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Starting the New Year Afresh

written by Senia Maymin and Kathryn Britton 2 January 2012

Senia Maymin and Kathryn Britton are the senior editors of PositivePsychologyNews.com. Together they have edited two books in the Positive Psychology News series: Resilience: How to Navigate Life's Curves and Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life's Gifts. Kathryn co-edited the third book in the series, Character Strengths Matter, with Shannon Polly. Their co-authored articles are here.

Senia Maymin, MAPP '06, is the coauthor of Profit from the Positive. Maymin is an executive coach to entrepreneurs and CEOs. Her PhD is in organizational behavior from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Full Bio. Her solo articles are here and her articles with Margaret Greenberg are here.

Kathryn Britton, MAPP '06 also co-authored Smarts and Stamina on using positive psychology principles to build strong health habits. Blog. Full bio. Her solo articles are here.

Editor’s Note: To celebrate the beginning of 2012, we asked our PPND authors what they’d like to share with you. Most of the following suggestions have a link to an earlier PPND article that explores the point. Happy New Year!

Angus Skinner: “Keep calm and carry on.” That was the 2nd World War slogan prepared in Britain in case of invasion but never then used. Associated article: Do not take the contemplative panic!

Marie-Josée Shaar: Take time for yourself. We’re way too busy chasing goals, and are often ineffective at it because we don’t see clearly through all that busyness. Plus, what’s the point of life if we take away all that makes it worth living? Associated article: When Overworking leads to Underperforming

Amanda Horne: Don’t make a new year’s resolution to fix all your faults in your life. Decide instead to take a few moments each day to remind yourself about your strengths and values, and how these can lead you to live your day mindfully and wisely. Editor’s note: Amanda didn’t identify one of her articles, but this one by Gail Schneider matches her point: Appreciative New Year’s Resolutions.

Christine Duvivier: Look at the advice-giver and ask yourself, “Is she doing what she’s telling me to do?” Personally, I’m going to try looking for reasons to feel good. Associated article: No Worries, Andy! Immunize Yourself Against Job Anxiety.

Senia Maymin: To turn your goals into habits in order to be able to follow them daily. To relax. For the three things that are most important in your life, make rituals, make habits. Plan to do the same thing every evening. For the fourth thing and following, drop them as much as you can to pave way for the top three things. Associated article: Making Rituals.

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” (Chinese proverb)”

Elaine O’Brien: On the theme of true joy, I’d say, “Seek true joy and you will meet God.” Personally, I’ve witnessed too much suffering this year. It can be heartbreaking because friends were hurting from other losses. There was tragedy. It’s a lot to bear at times, and we all experience suffering in the world. Friends, the love of my family, and Positive Psychology have personally kept me afloat, anchored, and hopeful.

Flower of Hope

Positive Psychology found me “officially” 5 years ago. It was after the loss of my beloved dad, Armando Perrotta. It feels like my dad’s hand is leading me. He was a model of realistic optimism, modesty, strength, and love for his family. It was a completely serendipitous experience. Being immersed in the art and science of optimism and pure potential positive energy lifts my heart. Martin Seligman’s PERMA – harnessing our Positive Emotions, Engagement (flow), Relationships that are positive (with ourselves, our bodies, and others), Meaning in life, and Achievement around well-being – inspires my days. This simple model ties in to message of Capitalism at the Crossroads: Next Generation Business Strategies for a Post-Crisis World.

Associated articles: I love my articles about Medical Wellness in Action for the New Year and The Surgeon General piece.

Jeremy McCarthy: Work hard. Play hard. Love people. Associated article: On Physical Flourishing.

Emily VanSonnenberg: Every day is a new year. Associated article: Resolving New Year’s Resolutions.

Lisa Sansom: Enjoy it!!!

Louisa Jewell: To be more mindful and in the moment.

Ryan Niemiec: Consider whether you are “visiting” life or fully “engaging” in it. If the former, how might you use your signature strengths to make the most out of this coming year? Associated article: The Visitor: The Positive Snowball Effect.

Steve Safigan: Forgive yourself. You’re probably the only person holding back. Associated article: Self-kindness: A Healthier Alternative to Self-Esteem?

Sulynn Choong: TURN OFF those gadgets and LIVE !! Associated article: How do you share positive psychology with strangers?

Orin Davis: Collect the advice and insights of others, but then make your own path. Associated article: Reverse Engineering Positive Psychology.

Wisdom - seeds of light

Kathryn Britton: : I’d like borrow two ideas from Forrest Church, a Unitarian minister who wrote and spoke about living close to death before he died of cancer in 2009. In one sermon, The Summer of Our Content, he explores the miracle that each of us represents. I looked for the numbers: out of the 1 to 2 million eggs that a mother is born with and out of the vast collection of sperm a father produces at an approximate rate of 12 billion per month, one particular egg met one particular sperm to produce each of us. It is enchanting to think of beating such fantastic odds, not just once but generation after generation back to the beginning of life. He also suggested in his sermon, How to Make the Most Out of Hard Times, that the way to reclaim life from fear’s dominion is to “Want what you have, do what you can, and be who you are.”

Drop on leaf courtesy of Ben Matthews
Flower of Hope courtesy of Madalena Pestana
Wisdom: Seeds of light courtesy of h.koppdelaney

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1 comment

Erika 2 January 2012 - 12:03 pm

Thanks for these! Looks like I will have some inspiring reading to do in the new year!


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