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Five years ago, I stopped making those empty promises to myself, otherwise known as New Year’s resolutions. After not being disciplined enough to do whatever I vowed I’d do each year, including (but not limited to) less shopping and restaurants, and quitting my obsession with potato chips and chocolate. None of those things ever lasted more than 30 days.

I replaced resolutions with a practice I call “Name the Year.” Yes, it sounds like a game show question, but it’s effective. Before the end of each year, I decide what tone I want the next 365 days to take and give it a name. I consciously keep the name in mind as the year progresses.

I’ve had some good years: 2010 was the year of prosperity—I met all of my financial goals. Last year was the year of exploration—I made an effort to see more of the world, and I did.

Giving my new year a name has taught me to look for the best in people, experiences, and myself. I rarely get down in the dumps because I know if I come up short or something bad happens then I’ve got to continue to work harder and move forward with a purpose.

Read the rest  on Uptown Magazine.

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