As the year 2014 comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on this past year, both personally and professionally.

Personally, I had a satisfying and wonderful year. I have managed to find a way to balance my family, my work and my leisure time. I spend time with the people that make me smile. I laugh often. I know the value of gratitude. I am passionate about my work and I love what I am doing.

Professionally, I witnessed many clients fulfilling their dreams whether it was learning to communicate with their partner, picking up the pieces of a marriage that was falling apart, making a big career move, moving to a new location, finding that special someone, learning how to move on after a divorce, setting boundaries in the home, bonding with their child, reconnecting with a family member or learning how to see the positive qualities in one’s self thus feeling a strong sense of empowerment.

People, in general and my clients, more specifically, are longing for happiness. Sometimes it is an easy fix and sometimes it is a journey. For right now, I want to share 7 of my favorite tips.

Tips to have a “happy” day

  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Slow down, smell the roses and notice your surroundings.
  3. Give someone a genuine compliment.
  4. Focus on the positive things happening in your day.
  5. Appreciate, appreciate, and appreciate!!! Appreciation is a word that is a constant in my therapy room. Take time and appreciate the small things as well as the big things.
  6. Notice three things that you are grateful for and focus on them.
  7. Smile often for yourself and for others.
    “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” – Mother Teresa
    “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” – Phyllis Diller

January 1 is a new day, the beginning of a new year, a fresh start. View it as the first blank page of your next chapter. What do you want it to say? Maybe you know exactly what you want it say or maybe you are not sure? If you need a little help, here are 12 powerful quotes. Think about these words of wisdom and see how they fit into your life. How can they help you begin your new year?

  1. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
    – C.S. Lewis
  2. “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.”
    – Walt Disney
  3. “You only have control over three things in your life-the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.”
    – Jack Canfield
  4. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t. You’re right.”
    – Henry Ford
  5. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”
    – Henry David Thoreau
  6. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
    – Milton Berle
  7. “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how AMAZING you can be.”
    – Maya Angelou
  8. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
    – Arthur Ashe
  9. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
    – Dr. Wayne Dyer
  10. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
    – Thomas Edison
  11. “Learn to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.”
    – E. James Rohn
  12. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible!”
    – Audrey Hepburn

Portia Nelson wrote an insightful poem, “There’s a Hole in my Sidewalk”. It is an autobiography in five short chapters. It is my favorite example of taking responsibility for the changes you want in your life. I would like to end this year by sharing her words.

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault… I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

You are in charge of your life. You can make the changes you want. Be mindful of your goals and watch out for the holes in your sidewalk.
Make 2015 an amazing year for you. Happy New Year!

Your Relationship Expert,