"Forget about Resolutions in 2013"By Cheryl Stahl

Resolutions, those tiny self-created little monsters guaranteed to set you up for failure, have returned for their annual haunt. If you are like most people, especially me, by January 30, you have joined the 24% of American’s who have already failed at their resolution. If 30 days proves impossible, then how do 365 days become achievable? Why bother to take a step towards making your life more meaningful or healthy with the odds so much against you? It’s time to take a stand and stop this resolution madness.

I’m the first to admit that I need to exercise more frequently, organize some closets, save money and spend time with family and friends. But sometimes life just doesn’t allow for the precious gifts of time necessary for accomplishing the larger tasks typically found in resolutions. That doesn’t mean however, that my life isn’t full of little gifts of love, hope, joy and gratitude. Those gifts that often get lost in the hustle and bustle of a normal day are what I would like to remember and hang onto. And when I think about the little slips of paper that get placed in my box, positive energy seems to pop up in other places of my life.

Forget resolutions and failure. Why not capture moments of gratitude and success? Every year, I decorate a box writing a few key inspirational words on the top, drawing a mandala for balance and placing it on my desk where I see it every day. Before wrapping up my work day, I write on a slip of paper one thing from that day that made me smile or brought me hope or gratitude. On those years where I feel extremely organized, I actually find 12 different colors of paper, one for each month. OK, I’ll admit, this part of my gratitude box usually ends up not working out quite so well but I try.

On New Year’s Eve, I open my box and review all 365 positive memories and moments then set my intention for the year about to begin. 2012 has been a year of many twists and turns and I look forward to reading the slips of paper recording the year on New Year’s Eve.

This year my intention will be to relax and flow with change. If there is a major life event and stressor, it will appear at my doorstep during 2013. Despite the challenges I know are coming, there will be many occasions to bring joy, happiness and hope into my life. Those successes I want to capture and remember.

Instead of resolutions where I am doomed to fail, I switch my thinking and capture the glad tidings. Looking at the positive and finding a bit of joy in each day seems more reasonable than starting the year out with resolutions and failure. When focusing on the good in your life, a ripple effect of positivity ultimately follows. Maybe when you own a lighter mood, you might exercise more, save money, clean out that messy closet and spend extra time with friends. Just a thought.

Happy 2013! May you surf on a wave of positivity in all areas of your life.

For directions on how to make a gratitude box, visit my website at www.yourbestwritinggroup.com/resources.