Ringing in the New

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good.” 
– lyric from “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone

As the New Year approaches, it is natural to reflect on the months passed and take stock of your experiences. It is often hard not to begin to measure your year in what was not accomplished, what was difficult, or all the challenges that made up the 12 previous months. The challenging times need to be honored and valued for teaching us lessons we may have needed to learn, but don’t forget the wonderful times the past year has afforded you. Whether it was a spectacular rainbow you saw in July, or the first day of school in August for your smallest child, or the kind word a stranger said to you at the grocery store last February, these pleasant experiences, along with the struggles, weave together a year like none other; for that you can be truly grateful. No matter what emotions or memories this year conjures up for you, as the calendar turns to 2014, you have a new slate to write on, a new canvas on which to paint, and a new quilt to craft from the fabric of your past.

This year, when you sit down to write or make a mental list of your new year’s resolutions, keep in mind that they can just be guidelines, not a strict list that is difficult to follow and easy to give up. These resolutions can take into account your past lessons and your hopes for the future and take full advantage of this occasion to begin anew. A good resolution will give you a path to making more opportunities to find joy in your life. Instead of saying, “I will go to the gym to work out 3 days a week and I will lose 20 pounds by spring”, say… “I will commit myself to making healthier choices every day”. By phrasing your resolution that way, it is much more all encompassing and realistic, but also gives you a goal for which to strive. On the clean slate of a new day, give yourself every chance to succeed and in that success, you will be propelled forward to take on every day with a positive attitude. Then, maybe when you take stock at the end of 2014, you will realize that the tricky days were fewer and the triumphant ones stand out more boldly. This is the beauty of a new year…such promise and hope for great things, possibly of our own making.

Welcome 2014 for what it is, a new life for you…and feel GOOD!