It is an annual occurrence. We run on autopilot from Thanksgiving through Christmas, and then around the 26th, we start to think about new habits we want to create and bad habits we want to ditch. Evaluating what hasn’t been serving our purpose, and what we need to change in order to be more fulfilled. For some reason we have a difficult time implementing new strategies in the present moment; as if we must wait for a momentous occasion that clearly marks new beginnings. Does the split second between December 31st and January 1st possess some kind of transformational magic? Do we really need a specific calendar date to create our best lives?

Nope. We really don’t.

The biggest challenge is realizing the potential for renewal you have in every moment. If you focus on staying present instead of mulling over the past or anxiously awaiting the future, you can harness the power of your intention and make what seems impossible, possible. Obsessing about what you did and did not do in the past, and fearfully projecting into the future is your fear-mind limiting your potential.

Once you release the fear, you can stay rooted in the here-and-now and develop present-moment awareness. You can begin to truly discover what you want more, and less, of in your life based on who you are NOW, rather than on how you have behaved in the past. Recognize you are a work-in-progress, which is a process that thankfully never ends. Realize that at any moment you can declare a Do Over—to create that magic split-second of New Year’s transformation—any day of the week. You can decide right now that negative experiences from your past will not predict your future. Now is not then. And no matter how familiar it may feel, this present moment has never happened before. Instead of fearing what may happen, harness the mind-blowing power of your intention to create what you want to happen.

Whether it’s now because New Year’s is right around the corner, or at any other time throughout the year, here is a great exercise to get you on the path to sustainable change.

Create three separate lists:

1. What’s Not Serving Your Greatest Good?

Write down experiences, feelings, people, and circumstances that are not serving your greatest good. This is a list of anything that you are simply not going to drag with you into 2012. Process what you have written, share with a trusted friend, and burn it, releasing that negative energy back into the universe, and out of your heart and mind. Consciously feel the release of this energy and be grateful.

2. What Are the Life Lessons Learned?

Write down what you have learned from your experiences on list number one. Even the most difficult situations have a gem—you just have to look. Save this list.

3. What Is Your Dream Life?

Write down what your ideal life looks like. This list should be written in the present tense and include all areas of your beautiful, amazing experience: love, health, family, wealth, friends, career, fitness, spirituality, etc.

Here’s a sample of how this list could read:

I am so happy and grateful that I am . . .

Meditating daily

Sleeping seven hours a night

Writing in my journal

Turning off the television and sitting down to a family dinner with real conversation

Eating fruits and veggies at every meal

Walking thirty minutes per day

Making time for creative activities.


Put this list somewhere where you will see it often. When you look at it, take a second to close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and feel this ideal.

Allow yourself plenty of time to reflect before you craft your lists.

Remember: You are the architect of your life experience. So commit to creating your best year/month/day/minute regardless of the date on the calendar.

Share your lists here and get support from our amazing Positively Positive community in releasing the past and creating your dream life now!

Happy 2012. Let’s make it the best year yet!

Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. For almost two decades, Terri has empowered companies, celebrities, professional athletes, and individuals to Live Fearless and Free. Currently, Terri is wrapping up her first solo book project, “Flip Over and Float—8 Steps to Sustainable Change,” filming “The Conversation” for the Lifetime Network, executive produced by Demi Moore, set to launch February 2012. Terri can also be seen as the guest transformation expert on A&E’s Monster In-Laws. In addition to her website, Terri can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.