Traditionally, the new year is a time when LGBT people and others resolve to make changes in their lives or a fresh start.

What is your New Years Resolution?

Being gay might not always have been easy and some of us have had to compromise our values or principles just to get through. The new year might be a chance to turn the page on something in your life. Perhaps you have decided to look after your health more by reducing drinking or stopping smoking. You might be aiming to make new friends or start a relationship in 2011. You could even be considering coming out to someone you love, or your work colleagues if you have not already done this.

Finding motivation and making changes is not always easy. A University of Hertfordshire study has shown that keeping a diary, making smaller steps towards your goals and rewarding yourself can help you to stick to those new year resolutions.

The Role of Counselling

Counselling can provide gay men and lesbians with encouragement and lift our confidence. A counsellor must maintain your confidentiality, and knowing this can make it easier to trust a counsellor and share your story. Counselling is not just about dealing with problems. It can be useful in finding direction or making plans which are both important aspects for gay men and lesbians who want to make changes in their lives.

Our confidence grows when we are supported to talk about what we want. And if you are not sure what you want, meeting with a professional counsellor who is also gay can help you to work this out. Your new years resolution for 2011 might even just be to get yourself a good gay counsellor or therapist!

Top New Years Resolutions for Gay Men and Lesbians

Here are some of the top New Years Resolutions that lesbians and gay guys talk about with their counsellors:

  1. Stopping smoking
  2. Getting back to the gym
  3. Changing job
  4. Reducing drinking
  5. Stopping using drugs
  6. Starting a gay relationship
  7. Leaving a straight relationship
  8. Making some new gay friends
  9. Having more time with family
  10. Coming out to someone.

If you are gay or bisexual, or think you might be, and you have made one of these new years resolutions or another, think about sharing it with a gay therapist or counsellor. You can meet with an online counsellor from home or go to a more traditional face to face counsellor. The important thing is to take that next step.