At the outset of a new year, many of us have the custom of setting goals for the coming year.  In the midst of  all of the goal setting, it is important to include some goals and resolutions for our mental and emotional health. Our mental and emotional health really determines the quality of our life. Whether we have much or little, our well-being is deeply influenced by our perspectives, which is an intricate collage of our lifelong thought/emotion pattens.

The trouble is that we set goals that are hard to keep, that are established in January and fizz out by February. Some of us last longer. It would be nice to make goals that endure, or at least that won’t be abandoned; goals that are set and that then evolve with us as the year evolves. To do this, we need to know a little about our subconscious and how to listen to it. Our subconscious is really like a recording system inside of us that has been running since birth, that highlights the meaningful moments and remembers the other less important things to lesser degrees. Over the years, we develop a sense of what is meaningful to us.

The beautiful thing is that you can listen to your subconscious. This is not as mysterious as you may think. Try this exercise to get in touch with it: tonight, recall the day and notice the moments that come to the forefront of your conscious, without any judgement. Some of it may have been good moments, some not so good. That’s fine. At this point just notice each moment and acknowledge it. This is your subconscious giving back to your conscious what was meaningful to it. There really is not a deep striving to it, but rather a kind of gentle reflection, a calm recollection, a paying attention to what about that moment was meaningful. Maybe it was a moment of pain that alerted you about something worthy of your attention; maybe it was some hearty laughter that created a moment of connection with a good friend. From all the moments that arose, choose the 5 that your body seems to tell you are the most meaningful. Listen and check how your choices resonate with your body. Do I really find those the most meaningful? Be curious, listening, and non-judgemental. Maybe what was most meaningful was a moment that nobody else would think was important, but it was important to you. This kind of reflection develops your ability to be in touch with your identity, your personality, and your subconscious.

In the same way, goal setting needs to be something that we hear from our subconscious, otherwise those goals are not likely to last. Maybe the goal is fitness, maybe it is not. Yes, fitness affects mental health, but it is probably the most commonly set goal and the least kept. Your goal is your goal because it is genuinely meaningful to you. If your subconscious brings that goal up to you, then it will fit well; but if not, then you will know that it feels like someone else or society just placed it on you like a burden that does not really sit right – like shoes that are too small, or clothing that is too baggy for your taste. Risk eliminating goals that don’t fit you, those traditional goals, even if others say you should keep them. Your goal is your goal because it is genuinely meaningful to you. Listen to what goals you desire for your mental and emotional health, write them all down, and then check them with your body to notice which really fit best for you.

We at LCC encourage you to set 5 such goals now and we are here to help you do so, should you need professional guidance. Revisit these goals throughout the year, and you may find that they will need to be adjusted as the year develops. These goals are likely to fit well and are remembered, thought about, and enjoyed like custom-tailored clothing. You’ll enjoy them for the whole year, and maybe even longer.





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