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2013 is THE Year…Or is It?

If you are like me, you are probably rolling your eyes at the influx of advertisements, promotions, articles, etc etc on ANYTHING to do with ‘NEW YEAR - NEW YOU’. It seems every year we are bombarded by this concept of making resolutions and everyone has their input on how to change to make it your best year, how to really ‘keep those resolutions’, how to make this year different and better.

When I was asked to write this article, I have to admit, I was hesitant, I thought, everything has been written on this topic, and I don’t ever want to be phony or give you a bunch of fluff that I wouldn’t actually find helpful myself. So I had to really think about it, I asked myself WHY is it that there is so much pressure to make BIG changes come January?

Well, my realization was enlightening (to me anyway, and hopefully to you): You can make changes at ANY time (who said you couldn’t start a resolution on say June 4th?), but January, is the world’s way of giving us all a fresh new starting line, a new ‘birthday’ - a clean slate. No matter what happened last year, or for the last 10 years, the new year is a time to reflect and look at the world from a fresh new lens. From small resolutions to lifetime goals, I believe New Year’s Day is the world’s way of saying, slow down, decide what you like/dislike about yourself, your life, your world,  and set out to make changes, to be better, feel better, look better, make the world better!

I hope that this is THE year for you, the year where it all seems to click. Yet I have to warn you that we tend to dream big and criticize even bigger. Odds are that next year you'll find yourself in the same boat until you internalize the reality that life is a journey, and we must take action to ENJOY the steps, because it’s the journey we remember, the journey we live!

There is no "there" and there is no "the year." There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ life, but we have the power to take any of what we’ve been handed in this life and make the best of it, to approach EVERY situation, every obstacle, opportunity or challenge with a positive attitude. After all, all of life is subjective, if you think it will be horrible, likelihood is, it will.

Personal Note: I think back to my first year in New York, in retrospect when I tell stories, it sounds terrible. Objectively, it was a very scary time, I had no money, no connections, no friends, no credit history.  In that first year I experienced nights with no place to call home, deportation, injury, illness, financial insecurity and the list goes on. BUT at the time, I was so excited that I was in the BEST place in the world that I never let the bumps drive me away. I embraced each challenge with the attitude of “how to keep propelling forward” versus getting down and admitting that “this must not be the place for me.” I forged ahead and six years later I can confidently say that when I look back, THIS was one of the best lessons I could’ve learned. My entire “starting out in NYC experience” was extraordinary and magical, despite what it may have looked like to the outside world. Why? It was all in the attitude.

So THIS year, my advice is really very short, very simple and yet capable of the most dramatic change:

Life is all in how you CHOOSE to view it. It is just as much effort to have a negative attitude as a positive, so as tempting as it is to take the easier route and get down when things don’t go your way, make the conscious decision to approach it differently, to look at every failure or curveball as an opportunity, to find the beauty in the little things, to ENJOY the steps versus the finish line.

The best thing that we can possibly do is to try to close the gap between where we are now and where we feel like we ‘should’ be.

Realize that there will not be a year when "you've arrived" so all you can do is read the signs along the way, take pleasure in the path, and find the positive in every “ugly” street or wrong direction.

Embrace life.  You are in control of your own happiness.  Be the best version of the person the universe created you to be. This is the best resolution any of us can possibly make.



Amanda Russell is a top-rated fitness and lifestyle writer, professional keynote speaker, Olympic-trained athlete, model, spokeswoman, founder of and one of the industry's leading experts in fitness, wellness and change.  Amanda has her own professional online workout channel and talk show. She can be found writing about life, fitness, wellness and change on her website: To watch Amanda’s show, visit AmandaRussell.TV. She was recently named as one of Google's "Next Top Fitness Trainer's in 2012."

Find more of Amanda on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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