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8 Exceptional Ways to Begin the New Year

8 Exceptional Ways to Begin the New YearAnother new year. With each new beginning, we look to ways we can reinvent ourselves. We clamor for ways to keep our resolutions.

But what if you put away the resolutions and just consider different ideas to help you live a better life. Not just this year, but throughout the year, any time. Here are eight such ideas.

1. Get an annual mental checkup.

What? What’s that? You go for a physical checkup. You get your eyes checked. Your teeth cleaned. Your auto inspected. Well, then, why are you leaving out the most precious part of you: your mind?

No, you’re not crazy. But your mind may not be in tip-top shape. How about fine-tuning your emotional responses? Refining your decision-making skills? Upgrading your communication skills? Enriching your relationships? A checkup every January can jump-start your New Year so that you reap the benefits all the rest of the months.

2. “Get it!”

What’s “it?” What are you supposed to “get?” A better body? A hotshot car? A shopping spree at the mall? Yes, you can “get” all of those things. But if that’s all you “get” — a gnawing emptiness will haunt you at the most unexpected times.

So think about what it is you need to “get” this New Year that’s deeper and more meaningful. Then, take the action you need to take to make it happen.

3. Appreciate how good things really are.

Sure, you’ve had tough times this year. But unless this is the absolute worst possible year of your life, give yourself the gift of appreciation. Zooming in on all the things that didn’t work out well means you’ve skipped right past what did work out well. Too bad. Reverse that direction!

4. Change your mind.

About what? You decide. But make sure it’s something significant. Why should you change your mind? Because if you don’t, you stay stuck in your ways. What’s the matter with that? Aren’t there some things that should remain the same? Yes. But in most areas, social to scientific, people-oriented to tech-oriented, knowledge evolves. Don’t spin your resistance to change into a laudable trait. If there’s one thing you owe yourself, it’s honesty.

5. Fail.

Fail??? Isn’t that something we’re all trying to avoid? Isn’t success what we should all be aiming for? Nothing wrong with success, but unless you’ve had your fair share of failure, you haven’t stepped outside your comfort zone. So, step out! This year, get involved in something that you are absolutely no good at. See what it’s like to attempt that activity. Feel humbled. Then appreciate your decision to try something difficult. That’s the way people grow.

6. Know when enough is enough.

No matter what you’re doing, there’s a time to end it. Maybe you have trouble making an important decision. Mull it over. Obtain additional information. Consult people you respect. But don’t get stuck in the paralysis of analysis syndrome. Eventually, it’s time to make a decision. Maybe you’ve been arguing with a family member. After a certain point, does it matter who’s right, who’s wrong? Say what you have to say. Then, let go and agree to disagree. Enough is enough.

7. Be enthusiastic.

Young kids are enthusiastic about almost everything while adults tend to let their enthusiasm wane. After awhile, it just all seems to be hard work. Don’t let that happen to you. Get enthusiastic! About what? That’s your job to discover. Once you do, fun will re-enter your life. Imagine bubbling over with excitement about something you learned, something you did, something you read. Make it happen this New Year.

8. Fill in the blank.

I’ve provided you with seven exceptional ways to begin 2013. You create the eighth. I’d love to hear what it is!


Happy man photo available from Shutterstock

8 Exceptional Ways to Begin the New Year

Linda Sapadin, Ph.D

Dr. Linda Sapadin, psychologist, success coach and author is proud to announce the publication of her new book, Overcoming Your Procrastination: College Student Edition – Advice for 6 Personality Styles available on Amazon. Now more than ever with remote learning, this book is a must-have. If you’re a perfectionist, dreamer, worrier, crisis-maker, defier or please, grab your copy. No longer a student? Get my book How to Beat Procrastination in the Digital Age – 6 Change Programs for 6 Personality Styles. Visit to subscribe to my free e-newsletter. Contact her at

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APA Reference
Sapadin, L. (2018). 8 Exceptional Ways to Begin the New Year. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 3 Jan 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.