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HAPPY NEW YEAR to you! This article is all about YOU, about the best possible self you can be in 2019 without having to commit to hardcore New Year resolutions. We all know that we have failed in a number of resolutions made in the past. Therefore, we are prudent in starting with some small steps. It is not helpful to be hard on yourself for all the broken promises. Instead, put some thought to this: are those never fulfilled resolutions being made for someone else to impress, or to love your own self some more? What was it that held you back? You and only you get to decided what will work for you and what will you worship in 2019: love, relationships, beauty, strength, knowledge, money, generosity, imagination, travel, solitude, nature, etc. 

First, take a moment to pause and reflect back on the events that unfolded in 2018. This includes the things that worked well for you, the things that were challenging, and the desired ideas/plans that never saw the light of day. This could be done artistically on a big sheet of paper, like a collage, or drawing. It could look like a time line of some sort, or even scribbled in a journal that you have longed for. It could be shared with a friend over a cup of coffee, a shoe box containing some of the most precious captures of 2018, or even written in the form of an essay. Without doubt, opportunities are endless. By pausing and working on your reflection project, you may discover something about yourself that you didn’t know before. It will hopefully gently lead you to the idea of better self-acceptance. Let’s say something you have been worried about in 2018 doesn’t hold the same significance as before, or perhaps, you have discovered a particular area of your life where you could use a coach, a mentor, a spiritual guide, or a friend that will cheer you on for your hiking adventures. I have already fallen in love with the idea of working quietly on my day off, mindfully creating my 2018 reflections. 



Now, you got it! So many things were never about you in the first place, and were not in alignment with your true self. However, there is some good news. 2019 is the year to focus on self-love, self-acceptance and self-compassion!Learning to say NO respectfully when already overloaded with responsibilities will improve your performance in more positive ways than you can think of. How about turning off your phone when you are not on duty, or counting your blessings to see that a glass is half full, and not empty? I hope you can nurture your inner child even when things are overwhelming, or anxiety provoking or downright scary. Expanding your support net with positive people and experiences will give you the willingness to stretch and grow against your own rigid unexamined assumptions. It is all OK! Be awake, be brave, or go into hiding-whatever suits you best - do not worry about what others want from you. The transition to 2019 requires a clear vision, a new way of seeing things, and a new way of being in your own body and mind. Clearing the clutter in your home, gardening, exploring new foods, starting a new hobby such as photography, doing coloring books, and learning about anything new will indeed elevate your spirit to new heights. 

For those who are perennially in love with technology, new apps are way to go: Audible helped me as I was sitting in LA traffic; WhatsApp and Viber keeps me connected with my friends from overseas, whereas some of the newest ones like MyFitness Pal, Unstuck, Happier, or Headout are definitely worth exploring. If the news troubles you, simply turn off the TV and join a social movement that you are already passionate about.  

Nevertheless, the blueprint of your happiness lies in the simplest of practices: having good quality sleep, eating more veggies and fruits, sitting less and moving more, staying hydrated throughout day, protecting your eyes and skin from hazardous UV rays, finding (make that stealing!) some quite moments from a busy day, arranging your environment from noise pollution, paying attention to subtle body signals, and above all, playing. Yes, by doing something as simple as cultivating playfulness, you will be able to broaden your horizons and simplify your life drastically in 2019. 

May your journey through the New Year be blessed with imagination, laughter, courage, genuine love and friendship, new possibilities, and passionate curiosity! Please keep an open mind, and be kind to yourself first before extending it to others.