Today on The Gottman Relationship Blog, we welcome you into 2014! We welcome you into a year filled with potential for finding and nurturing great love, warmth, and connection. We welcome your dreams, knowing that many of you are making resolutions for the future, hoping to keep them in the next twelve months. 

Though we all have different goals for the new year, a common thread uniting many of our resolutions is self care: an internal commitment to devoting time and energy to ourselves, making healthy choices that assure increased well being and personal development in many areas of life. 

In the next few weeks, we will be sharing some of Dr. Gottman’s strategies for greater fulfillment in a very important area: our relationships with ourselves!

This weekend, we share an exercise you may remember from Dr. Gottman’s book The Relationship Cure. We hope that working through it can help you to reconnect with yourself, to reach greater clarity and certainty in your thoughts as you formulate concrete goals for the coming year. Set aside some time this weekend to reflect on these important questions.

Who Am I?

By John Gottman, Ph.D. 

My Triumphs and Strivings: 

1. What are some of the proudest moments of your life? What kinds of trying and stressful experiences have you survived in which you felt more powerful, victorious, capable of meeting challenges? 

2. How have these successes shaped your life, changed the way in which you view yourself, your goals, your dreams?

3. Did your parents show you that they were proud of you for your accomplishments? What about other important figures in your life? How did this affect your experience of feelings of pride in yourself?

4. Were you shown love and affection in your family? If not, how has this affected your relationships in your adult life?

My Injuries and Healings: 

1. What experiences have you had in which you have felt the deepest senses of disappointment, loss, self-doubt, hopelessness, loneliness?

2. What kinds of deep traumas have you undergone? How have you survived through them? What kinds of changes do you feel in yourself after going through these difficult times in your life?

3. How did you strengthen and heal yourself? How did you protect yourself? Did you find ways to avoid such experiences in the future?

4. How do you think that these experiences have affected your relationships? Your relationship with your current partner? What do you want your partner to understand about you and your past injuries?

My Mission and Legacy: 

1. What do you feel is the purpose of your life? Its meaning? What do you want to accomplish? What is your greatest struggle?

2. What kind of a legacy do you want to leave behind when you are gone?

3. What kinds of significant goals do you still yearn to realize to feel that you have lived a full life?

Who I Want to Become?

1. Describe the person that you want to become.

2. What kinds of struggles have you faced in trying to become that person?

3. What internal demons are you fighting? What demons have you conquered?

4. What would you most like to change about yourself?

5. What do you want your life to be in five years?

In the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!”

More in The Archives
Weekend Homework Assignment: Self Care (Who Am I?)

Ellie Lisitsa is a staff writer at The Gottman Institute and a regular contributor to The Gottman Relationship Blog. Ellie is pursuing her B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis on Cognitive Dissonance at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.