Time to take stock – Metro US

Time to take stock

Year’s end can turn focus on good, not bad

Making amends with someone can get the new year started on a clean slate.

Whether you’re working this week or on vacation, now is the perfect time to take stock. The year is coming to a close, the beginning of a new one imminently approaching.

Most of us have some regrets, things we’d like to change, words left unsaid — and some we wish we could retract. There’s always something we didn’t manage to complete, or even start, and others we wish we hadn’t wasted our time on.

If you believe in New Year’s resolutions, then now is the time to start thinking about them. But I don’t advise making hard-line decisions that must be adhered to starting on the first of the year. That’s a recipe for disaster, disappointment, and a sense of failure.

Plan to make your changes in stages: ease your way into that hard-core exercise regime; slowly cut out your favourite unhealthy foods in order to begin that strict diet plan; take a half-hour here and there to tackle that pile of papers on your desk. If you go at it, whatever it is, little by little, bit by bit, it will get done … and you’ll feel good about yourself.

So take this week as an opportunity to think about the past year. Is there anyone you feel you wronged whom you should call? Is there anything you did that you feel you need to correct?

Or, like most of us, were you just living your life, making some mistakes along the way? If this is the case, then don’t fret. Nobody’s holding you in judgment because we’re all in the same boat.

Life doesn’t come with an instruction guide or a rule book; our mouths don’t have built-in editors; and we don’t always have someone by our side to steer us in the right direction.

We all do the best we can with what we’ve got.

And we’re our own worst critics. I know for myself there are things I really wanted to do this year that I just didn’t get around to. I feel badly about it, but when I tell my husband, he reminds me of all the things I did do, and that life will continue on anyway.

He’s got a good point — and a good lesson: if you start feeling down about this year’s misses and mishaps, remind yourself of all the great achievements and accomplishments that did occur. Review these past 12 months from a positive viewpoint, rather than the negative. Give yourself kudos for all the projects and jobs you managed to complete.

Looking at the past in a positive light can give us strength to move forward into the following year and what may lie ahead. If we feel pumped up and buoyed, we can practically float through the rest of 2007 (the next five days), and celebrate the coming of the new year.

Give yourself a break — be proud of you.

Wishing you peace (of mind) for 2008!

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