We all agree that 2016 was a most challenging year. Many of us anticipate this new year with some trepidation, but simultaneously great hope, sustained by our belief in the resiliency of human spirit.

To actively shape a better 2017 and beyond, let us constrain stress to more manageable levels (some can be good for us!). We can learn to distinguish between external issues that are beyond our control and focus on these instead:

  • our attention

Think of attention as a flashlight. What do we want to shine it on?

  • our actions

How are we spending our time? Do things that matter and that reflect our values.

  • our breath

It’s easy to take breathing for granted, but breathing is a powerful and simple tool to help calm the mind and regulate emotions.

  • our circle

We cannot change people, but we can choose and cultivate relationships with people who bring out the best in us.

  • our diet

Every bite we take can either fortify or deplete us. Skip the afternoon donut and actively decide to make healthy choices.

  • our generosity

Make the effort to be kind and to give to others.

  • our time

If we spend our free time binge watching TV or flipping through Instagram, remember this is a choice WE are making.

  • forgiveness 

As the old saying goes, “Life becomes easier when we learn to accept an apology we never got.”

  • our activity

Do we take the stairs or the elevator? Seemingly small decisions to build more activity into our day can make a big difference in our physical and mental health.

All these things are within our power to control. Make the most of them and live a better year and life!

source: adapted from the positive prescription by samantha boardman, “what can you control“, published december, 2016