New Year, More Optimism

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect upon the past and set expectations for the future. And, based on what I’ve seen on social media, more people than ever are ready for change in 2017. I have enjoyed reading all the posts today about everyone’s resolutions and goals. And, while I’ve never been one to put much pressure on the new year (mine is more of an ongoing process, not just once a year), I appreciate the sentiment. It seems to be the one time of year everyone seems hopeful.

A common practice in yoga is called “setting an intention,” which is basically the idea of identifying a specific quality or behavior and then mindfully incorporating it into your life. This is a great way to start the year, but the key is to continue to cultivate that purpose (while also developing new ones), throughout the year. And I have always been convinced that the trick to making that happen is to maintain a positive attitude.

Focus on the good experiences, and look for lessons in the bad ones. Appreciate the people who are encouraging and supportive, and let go of those who try to keep you down. And always try to make the best out of every situation, while helping others do the same. Sometimes all it takes is a smile or a laugh to turn someone’s mood around, and a person who feels good tends to do good, and that behavior can be contagious.

2016 was actually a pretty exciting year for me. Aardvark Girl became my full-time job and I quickly discovered how much I enjoy the freedom and control over my own schedule. I worked on some rewarding projects (one of which allowed me to go home to Colorado and spend some much-needed time with friends and family), and met some great people along the way. And, I exceeded my net income goal by 20% in my first year on my own, which helped justify my intuition that had nagged at me that it was time to do something new. I don’t believe I could’ve done it without my positive attitude and faith that it would all work out.

So, whether you make resolutions, establish goals, or set intentions for the New Year (or do nothing at all), try to think optimistically every day and see the impact it has on your life. I hope we all find the positive change we are looking for in 2017!

Intention is the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.” – Deepak Chopra