A Fresh Start With A New Focus

Elaine Taylor-Klaus

There is something absolutely liberating about the beginning of the year. We get to let go of baggage and other old stuff, setting brave and bold intentions for the year that lies ahead. As we wipe our slate clean, we get to start anew.

What is it about that magic hour of midnight, New Year’s Eve? Literally, the difference between December 31 and January 1 is not much more than a shift of letters on a calendar. So what makes for so many changes in January? It’s all about a mindset of possibility.

Think about how many times throughout the year we hear ourselves or those around us saying things like, “we’ve already tried that, it won’t work;” or,  “you want to try that again?” Too often we squash an idea because it’s used, not fresh. We focus on it’s limitations.

But January offers a fresh start because – collectively – we choose to see it as new. We allow ourselves to believe,

“I didn’t exercise regularly in 2011 but of course I can do it in 2012 – it’s a new year! It matters not that I ignored the gym for the last 7 months – that’s old news. This year, anything is possible.”

Now, let me remind you, you are not the only one around with this expansive view of change. January is like a fabulous epidemic of hope and optimism. Friends, parents, yes, even kids, are re-connecting to the power of possibility!

So, how do you harness the power of a new year, let it take hold and make it last a full 12 months? I propose that you start this year’s clean slate with a little twist:

  • Focus on your thoughts, not just your actions. It’s difficult to make sustainable change without paying attention to the messages that are playing in your head about them.

    Notice when you focus on the positive. Pay attention to when something feels possible to you, even if it’s a stretch.

    Conversely, notice when you are looking only at limitations. Challenge the negative thoughts.

  • Talk about your mindset around change with your family. Help others see things in terms of possibilities.
  • Ask for what you need from the people you love. Figure out what motivates you to stay positive, and make sure someone else is willing to remind you when you need it.
  • Allow room for others to change – including your children. The people in your life deserve a chance to start anew, and who understands that better than you?!
  • Ask them what they need from you – sometimes helping others achieve their goals can be a huge motivator for us as well

As parents, we have an opportunity to take advantage of the collective conscience we call a Fresh Start, not only for ourselves, but also for our children. We can look for possibilities, instead of shutting ideas down with old limitations.

This year, pledge to let your clean slate last longer. With an innovative mindset, the possibilities are endless!

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