What is it about this time of year? You’ll probably know what I mean: the frantic run to this often self-imposed deadline of Xmas. Suddenly, we need to have everything done by then!

Then it’s Xmas. So whatever Xmas means for you and how you celebrate or recognise this time of the year, I hope it’s all you want it to be. Quiet or frenetic. With family and friends or by yourself. Working or volunteering. Or simply celebrating the lives and memories of those no longer with you.

At Xmas we know January is waiting in the wings. That the craziness of Xmas will soon be a fading memory as New Year edges closer at an increasing pace. And, if we’re not careful, 2024 will morph into being just another year.

Yet it doesn’t have to. Does it?

I’m fascinated that as the new year approaches, we’re filled with so much optimism about what lies ahead. Often so glad to see the last days of the outgoing year. Ever hopeful the magic of the midnight fireworks, kisses from new friends, champagne toast, or singing Auld lang Syne will somehow mean that this year things will be so different…

Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. You’ll know this time next year.

The magic lies in the hope things will be different. Hope is a beautiful thing that gets us through the tough times. It can turn pessimists into optimists. Or families and friends into believers that it is possible to be, do and have what you want this year.

So, it got me thinking many years ago.

What if we shorten the cycle from a year to a day? Start taking time each night, morning – or both – to refocus and make every day feel like New Year’s Day? Would this rekindle that hope every day?

And then remember that resolutions are simply goals. Goals so often set without realising that’s what they are. Destined to fail before they have a chance to succeed because there is no structure behind them or focus on them.

Even starting with the plan of refocusing every day is a step forward. You may not always achieve it, yet the intention keeps you on track. Especially when life has a habit of putting challenges, situations or events in front of you to test resolve, resilience, resources – and priorities.

Then, a good friend reminded me that, for many, Easter is the symbolic time of renewal. So, maybe we could break the year into ‘halves’ or ‘quarters’? Reviewing progress at Easter and New Year – and two other points in between? Like the end of the financial year and the end of winter.

Well, let’s not overthink it.

It doesn’t matter what time frame you use – a day, week, month, ‘quarter’, year – as long as it works for you. Allows you to refocus. Track progress. Modify your plan. Keep hope and optimism alive each day. Because work for you it must.

So, if you’re grappling with how to make next year different, why not take a fresh approach? One day at a time. A daily reset to keep it simple, no matter how you break up the year. If the only benefit is mastering how to put yesterday behind you as you focus on today, you’ll already be ahead.

On that note, have a fabulous, safe, healthy Xmas and a Happy New Year! Whether you make resolutions or not, may you be filled with all the hope and promise that leaping into 2024 brings.

Anne Whatley-Dale

Founder | work-health-life Strategist and Coach


Anne Whatley-Dale is the founder and driving force behind livepresent. As a work-health-life Strategist and Coach she works with individuals, teams and business-owners to cultivate a customer care, selling, management or life approach based on healthy communication and wellness. Anne can be contacted at:

[email protected] or on 1300 318 692.