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What if you don't want to do New Year's Resolutions?

Let me tell you, I get it. I know that there are so many people out there who get caught up in making new year's resolutions and then they beat themselves up when they fall off the wagon all too soon.

Some are successful; statistically, a recent US study found 8% of those who set New Year's Resolutions were actually successful in achieving the outcome that they wanted.

For many others though, they enter into the new year with a lot of good intentions and gusto only to have themselves feeling disappointment within days or weeks at how hard it is to maintain.

Making resolutions more meaningful

But the simple fact is this; not everyone has to make new year's resolutions. In fact, I rarely do. At the end of each year, I want to do something that has far more meaning and that will last with me far longer.

Often what I will do is sit and reflect upon the year that I've just had and mindfully ask myself, 'what is the lesson that I have to learn from the year gone by'. Sometimes there may be one key lesson and I can often sum that up in a nice mantra that I can carry forward with me; 'no right or wrong steps, only steps forward' has been one of those.

Other times, there may be a series of lessons that have come forward however it is taking that moment to stop, to notice, to explore what the past 12 months has offered me that really makes each experience, both good and bad, beneficial.

What lessons did 2016 have for me?

I ended last year ready to see the back of 2016 and part of that was through exploring what the lessons were that I needed to understand and to take on board.

Through that process, I was able to add meaning to those experiences and to be able to let them go. It doesn't mean that there may not be a point again in future where they may trigger some reaction from me; we are human beings who are constantly evolving and changing over time. What it does offer though is the ability to process the experiences, to understand a bit about ourselves and our connections with others, and to consider what kinds of ways we may react and behave in future if those circumstances were to present themselves again.

The real value of New Years

This is where the real value of new year's comes into play. Yes, 2016 seemed to have this mythological like presence about it, claiming celebrities at an almost relentless pace and offering up some of the most unexpected twists and turns in world political events that we had ever experienced before. Was it 2016 doing it? Of course not! 2016 was simply just the label in which we placed that collection of time. However, in being able to do that, it meant that many people who had held onto so much pain and difficulty in 2016 were able to enter 2017 and simply let it all go. Psychologically, it was the ability to reset, refresh and to start brand new, saying goodbye to all the bad things that 2016 had asked them to experience and hoping for new, better, positive opportunities in 2017.

And so here we are, standing in the first week of 2017, resilient from all of the change that 2016 had us endure. Regardless of if you have decided to take on a new goal in 2017 or if you decide to consider what lessons we have to benefit from 2016, I hope you are standing at this point feel more of a sense of opportunity and positivity for what this year has in store.

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