If nobody has told you this already, well done. I won't go as far as to say congratulations, but seriously, give yourself a pat on the back.

Well done. In the past two years you have been tried and tested; pulled and stretched. If you're reading this right now then you made it. You survived. You persevered. You held fast against the odds.

The last few years have been harsh and unforgiving, but here we are.

Persistence may not seem like an achievement. Survival may not feel like success. But however you may feel about your other recent accomplishments, survival is enough.

Each day is another opportunity. A fresh gift of 24 hours. Each year is a chance to take a leap forward. To find the courage, knowledge and diligence that may have previously escaped you.

You get a chance to decide that this year will be different. This year will bring change. This could be the year that you catapult your career into another stratosphere. Or it may be the year that you finally learn to rest.

Take care of yourself. Preserve your body and your mind. You've still got a long way to go. Mountains to climb. Rubicons to cross. But as you look out over the horizon at all the vague possible futures, first know that what you see is yours to conquer.

This year will be what you make of it. It's all in your hands now.

Exciting, isn't it?

Areas for growth

Goals often have a rather narrow focus. The gaps between your couch cushions of active attention are where best intentions fall and gather, until one day in the distant future as you're moving furniture to make space for change and all those dreams and forgotten plans tumble out and confront you from the carpet.

Then you gasp as you sift through them and think about all the possible futures that might have existed if only you could keep track of your hopes and plans and great expectations.

What are your opportunities for growth this year?

How might you be a better sibling? A better parent? A more loving child? A good ancestor?

How can you use the days ahead to create special moments and impress upon loved ones how truly special their continual presence is to you? How can you make them feel cherished?

What feelings do you want to evoke in the minds of people you encounter? How much might that shape how you dress, what you say, how you carry yourself and how you spend your time? Is there room for modification? Could your actions be better aligned with your intentions?

And what about your work? Whatever labour your hands turn to each day, is it something that fills you with misery and swelling dread each night? Or is there room for joy and excitement.

Is the thing you fear something you could rise to? Something that could be overcome with confidence and competence?

Is the sense of incompetence or unfulfillment simply a monster in your mind? What could you learn this year? What could you overcome? What could you do to prove your better senses right, and show just how much you're capable of?

Where do you lack discipline? Where do you lack faith? Where are spectres of past encounters holding you back? What might you change, intentionally, to truly be happy?

Mo Gowdat has a paradigm that happiness is simply the gap between reality and expectation.

When you expect more than you receive, you may fall into sadness. When you yearn for more than you can achieve you might feel frustrated and lost.

To what extent does your current standard of happiness lie in the hands of others?

How much is really within your control? And how might you adjust your expectations to appreciate that?

Refine your parameters and set your own standard for success.

Good luck, and well done!

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