Randy W. Green, Ph.D."The most positive men are the most credulous." - Jonathan Swift "Five...four...three...two...one...Happy New Year!"New Year's.Eve”: The mother of all anchors. An opportunity to remember the things you most want to forget. Its a time for endings and new beginnings; or new beginnings for things gone awry.  It's a time for justifying past hardship and finding the courage to look forward; or to find rhyme or reason in one's life.  This poem is dedicated to "second chances"...For many people, this past year produced little to no rhyme or reason; just tremendous upheaval and change. In contrast, others emerged from the chaos that befell them to discover order in comfort and strength. But it's January now. The music has stopped; the silence interrupted only by the gently falling snow which colors the immediate future. Now is the time for reflecting and looking forward. A time to pause and reflect upon the events of the past year and how they affected each of you: What needed to change; what remained the same; and the effects upon your priorities. It is not uncommon during this process for people to "look back" painfully at what was missing (as opposed to what they would like to have present). And in the process, lament the absence of things that "should have been." People often repeat their failings-- the love that slipped away; the job which disappeared, suddenly, ephemerally, like fog on a summer morning, internally; an endless din. Grading their lives during the year, they would gladly accept a "D", but in honesty, would likely assign themselves an "F." Just the sort of thing that makes a person want to "wash his hands" of the entire year. Quick! Where is the "sink" to which one can go to "wash his hands" of things? Many people would book a flight there. So how does one know to have these unpleasant associations? Our negative beliefs guide us-- sew our fate. For example, we can choose to believe that misfortune will befall us, uninterrupted, for an undetermined length of time. Then behave in ways which confirm that belief. Access several "reasons" why seeking employment is a waste of time-- there are no jobs; the economy is depressed; the time of year-- immediately following the Holidays-- is not conducive to finding a job, I am the "wrong" age, and so forth. Since New Year's often represents a time to make changes, it might be useful to decide to alter the underpinnings of your unpleasant experiences: Your beliefs! Include among those changes, one in which unpleasant, negative beliefs become challenged and replaced by those with new meanings: beliefs more encouraging of success in some endeavor; an oasis in the desert of thoughts. Truly the pause that refreshes: A positive outlook to balance the scales. More useful beliefs generate behaviors that are conducive to achieving useful outcomes.Consider what needs to occur this year in order for you to feel a sense of accomplishment; free from stress. What will have to happen in order for you to feel successful during the forthcoming year? What new goals can you establish? How will you know when they have been achieved? Allow for flexibility. What if the action one takes toward the pursuit of a goal needs to be modified? Does this mean that person has failed? Certainly not! Changes which incorporate new information that may not have existed at the outset, exemplify a phenomenon known as "requisite variety." This basically means people have the ability to utilize new information to modify their behavior in order to meet challenges head-on; and still succeed! Anticipate the consequences of your actions and act accordingly. Make this year one worth reminiscing about next New Year's Eve.