01/13/2012 03:42 pm ET Updated Jan 14, 2012

Here We Go Again!

For many of us, the beginning of the year is a time to reflect on what happened in our lives in the year gone by. We review what we gained and what we lost; what brought us hope and what disappointed us; what made us laugh and what made us cry; what we need to let go and what we need to hold onto; our defeats and our triumphs. And when all is said and done, we congratulate ourselves for having survived 365 days of this shared experience we call life.

As we contemplate our New Year resolutions, rather than resorting to the routine items that crop up on the list every year (i.e., resolve to do better-about our health, our finances, our relationship), why not make one simple resolution: to do the work required to become all that you know you can be. Instead of focusing on what you need to lose; focus on what you want to gain. Rather than focusing on anti-aging, seek vitality and a youthful disposition which can open you to new possibilities and ideas.

Expand your mind by learning one new fact about something that interests you every day. Just imagine how much you'll know after learning 365 facts about something. Practice gratitude for what you have and where you are in life. It doesn't mean that you won't strive for better, but it helps you to acknowledge that life is a journey and there are blessings-big and small-along the way. Fail better. It sounds strange, but failure is a great teacher if you're willing to pay attention. You learn what doesn't work and what you don't need to waste time repeating. Live your own life. There is nothing sadder than spending time wishing you were someone else--or worse, trying to be something that you know you weren't meant to be. This is your journey and it was meant for you to travel it in your own unique way. Embrace yourself and let your light shine!!

When you wish someone a "Happy New Year," know that it means something different for each person receiving that greeting. Each of us will strive to make this year better than last, and happiness will come in many forms. But regardless of whether or not we reach our goals, the important thing to remember is that where we end up after taking these next 365 steps depends on our commitment to stay positive, focused, and committed.

With you on your Journey to Wellness for 2012!!

Dr. Mary S. Harris

Like Dr. Mary Harris on Facebook to share your thoughts on this and other health topics.