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Welcoming the New Year

Every year, the holiday season gives us so much to look forward to; the decorations and lights, singing holiday carols, but most importantly, gathering with family and friends. After everything we endured last year, this year’s celebrations are more meaningful. They allow us to see the importance of not taking things for granted. Life is about accepting and allowing change. It is our response to change that determines our quality of life. As we enter 2022, I invite you to really examine how you spend your time and if there are any adjustments you want to make.

We evolve when we make adjustments that improve our quality of life. We do this through modifying our daily habits and practices like taking more walks around campus to stay fit or socializing more often with neighbors. Throughout our lives we have been evolving; becoming better versions of who we are. We can do this at every age by being mindful about what we want and doing our best everyday to live our full potential. Doing our best often involves trial and error – trying new things and seeing what works for you. To do our best, we must be willing to fail. This takes courage and support from our peers. We support others in doing this by recognizing their strength in trying something new and recognizing that failure is part of the process of learning.

English actor Russell Brand once said, “Life is not linear, but neither is it circular. It’s a spiral. And as we grow, we notice the same things come around, but we see them from a higher perspective or with a deeper understanding.” This describes the process of evolving and cultivating wisdom.

This year, rather than making a resolution to do something different, look at areas of your life where you want to see improvement. Explore possible new actions that you might want to create that will bring you more joy, excitement, and make a general improvement in your life. The act of learning something evolves us and allows us to grow.

Life is a series of beginnings and endings, some happy, some not so much. Focusing on new beginnings allows us to look towards the future. The New Year is a good time to stop and take inventory of one’s life to ask, “What do I want?” and “How can I create it?” This year—more than ever—is important to look for new actions you will take. Life is too short to be afraid of what could go wrong; rather, be excited about what could go right. Start with identifying what you do for yourself each day that nourishes you and see if you can do more of that. Remember, difficult situations are opportunities for growth and overcoming difficulties is how we evolve.


Penny Vittoria
Successful Aging Coach



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