Before you rush on to goals and resolutions for 2017, take some time over the next few days to remember and celebrate what was good for you in 2016. Research shows that our mind set does shape our experience, and that reminiscing about the past in a positive way greatly increases our happiness levels and sets us up to have more positive moments in the future. It turns that gratitude and appreciation are two of the foundation pillars of happiness .
As you look back on the year, what were the things you are most grateful for? What were the moments that took your breath away? What were the achievements you were most proud of? What did you learn? Who were the people that made the last year rich for you? What were the new places you saw or boundaries you broke through? What were the unexpected opportunities this last year presented ? What were the times you had the most fun? What were the occasions that you really made a difference to others? Who were the new friends you made or older relationships that you deepened? What pet projects did you complete or undertake? What were the deepest moments of spiritual connection for you?

So take the time today or tomorrow to write about or talk to friends/family about who and what you appreciated most in 2016 and create a positive launching pad to the future.

To encourage you, I am sharing some of my own highlights of the year:

When I look back on 2016, by a mile, what I am most grateful for, is the complete healing transformation and prognosis for my grand-nephew in the UK. Caleb was born last July, after a very difficult and prolonged birth, and was transported immediately to a specialised neonatal unit in Brighton. He was on life support, unable to breathe or feed himself, and with suspected brain damage due to anoxia. All of the family and some good friends united in praying and holding a picture of the perfect state of health for him. Within a week, he was breathing and feeding normally, and best of all, neurological tests revealed that there was no brain damage. The photos taken on the day after birth and a week later show a remarkable transformation, and he has just continued to thrive and fulfill all the developmental milestones.

2016 also stands out for me as a great year for travel. I began last January with a yoga course in Morocco, and finished up in December with a trip to Cuba. In between there were a couple of trips to France and a trip to the Bahamas, which just happened to include an overnight in New York, where I got to join my son, Dan, for his birthday celebration! So a magical year for fun and travel, and deepening friendships on the way! I should say, that my New Year resolution last January, was to say “yes” to more invitations and opportunities! My travels this year have also given me an even greater appreciation for this lovely country of ours, which gives us such great personal freedom, education and opportunities.

I am grateful that my work continues to prosper, and for the opportunities I had to work in a positive way with so many people individually, in my own courses,in the third level colleges in which I teach and counsel, and in so many different settings where I present. One highlight this year was participating in the Institute of Banking ‘s International Womens’ Day celebrations: great to present on Spirit and Meditation to so many positive and successful women! I also greatly enjoyed presenting to many different groups of teachers, my favourite probably being to the staff of St. Brigid’s Boys NS just across the road, which my own lads attended. Great to see so many Irish schools embracing Mindfulness and positive mental training.

As a mother, I was delighted this year to see the vision and dedication of my three children rewarded with success in their chosen fields: Julianne making not one,but two movies two movies with Tailored Films, Kevin having a brilliantly successful year and building a great team in Educogym Baggot Street. I was thrilled that my youngest son Dan, had the opportunity to do the Educo seminar in February. On the seminar, he had such a deep experience of connection with Life/God/Spirit and forged a vision for his music. All sorts of opportunities came his way this year: from working on stage productions in Dublin and New York with Bill Whelan, being artist in residence at a musical venue in LA, laying down tracks for his EP with some brilliant up and coming musicians, and now heading out on a US tour with Five Irish Tenors for whom he has arranged their large repertoire. His career as a full time musician is truly launched!

Most of all, I am grateful to my family and friends for your love,humour,support and inspiration. its great to have so many wonderful companions on life’s journey ………..

So back to you: what are your highlights of 2016? If some negative stuff comes up, just ignore it for the moment, and dwell more on “the good stuff”. Research shows that the happiest of people have just as many negative events in their lives as those who are less happy. What makes the difference is what you focus on, where you habitually”live”mentally. So take this opportunity to create “a happy home life” in your own brain!

May 2017 be full of joy, health, peace and prosperity for all of us.