New beginnings can be exciting or stressful. For many, the new year can be motivating, a new opportunity to finally reach certain goals and create that vision you have desired for so long of how you want your life to look like. For many others, the new year can be fearful, depressing and anxiety producing. Even though 2015 looked very promising a year ago, some of you will review the last 12 months with disappointment and feeling of having been defeated once again. Therefore, it can be daunting to imagine that 2016 will be any different. This will definitely zap your confidence away before you can even start imagining an amazing new year.

We don’t want that! So, let’s start 2016 differently. There are several things you can do to start this new year differently and feeling confident. First, you want to set yourself up to win and succeed. Before you even write down any goals, you want to review 2015 and change your perspective on it. If you had a great year, that is fabulous and you want to celebrate yourself for it. You can write a list of all the things you accomplished or feel good about that happened in 2015 and acknowledge yourself for having created your goals by celebrating. Do something special for yourself that means a lot to you or that is fun. It could be getting a massage, buying yourself a gift, going to a special restaurant, dancing with your favorite music or sending yourself a congratulation card! Remember that things you can acknowledge yourself for can include having reached a goal, having changed a behavior for the better, having improved your way of thinking, having lessen the negative internal dialogue, being more loving towards yourself or others, or having implemented more self-care. When creating your celebration, be creative and make it fun for YOU!

If 2015 was not so great, you want to review the year without beating yourself up. Write a minimum of 10 things you accomplished or feel grateful for. Look at all the things you can acknowledge yourself for that happened during the last 12 months. I promise there will be more than 10 but write at least 10 of them. Once you have made your list, write a letter of forgiveness to yourself for all the things you are still beating yourself up for or that you didn’t accomplish. Think of things you might feel shameful about, guilty about, or anything that you use against yourself to make yourself wrong or not good enough. Pretend that you are a child who did not get all the support, resources and love you needed in 2015 and write a letter from the perspective of a wise and loving parent, teacher or grand-parent. Have the wise adult tell the child that she did not have what was needed to create all of her goals or vision and that she is completely forgiven. Let the child know how loved and capable she is and that you, as the wise and loving adult, will be there for her in 2016 to support her the best way possible.

Once you have changed your perspective on 2015, and have forgiven yourself, you can now begin to create a new vision for 2016. In order to set yourself up to win and succeed, write down your goals by asking yourself the following questions:

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