Reflections on 2017

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By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

The holiday season provides a great time to reflect on the past year. In my therapy practice, my clients begin every session recounting the highs and lows of their week. It is a simple way to take a few moments to appreciate what went well and any challenges that provide opportunities for growth. So, imagine the wealth of self-reflection that can be achieved by giving consideration to a full 365 days!

Looking back, I would describe 2017 as a huge learning experience. I realized that much of my strength comes from the love and support of my family and friends. I accomplished a lot, but also had my fair share of struggles. When you go through events that turn life on its head, it takes a significant amount of determination to focus on the positive. I have always known that I have a tendency to be risk averse. However, this year, I reminded myself (often) that if you never put yourself out there, you won’t know what you can achieve. I also know that being true to who you are, despite the constant chatter and influence of the outside world, is what it means to be genuine. And that is a trait I value above most others.

The beauty of New Year’s Eve is the fresh start it provides. Because I am a solution-focused practitioner, I encourage my clients to focus their energy on the future, as opposed to the past, and create goals to measure progress. The key is to keep things specific and manageable.

Personally, I hope that 2018 is filled with experiences that test my patience, broaden my knowledge, and refine my skills. I am grateful for my wildly diverse career path that has enabled me to try my hand at a lot of different things. I may be going in a million different directions on any given week, but at the end of it all, I am happy with the results.

Thank you so much for reading my column each week. I am always surprised that people outside of my immediate family actually do, sometimes! It has been really fun (and stressful) to come up with content week after week, month after month, and year after year. I hope that my opinions on life and fashion make you smile…which is always my sincere intention (even if you disagree with me).

Wishing you peace, health, and happiness in the New Year. See you in 2018! Kelly

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