December 31, 2018

I WAS ordering something online. After typing the details of my purchase, I pressed “SUBMIT” and waited for what I felt to be an unusually long time. A dialogue box then announced that my time opted out and asked me to press a “RESET” icon. I complied and went through the ordering process again, which succeeded the second time. It was a minor hassle, but I was grateful the glitch happened before I inputted my credit card number. (I wasn’t scammed; I just checked my banking statement.)

One reason we celebrate the New Year’s Day is that we are given the chance to leave dashed expectations behind and hope afresh for wonderful things ahead. In my calendar, January 1 is my RESET button. I had my share of things I wanted to do last year but didn’t get around to it (tamed the bulge, anyone?). Meantime, new opportunities are looming for my career and personal development.

As I write this article with Christmas approaching, my mind is already mapping out goals and action plans for the next 365 days. They include pursuing what I failed to accomplish last year: eat healthier, exercise regularly, be more consistent in my spiritual life. They also seek to maximize those new opportunities I mentioned: draft a business plan for my day job, be more disciplined so I can write more, improve my speaking skills.

New Year’s Day can be your RESET button, too.

Got any emotional baggage? If you were miserable last year, don’t you think it is foolish to remain miserable for one more year? Now is the time to make peace with God, with others and (I dare say) with yourself. Be pro-active to change whatever you can and adopt healthier coping strategies for those you can’t. Seek professional advice if you must. We may not be able to control our circumstances -- the New Year may bring new difficulties as well -- but we can control our response to those circumstances.

Got any unfulfilled longings? Instead of moping, envying and griping, let us find ways to realize them as much as possible. The key is “as much as possible.” For example, you yearn to be promoted at work or get a pay raise. Instead of blaming office politics or the economy, ask yourself, “What are the small steps I must do to merit an increase in responsibilities?” Notice you don’t have to wait for the formal promotion to happen. Rather, find work that is normally handled by someone with a higher grade level than yours. In due time, the promotion or pay raise will take care of themselves.

Got any cherished aspirations? I have a friend in Toastmasters who wanted to become a full-time motivational speaker. So I emailed him to ponder and write down his vision over the holidays: Imagine that by some miracle you have become the public speaker you have always wanted to be. What would be different in the way you look, sound and feel like compared to the way you are now? What would your audience say about you? In the same token, this period can be a breathing space – to breathe new vitality and vividness to our ambitions. Now is the time to dream big dreams and be bold and unfettered in our pursuits this year.

Are you poised to make this year your best ever? Get rid of the glitches, RESET and launch forth!

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