Life-Changing Choices for the New Year

Like any year, 2014 brought a world of changes—good and bad—that were out of our control. Yet, I imagine most of us can name several personal choices we regret. Perhaps you’d wish to take back certain words, actions or decisions. While it’s important not to forget lessons learned from past mistakes, don’t let guilt dominate your behavior in the New Year. Instead, be determined to apply what you know now to each new day, and remember the price you paid for that wisdom. Here are five steps toward a life-changing 2015.

Redeem Your Rewards

Maybe 2014 ranks as your worst year personally, financially, health-wise or all of the above. Despite any misfortune, it is essential to pause and focus on the many blessings, rewards and positive events that occurred in the past 365 days. Make a list of events, outcomes and relationships that were successful throughout the year. The key to a joyous New Year is to make gratitude your default emotion.

Give When Grieving

Kick start 2015 by contributing to the success of other people’s resolutions. It’s easy to wallow in our own tough times, but we don’t have to look far to recognize and meet the needs of others. The greatest gift you can give is yourself. Volunteer. Donate. Give something of yourself to others, especially during times of grief. You will feel immediate delight in each new day.

Organize Your Outlook

The end of the year is an ideal time for reflecting on your life’s direction. Too often we get caught up in the business of our lives and others and forget the purposeful path we intended to follow. Organizing your outlook involves refocusing your highest priorities, values and passions. Schedule your priorities into your day. This critical choice will bring a new you to the New Year.

Decide for a Day

For me, long-term planning means thinking about next Tuesday. A year-long goal is overwhelming. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, decide each day which choices will help move you toward a personal definition of success. For example, I know I can take a 15 minute walk after lunch today and run by the grocery to pick up something healthy for dinner. Just think about daily decisions, and worry about tomorrow . . . tomorrow.

Courage Over Comfort

It is easy to find comfort in a routine life, but there’s a place for courage in each new day. What aspect of your life could benefit from new choices that choose courage over comfort? If you’ve struggled with tough times in 2014, decide to make 2015 a year of confidence and courage, and begin now. It is your decision to say “yes” to life, no matter what’s happening around you. Make that resolution today!

If you or someone you know is struggling in life, there is help available. Contact Centerstone for the support you deserve. For information call 1-888-291-HELP (4357) or visit www.Centerstone.org.

About Susan Gillpatrick, MEd, LPC, CTS

Susan Gillpatrick, Centerstone Crisis Management Specialist and a Licensed Professional Counselor, works in the field with clients in critical incident response situations and in Centerstone’s wellness trainings. Contact her at (615) 202-2580 or susan.gillpatrick@centerstone.org.