I love to read social media. It allows me to stay up to date on news stories, research, and most importantly – my friends. As 2016 comes to an end, it is interesting to see how many people want this year to go away. They’re so ready for this year to come to an end and for a new one to begin. The reasons vary. Some are depressed at the loss of popular icons this year such as Prince, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher. That’s very understandable – heck, I’m devastated that I never saw Prince in concert and never will. Other people are ready for the year to be over because they’ve lost loved ones. The pain of loss can be debilitating and most are seeking a way to overcome it as quickly as possible. I also see some friends wanting the year to end because things just haven’t gone their way lately. The common denominator in every one’s wish to end this year and start next year is the yearning for a fresh start. We’ve all faced times in our lives when we need an era to end and a new one begin. The end of a year and the beginning of a new one seems to be the most logical time to hope for change. The idea of New Year Resolutions has been imbedded in us our entire lives. We have been conditioned to reflect on our lives at the end of the year and look for ways to improve it in the new year. This is truly a good practice but statistics tell us that 88% of people fail at keeping their resolutions. Over the years, my opinions of NY resolutions have changed from setting them to not setting them. The years that I did set them, I chose the most popular ones like losing weight and exercising more. I failed too! This year I find myself at a different place in life. A few months ago, I began a journey to find true happiness in my life. I have dedicated myself to genuine change. I suppose one could say I began the same process of a resolution, but I started on my 44th birthday. I feel the same as everyone that wants 2016 to be over. The difference for me this year is that I realize a day on the calendar is not enough to instigate true change. The only thing strong enough to cause the positive change I am seeking is ME! If I wanted, I could look back at the past year and fall into a pity party. I’ve experienced some crappy things this past year from the loss of an adoption opportunity to a second neck surgery. I’ve gained 10 pounds and I’m more out of shape than I’ve ever been. It would be easy to play victim and whine about all of this. It would be just as easy to be angry and lash out. Every circumstance and situation creates energy. It is our choice how we use that energy. It can be negative energy or positive energy. The energy doesn’t decide – we do. When we make the decision to be optimistic regardless of situations, we create more positive energy and force the negative energy out. This is the key to success in all things, including resolutions. If we begin our resolutions with a negative outlook such as I’m fat and need to fix it, we will fail. Instead, take the positive approach and empower yourself. Your resolution could sound more like this – I will reward my body with healthy food and exercise this year. If you do that, weight loss will come. Learning how to harness energy and focus it in a positive direction takes practice. I know because I’m learning how to do it myself! It is making a huge difference in my life and well-being. I am looking forward to 2017! I hope you are as well! I wish you all the best year of many yet to come!