Looking for certainty? Well, you know what they say: There are only three things in life that are certain: death, Adobe updates, oh, and taxes. Speaking of which, the nicest feeling is when you receive a tax refund, until you realize it was your own money in the first place. But seriously, you may feel that every time you “get with the program,” someone changes the channel.

Would you say that you are on some kind of spiritual journey in your life? Are you trying to become more and more self-aware? Because if you forgot that part – sorry, but no real psychological growth can ever take place. In preparation for takeoff, please make sure all negativity is properly stowed away. Expect sunshine and good attitudes on your trip. P.S. Enjoy the ride.

It’s not easy to spend the day paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. In fact, most of us have no clue what our inner wounds are – or how to even begin to heal them. What makes you tick? You may know what is going on outside of you, but how about your inner landscape? How attuned are you to what goes on inside of you and why? Perhaps you are still holding onto the past. Don’t you hate it when people can’t let go of the past? Debt collectors are the worst.

Do you sometimes bend the truth just a tad? Do you shy away from conflict at any cost? Most of us have one negative emotion that we desperately try to avoid. We even go to harmful lengths or try to numb ourselves so as not to feel sad, angry, or disappointed with ourselves or others. Not only does that not work, but it may actually increase our guilt, anxiety, or even shame. Lose-lose situation, my friends. Instead of avoiding the feeling, try listening to what that emotion is trying to say to you.

Can you state your strongest beliefs? Are you usually aware of your feelings? What are some of your habits? If you live your life never questioning your perspectives and presumptions, and simply follow your impulses, you may end up making the same mistakes over and over again.

So why do so few work on authentic self-understanding, you ask. Simple: because it shatters the image we have of ourselves. We have to sacrifice our ego, pride, and vanity – and for most, that is unthinkable.

But despite that, I’ll bet that you want loving relationships, a more positive mindset, and to live a truly fulfilling life. Just how grateful are you these days? They say every day is a gift. But where’s the receipt for Mondays? Can’t we exchange it for another Friday? Sheesh. Tuesday is not so bad; it’s a sign that you survived Monday. Nevertheless, don’t let thoughts of Monday steal your Sunday.

Your life is kind of like when you’re about to sneeze, and then don’t. I get it. What has life-changing power in you? It’s time to discover what your graces and gifts are. Take stock. Please do not become overwhelmed by every failing and flaw you perceive. Don’t you fret. Fake diamonds appear perfect. Real ones have flaws. We all fall short in a myriad of ways, sweet friends. Perhaps you need to rediscover some polish and panache you already have. Always be on the lookout for benefits and blessings in the year ahead.

If life handed you a dumpster fire, it’s not easy to simply roast marshmallows. But if you can’t change your fate, change your attitude. Your attitude determines how well you do just about everything. The truth is that life is not about avoiding the bruises, but learning from the scars we’ve collected. It all takes effort. If you think you can get something for nothing – trust me: You just haven’t been billed yet.

Not too motivated, eh? Today’s hairstyle is: “I didn’t brush my teeth either.” If you find yourself exasperated and irritated, try to use the aggravation to shape and challenge you. Look at the sunny side, or at least find the funny, ironic one. You won’t injure your eyesight by looking on the bright side. Take a laugh break every day. It’s the most fast-acting way to relax. Just remember: Laughing at your own mistakes can lengthen your life, but laughing at somebody else’s can shorten it. Heh.

I’ll bet there are some behaviors that seem to pop up over and over again even if they lead to unfavorable outcomes. Start by looking for patterns in the way you think about what happens to you. Can you find any? When something happens, how do you tend to react? What’s your default setting? Someone tells you not to do something – so you do it twice, and take pictures. Uh, oh. No need to live your life on default settings. You can customize. P.S. Do more things that make you forget to check your phone.

Sometimes our worst battle is between what we know and what we feel. But not only can you change your connection with others, you can improve the relationship between your own thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Imagine that. But first you must become conscious and cognizant of them.

See how hard it is to change yourself? Now you understand what little chance you have in trying to change others. It was once said: Don’t talk; act. Don’t say; show. Don’t promise; prove. Please don’t just hope for a great year, sweet friends. Make it a great year.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.