A new year has arrived… A year filled with hope, dreams and optimism. You may have figured out your new year’s resolutions or perhaps you set some brave goals. You could also have decided to just ride the wave and take life as it comes. Some of us may be glad that 2015 is finally behind us and hope to never go through a year like it again. For others 2015 may have been so awesome that they wished it would never end and are hoping to have a year like it in 2016. You are either going to love or hate the new year, but for everyone there are 365 days (or is it 366, this being a leap year?) of our life ahead of us.

It often happens that we are so busy being busy, that we blink and the year is already over. The question we need to ask ourselves is “do I live my life or does life live me?” Think about it for a moment. The difference is in the choices we make every day. Do we go about life moaning, complaining and feeling defenceless against life’s trials and tribulations? Or do we participate in life, see setbacks as opportunities to grow from and buffer ourselves against mass negativity, choosing to take charge of our actions, thoughts and behaviours? It’s the same analogy of the glass being half empty or full.

Imagine you’re going on a road trip. The thing about this road trip is that it’s going to take the whole year. . You know where you want to go and you’ve researched your destination.

You must now decide how you are going to get there, what mode of transport you will be using, how long you will be travelling for, and who will be joining you on your trip? You’ve planned and prepared for months and finally the departure day has arrived. But as it works out, you are not that excited any more. Your travel mates are all sick, the weather has turned bad and there are all sorts of obstacles and complexities. So what now? Do you go and make the most of it or postpone or cancel altogether or maybe go but moan the entire time?

This journey I’ve just described is your life and you’ll go through it every day, with some days being great and others not so great. Choosing how you embrace challenges and trajectories will be the determining factor for you in 2016. It will be necessary to accept that some events are beyond your control, disappointing, unfair or even life-changing. Remember at all times that your attitude is your choice. Do you choose to see the negative in the situation or will you seek out the positive? When things get tough it might seem impossible to see the positive; you always need to keep moving forward.

Make the decision in 2016 to look for what is going well every day and acknowledge what you are thankful for. Get into the habit of asking family and friends what is awesome in their life right now and notice how conversations change. This is the fuel that you need to get through those difficult days.

May 2016 be a year of growth and opportunities for you, because you choose to grow and continue to learn!