I love that time is broken up into little bits like 24 hours, weeks, months and even years. As we enter a new year, I am reminded of the 365 mornings we enter anew as well as 52 Mondays, Tuesdays…. and the 12 months we rotate through. This gives us another chance at starting over with each of the bits of time the universe offers. It gives a new chance to reflect on getting better, doing more, dreaming bigger, learning and growing, forgiving ourselves, outpouring of grace to others, becoming more efficient, being kinder, gentler, giving more, saving more, being intentional, losing weight, getting fit, eating better, getting more organized, meeting goals, reading more, setting new priorities, mastering something, being vulnerable, spending more time with our children, our spouses, lowing our carbon footprint, etc.
We have all done it, heard it, tried it and planned to start over Monday, or on the first day of a new month or certainly the first day of a new year.
What a gift this is. Hope rings eternal with the shifting of the clock into a fresh new day.
This is especially true with adolescents, Teens are hard on themselves. They compare themselves endlessly with others and have high expectations for their young lives. They desire to do well in school, in relationships, and work hard to live the best life into their future. Yet, with all this hope at a fever pitch, most do not have the skills or capacity to escape bonehead decisions due to the immaturity of their brain, particularly their prefrontal cortex, where executive functioning and decisions are established. Some engage in behaviors that they know are not helpful or healthy. When they do that, they need to be given a chance to start over. For example, as a motivational speaker at high schools, I am usually approached by students who share that, although they knew what they were engaging in was not healthy, they did not know how to stop. Some even identified themselves with their behavior. “I am just a pothead.” “I am a flunky in school and am going nowhere.” “I’m having sex with a person I do not even like.”
Here is how I respond.
I use a concrete example of how they can start over. I take out my mini etch a sketch keychain and explain that if they did not like the picture they drew on any etch a sketch, what should they do? Their answer is always the same, “Shake it up and start over.” Then I share that the etch a sketch is a metaphor for what they can do with their behavior, “If you do not like the picture you have created, shake it up and start over.”
Additionally, when you know better, you do better. Let’s take this lesson into a new year as an opportunity to “Shake it up and start over.” Happy New Year! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit myrelationshipcenter.org.
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