As we start a new year, I have a couple of questions for you. What lessons did you learn during the past year that you are going to bring with you into 2013? What experiences did you have that helped you to find out something new about yourself? You do know that as long as you allow yourself to remember that you “experience” your life and make what you believe is the best possible choice in any given circumstance you are being the best you can be.

It is not unusual when clients work with me for them to chastise themselves when they do not do something up to their expectations. They will point out to me that they know better, or that they did not follow what they may have learned from previous sessions that we spent together. I’ll explain to them, that is not a problem. Learning and applying new behaviors, even when aware of them, is not always easy to do. In fact, being aware and taking accountability that they had a choice in a situation and made one which was not in line with what they wanted to experience, is a sign of moving forward. They are acknowledging accountability for their actions.

I remember one of the quotes which had the most impact from my coach training that stays with me to this day goes as follows: “If we treated our friends like we treat ourselves, we’d all go to jail.” Give these words some thought. Think about the last time you either did something or had something happen to you with which you were not pleased. How did you react to the situation? Were you more critical of what happened than those around you? Did you let the experience put you at a point where you felt it was useless to try to move forward, or that you would never be able to succeed at what you were trying to achieve?

Let 2013 be the year that you realize that the things that don’t go according to plan in your life are not mistakes. Instead realize that each situation is a learning experience. If the decisions you make are coming from your mind, your heart, or both they are just choices based on your past, your values and the belief systems that have been part of your life up to that point of time. As one is constantly open to learning, their belief systems can evolve. Your values may change, or they may not, but if you are making your decisions from perspectives that work best for you, and you are not hurting others in the process, then you are doing at that point in time what you believe is best for all concerned.

While one can choose to change their views and approaches to their life at any time, a new year often sets us up with a mindset that makes us more receptive to such a change. Use some of that compassion that you may use toward others toward yourself in 2013. It will help you through the obstacles that will likely occur as you move forward toward achieving your goals in the coming year. It certainly is better than treating yourself “as if you were a criminal.”

Author's Bio: 

Tony Calabrese of Absolute Transitions provides suggestions, approaches and information on how you can find a new job, move up to a new position, or change your career. To get his free report, "Overcoming Obstacles to Change Your Life" visit