Breathe it out….ahhh….a long deep sigh that says goodbye to 2014.  It’s over and done. It had it’s hallelujah days and it’s grueling, not-so-hot ones. Just like other years, we started out with big plans and through the busy days and nights, we watched them play out — some differently than we envisioned, but completed just the same. Some people pooh-pooh resolutions and goals, but at times we need those things to fuel us. They can assist us in mentally bagging up the past and carrying it out to the dumpster so that we can start fresh.

Starting a crisp, blank page for a new year is psychologically stimulating, inspiring and overall healthy. It helps remind us that we always have another chance to reach success in some area, enjoy life in a new way, or find peace where there was none. Before you groan at those who are enthusiastically writing their resolutions, take a moment to envision who you might be with a little more zeal for life.

Throughout each year we all have our ups and downs. The question is really what we do with those roller coaster rides. Do we learn from past mistakes and determine to take a different course? Many of us fall into a rut where we just dredge up the same old excuses and stay in that rut. Maybe this is the time to make that decision to change focus; the time to take an honest assessment of who we are and enjoy a year of new beginnings.

Initiate your change with an intentional declaration to stop judging yourself harshly. Accept who you are and celebrate yourself! You are filled with gifts, talents, love and grand experience that can benefit others beautifully. Take time to be thankful for who you are. Give yourself a break.  And then, when some negatives jump up to mock you, look them square in the face, ask God if they’re things you might need some work on, smile and ask Him for ways to do that. One at a time. You are His and He takes delight in you. He will show you what to do.

Resolutions, the worldly way, tend to be things we work hard at doing for ourselves. In God’s scheme of things, it should mean that we submit ourselves to Him, relax and rest in His love, and seek Him each day for direction. If that is our mode of operation each day of 2015, at the end of the year, we’ll be feeling pretty successful. That’s my plan. Hope it encourages you as well.  

Happy New Year!