And Now We Welcome the New Year

Written by Francine Baffa, LICSW, BCBA-D
Edited by Joe DeNoon


“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been”

― Rainer Maria Rilke


As we approach the year’s end and the new year ahead, many of us will reflect on our internal growth and the beliefs that we want to carry forward, as we carve out the path to 2023. It is important to begin with the end in mind to direct and position yourself for the future ahead of you—Don’t just plant a tree, plant an orchard!

We are the authors of our own stories. Yet, how often do we plan each year based on what we intend to do during the next year, or the one after that? Each chapter of our life is clearly leading us to the next. By having future objectives, we are able to create a much bigger story, a fuller narrative with many episodes.

Goals are means, not ends. Don’t get caught up in the thinking that when you reach them you are finished.  Everything you do is positioning. Are you positioning yourself to do awesome things in 3, 5, or even 20 years from now?

Tony Robbins said, “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” This is the key!  Most people don’t make committed decisions and that is why less than 10% stay committed to their resolutions.

You must take action and come from a place of “Re-Solve”.  This requires a sense, or even assurance, that what you seek is a foregone conclusion. “Resolve means it’s done,” said Robbins. “It’s done inside your heart; therefore it’s done in the real world.”

Emerson similarly postulated, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” I don’t know about you, but I truly welcome that kind of support! 🙂

Expect amazing things to happen, and they generally will. Find your “Why” in 2023 and get busy with the business of living.

To quote David Copperfield, “My dreams are my dress rehearsals for my future.” Join me in making 2023 the year you plant your orchard, live with passion, and dream big.

It can be hard to remember your life’s purpose as life rushes along and you get caught up in everyday issues of survival and daily chores and responsibilities. Here are some ways to reground and bring oneself back to the present:

  • Cognitive Self-Help. Change the way you think by noticing what you’re saying to yourself, questioning your self-defeating thought patterns, and using positive affirmations.
  • Mindfulness Practices. The more we become aware of our thoughts, the more we can detach from them, and the less we suffer.
  • Guided Imagery. Picture in your mind a calming image or a peaceful scenario. 
  • Reorienting techniques.  Find ways to shift your attention to other things.
  • Flipping the calmness switch. Visualize that you have a calmness switch that you can flip during anxious situations.
  • Creating is a life-purpose choice and a meaningful opportunity. Center yourself in calmness before you enter the storm.

Things that matter most should never be at the mercy of things that matter least—don’t let anything divert you from your purpose. We are not done growing yet!

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