This is the time of year to review relationships. Two sets of feelings may be competing for your attention. First, you may be looking ahead with pleasure to the holiday season and the myriad of tasks, opportunities to connect and relationships to juggle. In addition, this time can offer you a joyful opportunity to slow down, turn your minds from our usual busyness towards your families, friends and non-work activities.
On the other hand, this is also a time when feelings of loneliness, unease, and sadness about relationships come to the fore. We may feel disconnected from family and friends. We can view these uncomfortable feelings as an opportunity to review 2011 and make some decisions about the direction we hope our relationships can take for 2012. What better time to do this review, when things slow down with the holiday lull?
I have a process for a year-end review that I thought I’d share. If you think it might work for you, spend some time with it, then let go and enjoy the holidays!
I call this process of review and development the CARE model. It has 4 parts and starts with a series of questions.
What did I accomplish this year in my relationships? What do I wish I had accomplished? What did I enjoy and want to repeat or do more of? What did I do this year that served me and those close to me? Do I want to continue with the same approach? What new ideas or hopes do I have for my relationships with partners, family and friends?
Once I determine what I’d like to do over the next year, I identify the action steps necessary and put them in my calendar. This can include altering my work hours, making time for activities and opportunities to connect with family and friends, or ensuring I meet new people to increase my changes of feeling connected to others.
3. RELEASE and RETAIN.
This is where I look at what I need to let go of – what things (beliefs, feelings, thoughts, behaviours, and relationships) need to be purged. Perhaps at one time, they were good but aren’t serving anyone anymore. What activities, behaviours and connections with people turned out to be not so helpful and can they be redone in a better way?
Then I look at what worked for me last year – personally, professionally, and in my relationships. What activities or actions increased my sense of connection and accomplishment in this last year? Do I want to expand on them? How can I build on this to bring about deeper and more meaningful relationships?
Many of us work hard in our life and relationships. Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments and your life!! You deserve to pat yourself on the back for your abilities to maintain your relationships and community of family and friends! And what a perfect time of year to be grateful!
I hope you enjoy this holiday season in a meaningful way. You will only have it once each year.
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