Intentional Goal Setting and Honoring Your Inner Child
Hello there. If we aren’t acquainted, I’m Maggie. Just your garden variety, anxiety-having, ADD-brained impostor syndrome toting LPC. Nice to meet you.
I’ve noticed a trend in folks I encounter, including myself, with the change of the season. People are feeling a little uncertain about a direction to take or what to do with themselves as there is more daylight each day and the weather is more forgiving. Typically, people will resolve to make changes around the first of the year. While that is traditional, a turn of a calendar page doesn’t always speak to the inner parts of ourselves. In this hemisphere on January 1st, most of nature is still resting, gathering energy and strength to burst forth and embark on a new season of adventures in the spring.
I’ll admit, I’ve always been interested in looking at the natural rhythms of things. My joke tends to be I’m mildly witchy…like Stevie Nicks is mildly a witchy woman. To any true practitioners, please don’t come for me, I admire your knowledge and understanding so much!
Set new goals with the changing of seasons
The spring equinox is a time of clarification and setting of intentions. Personally, I was feeling the aimless “stuck” I was hearing from the folks I serve and others in my life. A client of mine, who will remain nameless-obvi, turned me on to a company Romona & Ruth. They have organizers and notepads and all that jazz. The first thing she shared, and what I purchased was a daily intentions notepad. It was RIGHT up my alley! It’s broken into sections with an hourly day breakdown, to-do list, intentions, gratitude and a section for tomorrow. This works for my Gen X tendency to need the analog version of things and my ADD brain need to externalize or things get lost in the swirl. Plus, checking each to do off and then ripping off the page at the end of the day—ACCIO DOPAMINE!!
I decided with the equinox that I wanted to get back to focusing on my own wellness and return to goal-directed behavior. The winter had me adrift, not within my window of tolerance and hurtling toward burnout. So, to Ramona & Ruth’s website I went. Client X had shared her habit tracker and I was thinking “DAMMIT! That’s just the thing”. I got the habit tracker notepad and a Pause Journal.
**ADD sidenote. Tell me you’re neurodivergent without telling me you’re neurodivergent. Just gather up the journals you have that are either barely touched or not touched at all, because object permanence, perfectionism, completism and the oft-repeated thought of “If I just get a REALLY (pretty, fun, small, expensive, insert whichever adjective lights up your brain here) one, then I’ll ACTUALLY use it”…my pile has 7.
On my habit tracker, I put things like Water, Vitamins/Meds, Walk/workout, Fruits/veg, and 10 pieces of work documentation, read for leisure and >7hrs of sleep. More dopamine shading in those little blocks!
The pause journal is great (also on my habit tracker) because it literally takes less than 10 minutes to do and since it’s another block for me to shade in on my habit tracker, I’m sticking to it. My day yesterday started well, I got a good walk, the sun was shining; lots of energy. However, my workday was long, and the house was a wreck even after the workday, so I was feeling out of sorts. The pause journal asks several things. The questions that shifted my mindset at bedtime (10pm—a current habit) were: Where Did I Experience Beauty Today and What Am I Grateful For. That small reflection and considering the beauty helped me to shake off my crabby appleton status and slide into sleep.
Here’s where the inner child part comes in.
I got myself a grown-upish sticker sheet! It’s a large poster mosaic with tiny squares of color! For each shaded block on my habit tracker, I’m giving myself a color square on my poster. The poster I chose was from Eric Carle’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It’s the last page in which the caterpillar bursts forth to be a BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY (all caps because that’s how I read it aloud while flapping the book pages like butterfly wings).
Some seasons will find us needing to enter a cocoon. That’s okay. Understanding that rest is productive is a hard thing to do, but it IS!
Just to let you all in, my “I am grateful for” yesterday was “The ability to change”. Because, without change, there would be no BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES.
Meet Maggie Kappler:
Maggie is a Licensed Professional Counselor and served in the United States Navy for over ten years. She has been a practicing therapist for over seven years. Maggie is comfortable working with many different populations with varying levels of issues. Depression, anxiety, trauma, substance use, and military-specific stressors are a small cross-section of the issues she treats.
Maggie holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in two states. Her uses a client-centered approach which means that the work you do with her will be tailored to you specifically using a large variety of modalities. Cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, Gestalt techniques, and many others will be applied during your time together as you collaboration dictates what will be most effective. To learn more about Maggie, visit HERE.