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Happy New Year’s Day to everyone!  Day one of three hundred and sixty-six days, thanks to Leap Year, in which to do so much.  Over three hundred different opportunities to make a difference in your life, in the lives of family, friends and loved ones, and even to those you’ve yet to meet.

This is the time of year, this very day, when people begin anew with a fresh spirit, a new out look on life, ideas of love, thoughts and plans for adventure and those resolutions.  People everywhere feel as if the slate has been wiped clean, the air is crisp and clean with a brighter outlook and a chance to do more and be better than the previous year.

I am not a big resolution person, I prefer to view them as goals, and scale them throughout the year.  Sometimes it can almost be overwhelming as one forgets that it all doesn’t have to all happen or be planned in day one, on New Year’s Day.  And resolution is such a stiff and stuffy word that it can often lead to disappointment rather than accomplishments.  Remember, you want to begin slow and move forward from there and for this very reason I like to take a different approach.  Keeping in mind that simple is best, start slow, make a few plans, set goals very small easily accomplished goals and them some larger ones that are a take a little more effort to achieve, but try your best not to overshoot the goals making process.  Plainly put don’t set your sights on accomplishments that you simply can’t achieve.  By doing this, you will end up feeling that you have let yourself or someone else down.  This is the feeling to avoid and the best way to do this is to be both specific and general in the goals you set for yourself for the coming year.

Lists are also a great way to get to where you want to be as they are a daily reminder of what you have completed and what is still left to be done for the day, week, month and year.  Again, the lists can be small or large, but make them doable! Tadalist.com is one of my favorite websites for making my lists. Paper lists are great, but this free and easy online version makes your to-do lists easily accessible from almost anywhere.

This morning after a little sleeping in, and a few cups of coffee, the first thing I did was to bring out my new 2012 planner.  I began as most probably do, with what they know.  Sitting at the table with pencil, planner and my favorite coffee cup I wrote in the birthdays and anniversaries that came to mind of my closest friends and loved ones; then the scheduling of soccer practices and tournaments, guitar lessons, Krav Maga and Karate classes, holidays, teacher workdays and the specific vacation days that I need to turn in to the boss. Those things that I didn’t know for sure I made a list to identify this week.

All day things and ideas have tumbled through my head of what I expect of myself for this coming year, things I want to try, improvements to my thought processes, etc. This is where people get carried away.  Sometimes we have to take a step back, breathe and remember that we are only one person, and mountains we cannot move, not in one day anyway, and definitely not by ourselves.  Don’t be leery of asking for advice or help with your New Year ideas and plans.  Be sure to include those people who will be affected by these very goals and plans you are setting and making.

The important thing to remember is that you have made a start, and if you accomplish just one thing daily that you normally wouldn’t or didn’t do the last time you wanted to do it, then you are a success.  This could be as large of a something as cleaning out the gutters, or as small as a simple smile to someone who you know needs it.  It is something and it is moving forward and moving forward is a good thing, even if it is at a snail’s pace.

Later this afternoon when my head was a little too full of plans, goals, lists, and to-dos I felt a little breather was in order so I grabbed a bucket and headed to my naturally natural back yard for an old game of pick up sticks, literally.  It felt great to be outside, weather was breezy but awesome, and before I knew it I had three buckets and one old rusty wheelbarrow filled to the brim with sticks for my fireplace kindling.  It seemed that with each stick I picked up my mind cleared from all of those plans and goals and it all seemed to find its proper place in my head and in the right perspective.  I think my word for today would have to be moderation.

Happy New Year’s to everyone; family, friends and strangers and remember to be good to yourself this year~