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New Year, New You (if you desire...)

The path of wisdom means not being afraid to make mistakes. -Paulo Coelho

It’s that time of year… A fresh new calendar. A reset. Goals. Hopes. Anticipations. Intentions.

The winter solstice has just occurred, creating a turning point and lengthening of the days; the promise of more sunlight. While darkness still prevails and we still have ample time to rest and withdraw in preparation for renewal, the passing of the winter solstice invites a time of hope and anticipation of what is to come.

Included in that anticipation is that of our new calendar and our journey around the sun again. A new year brings a time of reflection, resolutions, and wishes in hopes of good fortune, health and happiness, among other things. To many, January 1st is marked as a day to begin anew. There is a buzz and excitement in the air of the brand new year ahead; a blank slate and calendar, yet to be filled with memories. This time of ‘beginning anew’ if filled with many things we hope to see happen. Many of us set out to accomplish a host of things, most of which we do not fulfill.

Approximately 50% of people set New Year Resolutions. By about February about 80% of those resolutions have waned. This happens for several reasons. Building new habits and routines, which are behaviors, take time. Changing our behavior does not happen overnight because we become so engrained in our ‘norm’ that it can be challenging to break free and reset. However, achieving our goals/resolutions/hopes/desires is entirely possible. It starts with a genuine desire for change. And in order to change our behavior we have to change our thinking. If we want to succeed here are a few key factors to consider:

  • Be clear about the why of your goal (not just the what).

  • Focus on one thing at a time. Set one goal, not 10, so as to reduce overwhelm.

  • Believe in yourself and believe that you are capable.

  • Set small and specific goals that have small actionable steps that will likely bring success (and help avoid discouragement). Remember slow and steady wins the race.

  • Acknowledge and celebrate successes along the way for yourself. Even a little progress is progress and should be recognized. After all, success breeds success.

  • Act/Do more and think less

  • Focus on the present moment- think about one thing you could do right now to help you achieve your goal. The future is made up of billions of present moments.

  • Be realistic and give yourself grace. There is not one perfect human being on the planet. Do no expect yourself to be.

  • Maintain a positive attitude. Positivity is powerful and encouragement is real.

With the new year upon us and all the things we desire to create and do, set forth with good intentions and know that hiccups along the way are likely inevitable. Do not be deterred by missteps. Continue onward and appreciate the wisdom your path and experience brings you. And, remember, there is nothing magical about January 1st. Or next Monday. Or next month. If you want to achieve something in your life, and you know why you want to achieve it, you have the power to create change in your life winter, spring, summer, or fall.

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