12/29/2012 10:13 am ET Updated Feb 28, 2013

New Year's Resolutions?

Every year while my friends and colleagues are making their lists of New Year's resolutions, I make a list of things for which I am grateful. I pat myself on the back for not only surviving but thriving through another year, and I recognize my list of accomplishments throughout that year.

Going into a fresh new year, I try to bring something positive from the year before. That positive energy propels me into the upcoming year ready to take on all-new challenges and exciting adventures. As with anything, if you go into it looking at the negative, you will bring the negative with you. If you focus on the positive, that positive energy comes with you. I've always looked at resolutions as focusing on all the negative things that you don't like about yourself and, quite honestly, are probably not going to change anyway. By early- or mid-February, most of those same friends and colleagues are depressed and miserable about how they failed to achieve anything on their list of resolutions.

The best we can all hope for is to be the best possible versions of ourselves. Frankly, you don't need to make any resolutions to achieve that. Also, without the undue pressure of these grandiose public declarations of change in the form of New Year's resolutions, I think we are all more apt to just do what is best for ourselves anyway. Instead of focusing on all of that noise in our heads and thinking about all the ways in which we think we fall short, maybe we should just spend that energy building ourselves up. Take a mental inventory of ourselves, focus on the good and build on it. Find what is working in our lives and play to our strengths.

Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that we don't all have room for improvement. I just think that when you start in a negative place, you stay there. Starting a fresh year with a list of things you don't like about yourself and want to change is negative. Shift your focus to all of your positive achievements in the last year and you may find yourself naturally building momentum and wanting to keep it up. When I look back at this last year and feel good about it, I want to continue on that path. It is not a formal list but it energizes me, and I want to bring it with me into the new year -- and, hopefully, you will too! Happy New Year!

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