by Mike Martinez

As the new year begins I can’t help but think of the many new beginnings that it will bring. Maybe you’re starting a new job this year. Perhaps you’re moving into a new apartment, house, or maybe even a new city. Maybe this year you’re becoming a Mom or a Dad for the first time. That’s quite a new beginning! Or maybe you’re aching for a new beginning of some sort but it hasn’t seemed to happen yet. Here are few steps to help you open yourself up to the endless possibilities this new year (and your life!) can bring.

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, anger

Step one

Be open to new possibilities by stepping out of your comfort zone. There are many quotes about the negative consequences of staying in your comfort zone. One of my favorites is, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” So if you stay in it, you will not grow. It’s that simple. Get out of your comfort zone by taking risks and trying new things: new foods, new places, new people! You’ll never know what amazing things can come from it! So open yourself up!

Step Two

PURGE! New beginnings. What’s the opposite of new? Old. What might you not want or need any more? Old things. Old habits. Old behaviors. Old negative thoughts! Purging can be mental. Get rid of it all – get rid of negativity to make room for positivity. Purging can also be physical – get rid of some of the clutter in that room or closet; (Yes, I know all about that room you have with all that stuff you haven’t used or thought about in years. Didn’t think I knew about it did you?) Start getting rid of it! Free yourself from it. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel after. Doing these things will make room, both physically and mentally, for new things. Good things. New beginnings.

Step Three

Use your creativity. Create! If you’re a believer you know that God was there when there was nothing. What did he do? He created stuff! He made it happen from NOTHING. If you’re not a believer perhaps you believe in the Big Bang Theory – I’m no physicist but basically it’s the same – there was nothing and then (big) BANG: Something! So now it’s your turn. CREATE! Make your new beginning. Start with nothing and put an idea into it – start with a blank sheet of paper and then start drawing or doodling. Start with a blank canvas if you like to paint and start painting. Start with a blank word document or an empty notebook page and start writing/journaling. Fill it up! Then watch your ideas lead to more and more ideas. Be spontaneous. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. What’s perfect any way? These words you’re reading right now were nonexistent on a blank word document just a little while ago.

Step Four

Take chances and risks. This is very closely related to my first suggestion but I figured it’s a good way to tie this all together. You have to take chances and risks in order to do all of the above. You can sit there and look at the blank sheet, canvas, word document, etc. but you have to actually do something. You need to take that chance. There are no mistakes, only lessons learned. Proceed without regret. Learn from your mistakes. Repeat. You’ll see that every time it’ll be better and better. The most beautiful painting you’ve ever seen was once just a blank canvas. The artist took the chance with those first brushstrokes. So take the chance!

Believe in yourself. Unleash your creativity and potential to bring renewal to yourself. Isn’t it time to hit the refresh button in your life? It’s a fresh new year so why not start now? If your excuse for not starting is that the year has already started and you’re late or a couple weeks behind I challenge you to ask yourself, Why does that matter? Every day is a new beginning. Every second is a new beginning. You can start your new beginning any time you want to. Don’t wait for a new year, new month, or a new week. Start now! What do you have to lose?

Mike headshot midsizedMike has experience working with substance abuse issues, adolescents, Veterans, the elderly, and college students in individual and group settings. Michael’s goal is to assist clients in reaching their full potential by helping them explore within themselves to find their strengths. He pays special attention to building a therapeutic relationship in order to create a safe place for change and growth. Michael provides counseling services to people of many different backgrounds but specializes in helping first-time parents transition. Continue reading here.