A New Year, A New StartIt’s that time of year again; the autumn leaves vanish, leaving the trees completely bare, and a winter chill seeps through the air. (‘Tis officially the season to break out the puffy coat and scarf as well.) A new year is here once again, and what I love about this annual transition is that a new year equals a new slate — a fresh start.

Many aim to follow through with resolutions, asserting certain goals that call for improvement in the months to come. While that approach certainly can be helpful, I prefer to reflect more on the big picture of the previous year, while looking to let go of past disappointments in order to move forward and into another chapter.

Laura Fenemore’s blog post on Tinybuddha, “Create Solutions, Not Resolutions,” advocates that instead of cultivating resolutions, it is solutions that are practical for inner peace.

As counterintuitive as it sounds, her philosophy suggests that in order to get where we want to go, we must let go of our longing for it to happen. “Achievement is still the goal, but ironically, you only get there by letting go of the need for it,” she said. Her solutions for letting go involve self-love affirmations and daily reminders of acceptance:

“Today, I accept myself just the way I am; today, I accept my body the way it is; today I accept my mind the way it is; today I accept my heart the way it is.”

Some people also like to write down their regrets of the past year and then tear them up or burn them to help symbolize letting go and moving forward.

In general, I’m usually eager to write about confronting the past. I strongly believe that staying present and resilient, while choosing not to run away from conflict, is essential for moving on.

Of course all this preachiness is easier said than done, but try to give yourself a break for the new year and come to terms with the difficulties you’ve faced these past 12 months. By acknowledging that you’ve had certain anxieties and stressors, forgiving yourself or others for mistakes, or even giving yourself closure or answers over a stifling relationship (that was a big lesson for me personally this year), you can release the weight and feel lighter for 2013.


Happy new year photo available from Shutterstock