New Year, New Challenges

By Doug Mayberry

January 9, 2017 4 min read




New Year, New Challenges

Q: Every January, I take time to reflect on the past year and see how it matches up to my expectations. Unfortunately, I don't feel like 2016 was a success. I don't want to have the same regretful feeling next year.

What should I change to prevent that from happening?

A: Self-evaluation is a critical component to self-improvement, so ask yourself why you feel dissatisfied with the last year. Your concern may be financial, spiritual, health-related or a variety of others. Be brutally honest with yourself, and look to the root of the problem.

Once you have diagnosed the source of your disappointment, you will be better equipped to deal with it. Make a plan that you can use to accomplish your goals. New Year's resolutions can be powerful — if you follow through with them.

If you struggle with procrastination or low energy, then break your long-term goal into smaller milestones. However, don't make your milestones too small! It's important to prevent yourself from becoming discouraged or putting them off till the last minute.

Check in to your progress throughout the year, instead of reserving your self-evaluation for the end of the year. This way, you can alter your goals to accommodate those roadblocks we all come across in life. You may even be able to surpass your expectations. — Doug


Q: After hosting a few holiday parties and inviting family into my home, I feel exhausted. I fully enjoyed the season, but it feels like enough has been enough. However, I'm having a hard time winding down due to how tired I am.

How can I get through the next couple of weeks?

A. Like many of us, you are feeling a sort of holiday hangover. The last few months of the year tend to be very hectic, especially when we invite others into our home. It can be difficult to return to normalcy after the fast-paced time.

To begin, focus on boxing up the decorations and cleaning the house. Although it takes some effort, you won't have to navigate around a tree or other decorations once you've gotten your home and work environment back to normal. If you procrastinate, you'll be less likely to want to make the effort in the coming weeks.

Once you're done, it's time to wind down for a bit. The most important thing is to reclaim your routines, which the holidays tend to derail. Don't start any major projects or endeavors, as they may feel overwhelming. Instead, use this time to make plans for the year. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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