You have to admit there's something special and a bit magic about New Year's Eve, about that betwixt and between moment when we're poised to end one year and start something new, shimmering with possibilities. It may seem like any other night, but you know your think different thoughts and feel different feelings on New Year's Eve. That countdown moment always feels to me like a space between worlds where anything could happen (if you let it)! And it can. As Annie Evett says, "We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."

On the other hand, as Bridget Jones reminds us, "January 1st is often not the best day to design or start your new life!"

I don't think New Year's resolutions can technically be expected to begin on New Year's Day, do you? Since, because it's an extension of New Year's Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year's Day isn't a good idea ..... click here to continue as you can't eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second." Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’ Diary
The best time to reflect and design New Year resolutions to make 2013 extraordinary is now. We usually choose the worst time, the days between Christmas and New Year!

Here are my top tips for setting positive New Year resolutions to make your 2013 extraordinary:

1) Begin in the first half of December! Don't leave it till you're dragged off into a festive haze of carols and conga lines or until after Christmas!

2) Start by reflecting back on all of your accomplishments in 2012. List them down in a journal.
When you can't think of any more, just keep going. You will be surprised at how many wonderful things you achieved in the last year, and that feeling creates a positive springboard for thinking about what you want to create next year.

3) Now, realize that as TS Eliot puts it, "last year's words belong to last year's language/And next year's words await another voice/And to make an end is to make a beginning." What is your language for 2013? What is your voice? What do you want to end and what do you want to begin? Start with general reflection.

4) Ask yourself, where do I want to be by December 2013? What do I want to have accomplished? Do some brainstorming, some free writing in your journal.

Create your vision for your new year, as best as you can. Start with identifying what inspires you, your values, and try to create a picture of what you want to create in your life and work, what you want to invite in and make happen. My book will take you through this process step by step if you need more practical help: www.la-vita-nuova.com/bookstore

5) What is your theme for the year? Why not give it a name? For example, 2013 is my year for living magically...

6) Create a vision for the year. Then make a one year plan for how you will create that

7) Now it's time to create your goals or resolutions for the year. 3-5 is ideal. More and you get overwhelmed. Make sure your resolutions are positive ones that will move you toward your big picture vision, not negative ones, like giving up chocolate, or dutiful ones, like I will go to the gym more...

8) Get one of those year at a glance charts and 3 different colour highlighters. Now create specific milestones and timelines for each of your goals and write them all in one colour. In another colour mark your play days, your holiday days (so important). In the third colour, block out days for you to strategise and reflect on your vision and goal progress, for you to be creative about your success and happiness.

Share this process with a friend and make them your accountability buddy throughout the year! Enjoy this, and let me know how you get on.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Nicola Bunting Master Certified Coach (MCC, ICF) Director, La Vita Nuova Personal and Professional Coaching Want To Use This Article In Your E-Zine or Website? Feel free to reprint this article. Please write copyright Dr. Nicola Bunting, 2009, La Vita Nuova Personal and Professional Coaching. Get our FREE e-course/audio mini-workshop and FREE monthly inspirations for your life and work at http://www.la-vita-nuova.com
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