4 straightforward steps to move forward with purpose

IMPORTANT: This blog is not a substitute for therapy, but provides evidenced-based education for the purposes of self-help, or to compliment the therapeutic process. ​ ​This blog is non-monetized.

By John Foulkes, RP, The Relationship Specialist

​As another year comes to an end, it’s almost automatic and only natural to take stock of what happened, what could have been, and what should have been. Depending on the direction you took, you may have ended up wishing you had taken different route. 

As a counsellor and coach at Dig a Little Deeper, it’s not uncommon for me to hear stories of regret and frustration.  One New Year’s antidote to getting ‘unstuck’ in this dead-end is that we can kindly remind ourselves to keep moving forward mindfully.

Here are four steps that I’ve learned over the years, from my clinical experience and training, that can help guide you in a new direction in 2019. ​


1 – Step back and be present:

Take a step back and observe what is happening around you and what is happening within you. See things as they are and take note of what you want or what you expect. For the moment, hold your thoughts until you are ready to address them with clarity and conviction. Then, get a clear sense of what you are feeling and allow yourself to release the negative emotions that are stifling you. With a clear heart you will be able to have a clear mind and be present.
2 – Step down and be humble:

Yes, we all make mistakes in trying to figure out how to be a great mom, dad, brother, sister, or partner. Remember, no one has ever been given a relationship ‘how-to’ manual to being a good-enough parent, sibling, or spouse. Stepping down from the high expectations we set for ourselves allows us to acknowledge that we aren’t perfect and that we can be humble enough to accept that we still have more to learn.


3 – Step up with gratitude:

Reflecting on what we do have and how far we’ve come, requires us to rise up and take a bird’s-eye view to see what we can be grateful for today.  Often, when we are feeling frustrated and disappointed, it’s difficult to feel gratitude.  Ask yourself, “If there was just one thing to be grateful for, what would it be?”  In every situation there is always something to appreciate – even the little things count!

4 – Step forward and be resolved:

Having the resolve to more forward and trust ourselves to do the best we can, is necessary and beneficial.  If your goal is to be a better communicator and connect more deeply with your loved one(s), then consistency and determination will steer you in the right direction. If your goal is to establish healthy boundaries and limits in your life, then having courage and strength will serve you well. 



Take a step in all directions to keep yourself on track. Being present, humble, grateful, and resolved will make the journey worthwhile and rewarding.

Best wishes in 2019!​

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John Foulkes

John is a Psychotherapist & Coach at Dig A Little Deeper, Psychotherapy & Counselling in Caledon, ON.

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