new years disco ballYOU.  Yup. You. I can hear the collective protests; “But I might lose my job….I have a foot injury…There’s a sewage leak in the backyard.” I invite you to gently address that complaining part of you now. Silence that negative voice before it puts a damper on your 2014. Imagine that part of you as just one of many. One that may need a little help to get on board with hope.  If you need some therapy to set that attitude straight, why not get some? There’s one thing that’s going to determine how this next year goes more than anything else. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

When I was in college, I dated a fellow who wistfully recalled his own college years (he was a few years my senior) as “the best years of my life.” He further stated matter-of-factly, one fateful afternoon, “My life will never be that good again.” I looked at him, searching for any hidden vestibule of optimism. It wasn’t there. Around that time, his best frat buddy from Florida said, “I can’t wait to get married and settle down so I can let myself go.” That twenty-something-gang’s complacency wasn’t just unsexy to me, it was untenable. I just couldn’t hang.

The time to live your best life is always NOW. Think you’re too old? Think again. Think you’re past your prime? Well, that’s up to you. No excuses. You decide if 2014 counts in the landscape of your life. Imagine your stint on Earth as a work of art. You are the sculptor and 2014 is a lump of clay. The great Michelangelo said, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” So what are you going to create? Your clay awaits.

The new year is a reminder that we get to start again. It would be more useful if it came on a daily basis, but let’s take it while we can. One year is ending. Another is beginning. What are you going to do about it?

Here’s a little exercise to get you started. It’s the easiest sculpting maneuver imaginable. I know because I’m using it. Take a piece of paper and make two columns. On the left side, write “Less” at the top. On the right side, write “More.”  Then make 2 lists- one of what you want less of and the other, what you want more of in the coming year. For example, under the less column you might write: procrastination. Under more, you might write: initiative, and so on. Less desperation, more ease. Less obligation, more inspiration.  Less self-destructiveness, more self-discipline. Less longing, more contentment.  Less Eeyore, more Tigger.  You get the picture. Maybe you don’t want to make such a list. (Less work, more play?) But at a minimum, find that little voice that says “So what?” to the New Year and put a new spin on it for 2014.

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