I’m very excited to start this New Year with some new opportunities- Thank you to the Open Center in Sarasota, Florida for having me as a guest. It was a great way to start off the new year with a workshop on Positive psychology in beautiful weather. I’m also excited to start my first class at Rutgers’ Osher Life Long learning institute on Thursday, January 9th – there is still time to register for the 5 week series on emotional wellness.Rutgers number 732-932-7233I hope everyone had a great holiday and a Happy New Year!!Tips for a Great New Year!!We all want to start the New year off right. We think to ourselves, this will be the year: I lose weight, start exercising, eat better, reconnect with old friends, get a new job, etc. These are all great goals but why do we wait till Jan 1st to form a new habit and make positive changes in our lives. This year, lets make a promise to ourselves that the changes we make this year will be permanent and meaningful. They will set the year off to a positive start. This year I will:1. I will make myself a priority this year- I will learn to say No to others when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. I will say yes to my needs and wants. This year I will learn it’s ok to put myself first and take care of myself. This year I will learn that selfish isn’t always a bad word I realize that if I take care of myself, I will be there for others.2. I will be grateful for what I have- I will take the time to pause and think about all I have. This isn’t about my material objects. This is about my abundance of love, warmth, comfort, care and empathy I receive on a daily basis. This year I will make room in my life for gratitude checks where I spend a few minutes each day thinking about all I have in this life and just being thankful I have my life.3. I will pay it forward constantly – I will give more of myself everyday. I will inspire, help and empower others on a daily basis.4. I will step out of my comfort zone this year – I will take risks, add variety and become more creative. This is the year I won’t be stale or stagnate. The word “Bored” will be removed from my word list this year.5. This year I will be a great role model. This will make me a better parent, mentor, friend and educator. I will teach others by my actions.6. This year I will become fully aware of my negative thoughts, comments and actions towards myself and others. I will make a conscious effort to be more positive and respectful of others and myself. I realize positive energy, actions and thoughts are all contagious.7. This year will be the year of action plans. Not only will I set short and long term goal lists but action plans on how to get there. I will write down each detail of my list and follow each step. I will feel a sense of accomplishment because I have taken action.8. This year I will live in the present. I will let the past be in the past because the past doesn’t equal the future. I will stop worrying about the future because it doesn’t exist. I will not waste my energy being stressed about something that hasn’t happened yet.9. I will spend less time this year trying to control others and being perfect. Neither one is possible and even though I have known this for many years, I never listened. This year I vow to let go of my controlling issues and perfectionist traits and learn to enjoy life in it’s messy existence. I will learn to enjoy the unorganized, the messy and not planned life. I will realize at the end of each day – everything works it self out..10. This year I will say Thank you to everyone I love not just on new years, birthdays and holidays. I will say Sorry when needed, thanks when it’s deserved and I love you just because I do.11. This year I won’t try so hard to be something/someone I’m not. I will not keep up with the Jones, compare myself to celebrities or wish I was someone else. This year I will learn to spend time alone with myself. I will learn what my likes/dislikes, strengths/weaknesses, dreams and hobbies are. I will becomes fully aware of who I am. This year is the year of me!12. This year I will let go of all the expectations of what could be or should be but instead just live my life. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our unrealistic expectations that we forget to just enjoy the life that is here right now. Our present life. Our present situations, environments and family. We forget to be clear and aware of our surroundings. the love, the warmth. The caring…the friendships.. the affection…I forget to enjoy those simple things.