Cheers to the New Year!

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2016 was a year for the books.  No matter where in the world you were this past year, I am sure you were aware of the many historical events that transpired this year.  A woman was nominated for a major party this election year, last year's viral ice bucket challenge led to breakthroughs in ASL research, California is powering over 6 million homes with solar energy, in India volunteers planted 50 million trees in 24 hours, the Episcopal Church solemnized same-sex marriage, Harriet Tubman was voted to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, and the list goes on.

I mention these positive occurrences, because as last year drew to a close I was hearing and seeing many people ushering in 2017 as a reprieve from the events of the year prior. This is not to say that 2016 was easy.  There were terror attacks in France, California, Florida, and many other places; we will be saying goodbye to the Obama's in office; we lost some wonderful artists (Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Prince, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Florence Henderson); Brexit; and conflict in Syria worsening.

Each New Year people make resolutions, set goals, and are going into the new year with an attitude of, "new year, new you."  I wrote about this last year and my thoughts remain the same.  There is no need for a new you in the new year -- chances are you are just fine the way you are. This year I challenge you instead to be a more positive you.  That is my goal for this year: to be a more positive person, in the hopes that this will cause a chain reaction of good. In the words of Harvey Mackay, "Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.”

Feel free to add ideas of your own on how you plan to make a positive impact in 2017!

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