What’s Not Working

It’s late November, and the “holiday season” sparks an introspective period of reflection for many. The end of the year is a natural time to look back and take inventory, and soon enough people will be sharing their New Year’s resolutions or, “My word of the year for 2018!’

I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s proclamations. While I think it’s really useful to have a focal point, I rarely think that a list of goals sets one up for true development. Particularly when those goals are set arbitrarily or based on notions of “success.”

What is more useful, in my opinion, is an honest inventory of “what’s not working.” This is a fairly simple way of assessing your life and adjusting for integrity.

It requires brutal honesty.

But it takes just a little time and some soul-searching. I suggest you reserve an hour and break out a journal to spend time with the following questions:

  1. Is your current life- and your current way of being in the world- in alignment with your values and priorities? List examples of the way it IS. List examples of the way it is not.
  2. Are you spending your resources (time, money and energy) on the things and relationships that matter most to you? List examples of the way you are. List examples of the ways you are not.
  3. What can you do less of to minimize that which is not in alignment?
  4. What can you do more of to emphasize that which is in alignment?
  5. Commit to start today.

This exercise recently prompted a few changes in my life.

I deactivated my personal Facebook account- I was spending way too much time and energy on it, with little positive return.

I created a birthday calendar of loved ones’ birthdays, and I sent out a small batch of greeting cards to friends. My friendships are important to me, and I’ve not been actively bolstering them.

These were just a few very small adjustments, but I already feel more myself, and I feel more satisfied with how I’m living.

Take a little time to assess what’s not working. Commit to a few (2-3) simple changes. Report back.

Best wishes!



Author: Angela Dora Marchesani

My name is Angela Dora Marchesani. I'm a nerd for all things personal development and human behavior, with a special interest in health and stress psychology, emotional resilience and utilizing strengths as the basis of personal development. I have a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Rosemont College and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stockton University. Additionally, I hold a certificate in Holistic Health Coaching from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and was granted a certificate in NonProfit Leadership From Arcadia University’s School of Continuing Education. My professional experience includes work with Women's Resource Center, The Renfrew Center, Manor College and Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, and I'm a member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. In my personal life I'm passionate about education, crazy about my cats, committed to raising my son to be a healthy and happy man, and "sort of into" lots of things, including gardening, painting, paddle boarding and cooking.

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