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New Year's Resolutions: Seven tips for a more livable New Year

Happy New Year 2010
Happy New Year 2010
AP Photo

 If you are like me, you’re happy to see the back end of this year and are looking forward with renewed hope to the New Year just round the corner.

Here are  some tips for a more livable New Year  that  don’t  need to cost  you money, and if practiced regularly  may even save you som, because you will feel less stressed, and require less self-medication or visits to the doctor. These tips are useful for everyone, not just for people with autism in their lives either as parents or professionals, so feel free to pass them  around. I hope you will adopt one or two of them as your New Year’s Resolutions:


Practice self-care.  Even if it is just for 15 minutes a day, take a breather.  Just like the flight attendants on airplanes instruct you to put the oxygen mask on you before helping a child, you need to take care of yourself first to be able to take care of  others.



Acknowledge what you have accomplished. Too often, at the end of the day, people think about all the things on their to-do list that they have not gotten done.  Do yourself credit – think about all that you did   accomplish that day. You will be amazed at how long that list is, and you will sleep better at night.



Focus on the positive. Nothing in life is perfect. Every situation has appositive and a negative aspect to it.  Focusing on the negative will leave you spinning your wheels. Focusing on the positive will give you the energy you need to  move forward.



Remain true to your life goals and values. If you know what you want, keep your eye on the ball. Evaluate the opportunities that present themselves and ask yourself, “Is this is line with my plan for myself, my family, my community? Is this in line with my values? ” If yes, accept. If not, decline.



Forgive yourself. We’ve all done something or said something we’ve later regretted, or perhaps not behaved or worked up to our usual high standards. Learn from the experience, but don’t dwell on your mistakes.



Forgive others. No-one is perfect, and as you wish to be forgiven by others, you must forgive those around you.



Practice wisdom, serenity, and courage. A wise man once prayed: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” No matter your religious beliefs, we all need that kind of wisdom.

Best wishes to you and your family for a happy, healthy, and wealthy New Year!


  • Lindsey Biel, OTR/L, coauthor Raising A Sensory Sm 5 years ago

    Thank you for this perfect post. It could not be more on target or deeply comforting.

  • Ida Zelaya, 5 years ago

    Yes, Yes, Yes! We all deserve to be high on our priority lists. Thank you for your loving reminder. And thanks to Lindsey for posting a link to your wonderful article on her Raising a Sensory Smart Child facebook page. All the best for a happy, healthy and wonderful 2010.

  • Carrie Fannin, 5 years ago

    A timely nod to parents and caregivers that self-care is critical for family resilience. We will be sharing this throughout our international networks. Warm wishes for 2010!

  • Chantal Sicile-Kira 5 years ago

    Thank you for your comments.
    If you don't take care of yourself, no one else will!
    Bonnee Annee!

  • Andrea Levine 5 years ago

    I just forwarded this to my Facebook page and to my husband! What simple, but often difficult (because we are too busy to focus), suggestions for happiness! I am starting today!!!!
    Thanks so much!!!