There is a custom in Italy that involves throwing out the old to prepare for the new. In the case of the Italians, this is taken quite literally as the people literally throw their old household appliances and other items from the year out the window to show that they are cleaning out and ready for the new year
. While you might not be willing to chunk your iPod out the window, you can do a bit of cleaning up and out to prepare yourself for 2009. And if all else fails you can try out the other Italian tradition Ė wear your red underwear to bring good luck in the New Year.
Thanksgiving was just a few weeks ago it seems, but already weíre looking forward to the New Year. Thanksgiving
shouldnít be the only time all year that you actually sit down and think about all you have to be thankful for. Indeed, the closing of one year and the start of another is the ideal time to think about what you love about your life and what youíre ready to change.
When examining your life donít forget to consider the people in it, your relationship with them and all the things you canít actually see or touch. Do you have a talent youíve wanted to use or a new skill youíve been hoping to learn? Perhaps you realize you should be working harder to keep old friendships and to start new ones. Just thirty quiet minutes of reflection can give you mind and soul the peace it needs to process your entire existence and prepare to move forward into the rest of your life.
Make Some Resolutions
Most people look at the same problems year after year, but this year why not start something new instead of trying to stop something old. For example, if you try to stop swearing every year but fail miserably, instead focus on making positive comments to everyone. If you make an effort to say something nice or uplifting in every conversation you have, youíll soon realize that you donít swear nearly as much and you feel better about yourself for being such a nice person.
The most important resolutions are the ones you make that are meaningful to you Ė not to your friends and family. Resolutions donít have to be shared among friends, and writing your goals for the new year
in a journal or letter to yourself is a good way to document your decisions without advertising your hopes and dreams for the masses. If you know your friends and family will ask, just offer them a simple goal that you have while keeping your deeper plans under wraps to avoid embarrassment or extra pressure unless you are comfortable sharing your soul that way. But if necessary offer a small goal to placate everyone. After all, you canít argue with someone whoís resolution is to floss their teeth every night before bed.
Take Your Time
Iím a firm believer that you can do everything, but you canít necessarily do it all at once. Make a list of the things you want to do in 2009. Then realistically plan for how you can make it work. You can start some things right away, but others such as taking ballet lessons or writing a screenplay might have to wait a few months. The goal is to get started in a new direction. Youíll be traveling on one road or another for the rest of your life, so use this year as the motivation you need to take the first few steps to the person you really want to be.