There is something wonderfully reflective about a new year: it's another chance to get it right.

At the beginning of each calendar year I separate my life into five important areas: physical, emotional, professional, familial and spiritual. I analyze honestly how I'm doing in each category - well, of course I do; it's my business! Today let me help you to analyze your life.

Physical – Make your personal health your first priority by making an appointment for an annual physical and dental checkup. The examinations you receive will give you a baseline of how your body is faring and a roadmap for improving anything that needs attention. Prepare for your visit by bringing all of your concerns to your doctor, "I can't sleep, my fingers tingle, my libido is shot and my energy is waning!" Reducing alcohol, fat, salt and sugars, while increasing exercise, yoga and adding a better diet, will surely be a partial directive from your health care providers.

Emotional – Make your general sense of happiness and well-being an important daily goal. If you have slipped into a depression, an anxiety, or a feeling of negativity you really owe it to yourself and those you love to uncover the genesis of your emotions. Get some support from an introspective counselor, rabbi, priest, coach or sensitive friend because these dedicated people can help you clarify what's really going on inside. Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them when they say that they miss another in their life who has left them or even died. Sometimes people just need someone to validate their thoughts that they feel bad or angry, lost or sad. Sometimes, dear people, we are the people who have those feelings.

Professional – When possible, make what you do for a living as fulfilling as you can. After all, it's how you spend many hours each day. If you are working at a job you dislike, decide what you can do to change it. Sometimes two smaller positions you enjoy add up to a happier life. So sit down today and put your thoughts on paper. Then, meet a colleague or trusted friend for coffee and put it right out there on the table. Be open, be creative, ask for feedback and explore the possibilities. I know some moms finishing a degree or professional certificate who learned about part-time work from other moms gathered for a play date. If you are retired, keep daily meaning in your life by volunteering and being active in both new and old recreational interests.

Familial – Observe your family dynamics. Do you add or detract from your family's happiness? Do you repeat old family-of-origin (the family you grew up with) behaviors that wound your present family as you were wounded by your original family? Do you look at your children with your heart and see their soul or do you see only their faults and their messy rooms? Do you see what your mate has done for the family or what they have failed to do? Consider how you could be the one who changes the sarcastic and snarky remarks into positive and witty ones instead. Remember, just because it feels familiar doesn't mean it's a healthy behavior so take kind input from your mate here.

Spiritual – Carl Jung once said a philosophic or religious point of view helps us cope more successfully with the vicissitudes of life. So consider being a believer or a seeker who transcends the ordinary by looking for God or a higher power in large and small daily experiences. What do you have to lose? Lastly, practice being honest and sincere every day with yourself and others and laser quick to change those things about yourself that you know need to be changed. I know you can do it.

Remember, my friends, when you change nothing, nothing changes. But when you put an actual plan into action for physical, emotional, professional, familial and spiritual growth you will make not only 2011 the year to get it right but you will make your Every Day Matter, as well.

Author's Bio: 

Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., is a practicing Human Relations Counselor and Certified Group Psychotherapist with a specialty in grief recovery. Author of When Every Day Matters: A Mother's Memoir on Love, Loss and Life (Simple Abundance Press, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Publisher). She is available for consultation in person (Paoli, PA) or by telephone. Please visit her websites for further information.