be facing, schedule a consultation for couples therapy in Dallas today.
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