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It’s here.

The start of a new year is upon us, but, lately, I feel like I’ve been wrapped in so many conversations about what a great year 2012 was for  many of us. It was, no doubt, a year of leaps, a year of trying new things, a year of some pretty crazy tragedies, but also a year for triumphs and heroes.

Now more than ever, I think lists like this one are important to spark hope, newness, and positivity in all of us. The List this month is dedicated to reflection, to clearing slates and starting fresh, and for unearthing passion and love from within that will be strong enough to carry us through 2013.

I am incredibly grateful to be able to share this list with you today. Here’s to hoping your New Year’s Day will plow forward into a bright and happy year.

New to THE LIST?

THE LIST is a monthly post featuring the top five inspiring finds that hit me at my core. Morsels so good that I cannot possibly think of keeping them to myself. Good works, good people, good books, and good movies—all rolled into one post. Missed the last list? Check it out here!

THE LIST for January features five refreshing ventures and game changers:

The Desire Map

I am not afraid to make a claim of how beneficial this program can be to your New Year and your life in general. The Desire Map is an innovative approach to changing your life and the way you’ve always looked at goal-setting.

The Desire Map’s creator, Danielle LaPorte, never fails to put the best material forward when it comes to pushing others into living to their full potential. We chatted about the The Desire Map this past December, and it propelled me into dreaming bigger for myself and Positively Positive in the New Year. This is the kind of program that will suck you in, challenge you greatly, and keep you on your toes as you process the question, How do you want it all to feel?

What Brought Us Together

This video is goosebump-inducing. YouTube user Jean-Louis Nguyen compiled some of the most compelling footage of the year into a stunning montage as a tribute to many of the moments of 2012 that knit us tight together.

I thought, “Wow, this has been some year.” A lot of ground was covered. We were called to be strong through great sadness. This video is proof of what a big year 2012 was for our world. I am also certain it will leave you in awe over the potential that 2013 holds to be just as good.

Watch, reflect, and think about what kind of footprints you want to make in the New Year.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Believe it or not, there is a science in habits, how they are formed, and how they are broken.

In The Power of Habit by award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg, we learn just why habits exist and how they can be changed. It is a pretty useful thing to know during this time of year when the world seems crazed with resolutions.

This is a book that holds such transformative power, especially for any who have ever wondered why New Year’s resolutions don’t seem to make it past January 5th. Approaching real case studies and notable figures with a story to tell, Duhigg will challenge you to dig deeper into how to make and break habits in your own life.

Skip Around the World

Imagine a world if we all looked at others and saw the innocent child in them that we all once were.
Eric Handler

A fun project and something lighthearted for you to delight in, this great project was started by Positively Positive blogger Brian Kessler. Skip Around the World chronicles just what you would imagine: skipping. In different places. All over the world.

It all started with a friendly debate: Can you skip without smiling? After some experimentation, Brian discovered that, not only was it difficult to skip without smiling, it was also difficult to observe someone skipping without smiling. So they thought, wouldn’t it be nice to encourage people all over the world to skip? Thus, the Skip Around The World project was born.

This project is a reminder to delight in the little things about life and how much power they hold. Something as simple as skipping could be the thing to brighten a day and cause a laugh. It makes you think of the positive impact we have and the power in the smallest of actions.

Helping Newtown

It has been a few weeks since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, but the atrocity still feels so real and heavy. I think it is safe to say that many were looking for outlets and ways to help the residents during the holiday season. This kind of giving doesn’t end after the holiday lights and candles get packed up.

There are many amazing avenues for helping the people of Newtown as they push forward and build back up their town. I’m sure all donations to those affected are greatly appreciated.

Nick Ortner, a friend and resident of Newtown, has started an awesome initiative as a thoughtful response to what happened on December 14, 2012. “The Tapping Solution for Newtown: Stress and Trauma Relief Project” will (when appropriate) work with those affected, directly or indirectly, in Newtown and the surrounding areas to prevent future PTSD by victims and people involved.

This campaign is really fueled with generosity. Nick and his crew are giving away The Tapping Solution as a free gift to anyone who donates $15 to the fund. It is a worthy cause that might spark something in you for 2013. Check it out!

I recognize that money and efforts cannot heal a broken heart or restore something that has been lost, so I do encourage all of us to be intentional about making January, and 2013, a time to cultivate relationships, to tell people how we truly feel, and to grow in solidarity. Life is simply too short to let friendships slip for small reasons and to treat one another without the dignity and respect we all deserve.

2013 will be a big year for our community. I wish for you much love, health, and prosperity! The best is yet to come!

Digging what’s on the list this month? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comment section. And remember, This List only grows more valuable with your contributions—share your own favorite finds in the comments. I’m always searching for more inspiration, and your suggestions might be featured in an upcoming post!


Eric Handler is the publisher and co-founder of Positively Positive. Check out his TEDx talk. Follow Eric on TWITTER.