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We will open the book.

Its pages are blank.

We are going to put words on them ourselves.

The book is called Opportunity

and its first chapter is

New Year’s Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

If the last twelve months brought you an excess of stress, strained relationships, calamity, or upheaval, you are probably thinking “Good riddance” as you end this tumultuous year. Rather than allowing the New Year to be a reminder of all the things that did not go well this past year, embrace it as a brand new opportunity to put the past behind you and move joyfully forward.

In order to close out one year and start another in a positive way, you must let go of any negative thoughts you have been harboring about the events of the past year. You must stop thinking that nothing will change in the upcoming New Year, or that things will always be undesirable. A New Year is a clean slate. What happened is in the past and before you lies a new future.

The key is to set your mind on how things will be better this year. By focusing your mind on what you want, as opposed to what you do not want, you will be able to see last year’s setbacks in a different light. Seeing a setback as a challenge that you can overcome, even if it takes some time, will allow you to continue moving forward, even when things are not all going your way. Even the happiest of people have challenges in their lives. Just like you, at times they struggle and feel beaten down. The difference is that they get back up again and focus on finding solutions rather than on the problems.

Let go of the past

When you release the thing that you are struggling with from the closing year, you will free yourself to move forward without its heavy trappings. Even if something hurt you or made you upset, and even if people seemed unfair to you or treated you wrongly, today can be a brand new day for you.

There are several ways to let go of past hurts. Try a few different techniques out until you find the things that work for you. The good news is that if you keep trying different approaches, you will find something that helps you succeed in this endeavor.

Find a fresh perspective and a new direction:

  • Visualize your hurts and worries as balloons, and release them to the sky.
  • Make a list of all of the upsetting events from the last year and set the list on fire.
  • If you are religious, pray and ask for release from the pain or challenges you face.
  • Spend time in quiet reflection so that you can find more peace in your life.
  • Take the time to consciously forgive others for what they did, even if it seems hard to do just this moment.
  • Be completely honest with yourself about any changes you are able to make to improve the quality of your life.

Take the next step forward

Once you have found the right way for you to let go of the last year, it is now time to get ready for the new one.

What do you want to do in the New Year? What are your goals, plans, aspirations and dreams? Write them down. Take a look at them. Have you left anything out? Have you added things that really belong to others and what they want for your life?

Adjust your list to reflect what matters the most to you.

Prioritize it with your most important objectives at the top.

Break down your list into manageable segments, with small steps that you can accomplish one by one, and then you can move forward with the confidence to achieve great success in the New Year.

Learning to release the past frees your mind and spirit to embark on a new journey.

Tomorrow: Three new words to bind the year. I’m excited! See you then.

Photo Credit: Iguanasan via Compfight cc