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You can make a fresh start every day

Is today your birthday? Or is it your anniversary? Perhaps you are reading this on a holiday. Whatever special event or holiday it might be, it is always a fresh start in your life. That is something to celebrate. If you see Jan. 1 as an opportunity to make resolutions and look to the next 365 days to make strides in accomplishing change, then you’ve taken the first step. Many individuals are filled with hope and renewed enthusiasm about making changes on the first day of a new year. Whatever motivates this thought process to begin is what works in a unique way for each of us. The journey will only successfully continue with a full commitment and support. One person can make the difference, not family or friends or an organized group, but one’s self. Grit, determination, will, positive attitude, and focus are words that describe for me the atmosphere needed to set the course.This is why I have not made any resolutions this year. January 1 is not any different than Sept. 1. We all have opportunities to make changes every day. Resolve to make a difference on any day of your choosing. A model for evaluating a year past is not to look at just what you did, but instead what you learned. Look at the small picture, and set your direction for the day embracing each opportunity for growth. Planning the next 365 days is the framework, but living the next 24 hours is the foundation.A thought that has always had significance to me expresses that what the caterpillar thinks is the end, the butterfly knows is the beginning. You can achieve this same transformation in your inner nature. The cocoon phase can be long and enduring, but when the enlightenment state hits you have evolved. The use of imagery is a powerful tool. Think about it, accept the idea, and focus on the possibility and you will alter some aspect of your personal landscape.Every day is a new beginning. How are you involved in your community? Have you thought of reaching out and becoming involved in a new activity? At YouthZone we work with youth and families to improve communication and life dynamics. We focus on people’s strengths, and from that vantage point, polish the rough edges as we create options for change. As you look to the next hour or 24 hours and ponder proactive changes for yourself, consider expanding that vision to include making a difference in someone else’s life. Ask around and you will find many nonprofit organizations that need a helping hand. Some of these possibilities include mentoring at YouthZone, being the supportive voice on a crisis line, enriching a world by teaching reading to those unable to do so, or visiting shut-ins. Don’t limit yourself. Take a chance and experiment with something new that broadens your horizon. Enjoy this moment as you contemplate your many fresh starts. Joye Cole is a YouthZone intern studying for her MSW at Colorado State University.


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