I’m sure you’ve noticed it… the influx of marketing that comes around the New Year. All these companies telling you that you need to become something different this year in order to be enough!

December is supposed to be all about love, connection, and buying thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. We all look forward to getting into the Holiday Spirit, having time off work to relax and reconnect with family and friends who we maybe haven’t seen in a while.

But immediately, the second Christmas is over the focus gets changed. It’s all about Boxing Day deals… buying things we don’t even need just because they’re on sale. And then, a few days later comes the celebration to end the year and kick-start the New Year!

But how do we ring in the New Year? Often by being critical of ourselves! We tend to focus on all the ways we didn’t measure up, the bad habits we started, or by imagining what things could look like in the future.

Once again we get swept up into a wave of either living in the past or living in the future and end up missing out on the present!

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been guilty of all this before too! I’ve got pulled into the crazy deals on Boxing Day and also the harsh criticism of feeling like I wasn’t good enough in the previous year!!

For many years I got caught up in the commercial side of the holiday season and focused on the material things. I never felt like I was good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, successful enough… the list goes on.

And when I was living in that place it was so much easier to become distracted by external things that seemed like a magical fix! It was also so easy for me to set resolutions around “fixing” myself instead of learning how to embrace and love myself along the way!

It wasn’t until January 2011 when my perspective on life totally changed and I realized I was caught up in the wrong things. You see, I spent the previous Christmas being pretty gloomy and miserable. I was unhappy with myself and my life, and I took it out on family. I won’t say I ruined Christmas – but I definitely wasn’t embodying the spirit or magic that I should have been!

But come January, I got a call from my mom that changed my life. My brother Derek had just passed away from an allergic reaction to a prescription drug. Life as I knew it was over.

It takes these moments of pain or heartbreak to really reconnect us with what matters in life. In a split second we can go from our normal state to a total state of shock, disbelief, and emotional instability.

Suddenly the things that used to stress you out (like matching the hottest new trend, shedding the weight so you have a flat tummy, or fitting in with the “it” crowd) don’t seem to matter at all. All the material things in the world couldn’t change your mind or your view of things!

Your perspective on life has changed drastically and you can see what is really important. Now you have bigger things to worry about than if you save some money on Boxing Day or if you lose those 20 lbs in the New Year!

When something big happens you are forced to think a bit differently and to start paying attention to what truly matters to you.

I would never have thought of myself as someone who was materialistic or consumed by that side of things, but I was pretty unaware of what truly mattered in life!


What matters to me now is my happiness, my family, listening to my heart and trusting my own voice. I’m no longer pulled by what the media or society tells me is right. I’m no longer chasing approval from people who don’t even matter, or chasing external things to fix me!

I have realized that the one thing I can control in my own life is my happiness. Does my happiness come from a new outfit or losing 5 pounds? Maybe momentarily – but if you are chasing external sources for happiness you will continue chasing them, because there will always be a new goal to reach and thing to obtain!

When you learn to control your happiness from the internal you are finally able to control you life in each moment. This keeps your perspective in check and can help you stay focused on what really matters.

So whether you made a resolution and stuck to it, or whether it’s already fallen to the wayside – be kind to yourself. Reflect on if it truly matters to you and focus on becoming happy with all that you are and all that you already have. That’s what truly matters in the end!



I’m a Release Expert and Energy Healer. I have spent the last 7 years working through grief, sexual assault, trauma from a serious car accident, and other past struggles in order to find peace and happiness in my life. I now help other people do the same, guiding them on how to identify and release the struggles in order to start thriving! I believe we all deserve to live our best lives, but in order to do that we must release the past and shift our mindset to something that will truly serve us!


— Dalai Lama


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