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Monthly Archives: December 2013

How to complete a NYE personal review that will promote self growth in 2014


With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, this next week is the perfect time to take a pause, sip a glass of wine and complete a personal year review. Be honest. How did last year go? What went well? What didn’t?

A personal review is a powerful tool, the fact that it remains private means that it is possible to be brutally honest with oneself? Gaining an awareness into ones deeper processes and motivation is an essential step towards self-fulfilment and perhaps even self-actualisation. The questions that follow may help you to identify key strengths that may be built upon and allow you to gain access to areas of functioning you might wish to improve.

What was the best thing that happened in 2013? What made it so good?

Which was my greatest accomplishment? Why?

What was my biggest failure and what did failure teach me?

How can I use the learning from past failures to ensure future success?

What word, phrase or theme describes my year?

What aspect was the most challenging in 2013?

What strengths did the challenge illuminate?

What weaknesses were made visible?

What are three things I am most grateful for?

What brought me the most joy?

What do I need to do more of to feel happier, self-fulfilled or at peace?

It can be useful to complete your personal review questions slowly  and with thought and to periodically revisit your responses.  The personal review does not carry the threat of  entering special measures if a response is negative.  Rather a negative response should be viewed as a potential gift and a chance to see that which can be improved upon.  It is only through a heightened awareness that change can be achieved.

Written by Sheehan Brooke Psychology.
Sheehan Brooke is an independent psychology provider based on the south coast of England. In addition to providing a wide range of clinical services to both the private and public sector, the organisation places a large focus on bringing positive psychology to the individual throughout the lifespan.  Please visit our websites and  or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Achieving Goals in 5 simple steps

Achieving Goals: 5 Simple Steps for the New Year and beyond.

Ever wondered why some people are better than others at achieving their goals? Achieving goals is not just about intellect, it is about planning, vision and tenacity. Individuals who take the time to plan, plot and map their goals generally achieve more success than those who simply jump in.

Achieving your goals will become easier using these simple strategies.

1)      Pick realistic and meaningful goals.   Recognise what is truly achievable; your goals may take considerable effort but they must ultimately be possible.


2)      Clearly define the steps necessary to achieve the goal. Remember successful execution of a goal takes planning. Break down each step into sub-sections. Many clever people with great ideas fail to achieve their goal because they omit this step.


3)      Schedule activities into your planner that support the defined steps.  Carry the activities out. No excuses. Inspiration only works when coupled with perspiration. Your goal has to be a priority.


4)      Accept there will be set backs.  Build a contingency plan for these. Get back on track with minimal fuss or drama. Think of the set back as a learning curve.


5)      Ask for support from family and friends when needed.  Very often timely support is vital in helping you remain on track in order to achieve your goals.


Using these simple steps is a tried and trusted format for achieving goals, effecting change or enabling self-development.


Written byshutterstock_153947072 Sheehan Brooke Psychology.






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Coping with Christmas after the death of a loved one


Coping with Christmas after the death of a loved one is always very painful.  Pain is often made worse because everybody else appears to be happy at this time  of year.
While Christmas will be painful, there are a few things that can make the process a little easier.
It is important to recognise that sadness will come and go throughout the festive period. This is inevitable, grieving is the price we pay for love.
You can and will get through it.
These practical steps for coping with Christmas after bereavement may help.
1) Plan for Christmas day, get out pen and paper or the iPad, jot down things you might like to do if you were not feeling quite as sad.
List simple things; Maybe you always wanted to drink Bucks Fizz in bed but never could because your partner was teetotal, or perhaps you always wanted to walk in the country on Xmas morning rather than go to church – now is the time to please yourself, don’t feel guilty, do it.
2) Anticipate the parts of the actual day that you are likely to feel the worst.
If you can recognise where the major deep pits lie, you will be able to draw up a plan to be doing other activities at those especially vulnerable times. If you recognise that your dip in mood occurs after lunch, why not go for a walk, have a sleep or try and master something new.
3) Create a ritual that honours the past but sows the seeds of hope for the future.
Perhaps that might be to gather winter foliage from the country to make a seasonal wreath and then laying it at your partners resting place.  Afterwards, why not meet up with a son, daughter or grandchild to do something different together, have a mulled wine, treat them to a meal, watch them ice skate, have a flutter on the horses.  It is not important what the activity is. The importance is found in developing new rituals.
Why not create a ritual you can carry out and extend every year forward?
4) Buy yourself a present, wrap it nicely – pamper yourself.
Choose something you have always wanted (if finances allow). Open it on Christmas day. Immerse yourself in it.
5) Make an emergency ration pack.
An emergency ration pack is a small parcel made up of items that will lift your spirit even in your darkest moments. The idea is that you take time to select items that comfort or cheer you. When sadness hits you won’t feel like seeking out things that raise your mood, so be prepared, and have the ration pack ready before you need it.
A typical ration pack might include – chocolate, bath oils, favourite DVD, a magazine, notebook, a novel and painting set.
6) Accept invitations.
You may not want to go out. Try and be gracious. Accept the odd invitation. It will help you realise that life goes on. Socialising does not mean you have stopped grieving or have forgotten your partner.  It does mean that you are courageously choosing to walk on for yourself while honouring your past life.
7) Count your blessings
Remember, you are lucky to be here, you have your health and the ability to choose to move forward. You are able to feel your pain, this means you will also feel joy again. Many are not so lucky.
8) Be kind to yourself, use mindfulness
Don’t be harsh on yourself when you feel sad. Feelings of sadness will pass, feeling broken and like life has ended is part of the grieving process. Allow yourself to experience your emotions without dulling them with excessive alcohol or drug use.
If you are unable to take any of these steps and/or are thinking that you can’t go on then it is essential that you seek help.  Counselling or psychotherapy may help you to adjust to your situation. It may also allow you to recognise that despite your current feelings of sadness – you do have the chance of a positive future ahead of you.
Written by Christine Tizzard Psychology



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