Happy New Years to everyone! Once again, today marks the beginning of another year in our lives - 2015!

As always, I wish you and your loved ones a safe, successful, and blessed new year. I hope that this new year brings you laughter, memories, smiles, and joy.

As the new year rolls in, many people are faced with the dreaded 'resolutions'. Simply put, a resolution is a promise to do something. Many find that the new year is the best time to make resolutions because it symbolizes that you are starting the new right 'fresh' with new goals. However, the new year is not the only time when you can make new goals...but it can be a good time to stop and reflect.

I always take time at this point in the year to think about my last year - 2014 in this case. 2014 was full of events for me: my book got published, I have various presentations to organizations, I completed my nursing degree, etc. It was also my solid two-year recovery mark. Aside from that, I've grown personally. I've become a stronger and wiser person.

Looking into the new year, I always like to make goals for myself. These aren't your typical new year resolutions...they are more like my personal goals for what I want to achieve or become in this new stage of my life (2015). I've decided to share some of my goals for the new year with you. Do any of these apply to you as well?
-I want to maintain my recovery and health. I'm doing very well, and I know that this will continue. I want to continue to use my experiences to ell others, whether this means giving presentations, doing interviews, or simply supporting others.
-I want to become more positive. I'm generally an optimistic person, but I want to train myself to look at situations with an eye towards what they can teach me. This is very hard to do. But I've noticed that when I'm positive, situations are a lot easier to handle. I know this will take time, but I'm ready for the challenge!
-I want to make an effort to see the views of others as much as possible. This means that when I'm in a disagreement with others, I'm going to avoid arguing. I'm going to first consider their point of view and avoid becoming defensive. This is really hard to do, especially when we feel that we are correct. However, I've seen that simply listening to others and acknowledging their feelings can do wonders. It allows us to consider how others are feeling, and helps us to see where the argument or problem may be. This is an excellent way to resolve conflicts.

I strongly suggest that you take some time to reflect on your own past year, and think of what you want to accomplish or practice in the coming year. Remember that you need not create goals that have a 'due date'; however, you should make goals that you are committed to. You should also try to write these goals down so that you can occasionally look and then and review your progress. Your list can have as little as one goal - it doesn't matter! Regardless, ensure that these goals are truly something you hope to achieve in this year, whether they be physical, mental, emotional, personal, spiritual, or interpersonal. Feel free to share your goals, if you wish, in the comments section of this post!

I am wishing you a very happy and blessed new year! Remember that no matter what you decide are valuable  goals for you, the important thing is that you take the time to reflect on what the past year has been like for you, that you establish new goals for the upcoming year, and that you dedicate yourself to achieving these goals. Just remember the acronym RED: reflect on the past year, establish new goals, and dedicate yourself to accomplishing the goals. (Yes, I made up that acronym. But it works, right? This is what I've been using, and it really helps me remember the process of making goals for the new year!). Think of it this way: red symbolizes love and success. When you reflect on the past year and make goals for the new year, you will be setting the pathway for the new year to be full of love and success for you and others!

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