Washington, Dec 25 : The end of the year represents a milestone in the history of the world, and it should be a benchmark in an individual's personal history too, says a leading psychologist.
Temple University psychologist Frank Farley said that instead of making resolutions, which are often quickly forgotten, New Years is a time to reflect on where we've been and where we're going next.
"To me, New Years can be turned into something profound. It represents a benchmark in the history of the world and it should be a benchmark in an individual's personal history," Farley said.
"It is a time to reflect on where we've been and where we're going next. Our journey is not random. You can influence that journey and this is a good time to do it," he added.
Farley said that the end of the year is about taking personal inventory of our lives.
"In so many fields we take stock, we take inventory, we take a pulse at the end of the year. Sports commentators are going to be reviewing the year in sports and pundits will be doing the same for politics. Even businesses do an end of the year inventory and balancing of the books," he said.
"But we are not so good at doing that about ourselves, reflecting and assessing how we've done this past year," he added.
In the historical context, the professor said that the New Year has an enormous impact on a person's life as he constructs his life to a very large extent around the calendar, with December 31 being a very important date.
"I don't think it is trivial this time of year to take psychological stock or personal stock of ourselves, and try to decide, 'Ok, I'm going to work on this, I'm going to do that. The taking stock, whether you make resolutions or not, is very helpful at the end of the year," he said.
"And we might need to know where we stand this particular January 1 in several areas of our lives, particularly financial, given the many predictions of a possible recession in 2008, as well as politically given the upcoming Presidential election," he added.
Farley, a past president of the American Psychological Association, suggests making a list of things that are absolutely essential that you have to deal with in the coming year. "We do that in a sense everyday; lots of people keep 'to do' lists in one way of another, but this one should be more reflective and it often isn't.
Farley said that New Years also offers a good opportunity to forgive and start a fresh relationship with the person you had a fight with.
"Doing it at New Years reinforces it with the other person. At some other time of the year, the other person might think, 'Why are they doing this now, what is their real reason for forgiving?' But at New Years, in a sense, you have a license to do things like this; you have a license to rearrange or re-establish a relationship or just to forgive," he said. (ANI)
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