How to have a happy new year

Published 6:45 am Sunday, January 7, 2018

Once upon a time, I hated New Year’s Eve. It meant that I had to make some vow to change, in a way that I didn’t really want to change. Every year, I would make my obligatory New Year Resolution without heart, vision, belief, or commitment. Of course, I always tried to make it at least a few days. Then, I could proclaim that I had at least tried. However, I didn’t. I didn’t try to better myself or my life. I was stuck in a negative pattern of hopelessness and I chose — year after year — to stay there.

It wasn’t until I dared to dream that I truly started to live. I can’t even tell you the power of a dream to a broken heart. My dreams helped me to climb out of the hole of pain, helplessness, and depression. A vision for the life I wanted to create gave me hope. And that beautiful hope gave my life meaning again.

Now every year, I sit down as a little kid on Christmas with my pad of paper and heart full of dreams. I no longer look at what I have to give up, but I’m excited about what I have to gain. And for several hours, I just write — all of my big, scary dreams. I shed a few tears, say a few prayers, and ask God to lead me.

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It’s so exciting to envision what could be. So often the devil lies to us and tells us that we can’t do this or that, and we believe him. What we need to believe, however, is the power of our Lord. With Him all things are possible. He will give us the desires of our heart. I am proof of that. In 2016, I got a new thumb.

My advice to you, my sweet friends, is to get out your paper and pen and start dreaming. When you decide how you want to change your life, then create a plan to achieve your goals. I usually spend weeks brainstorming all the things I need to do to move me closer to my dreams. Finally, when I have a substantial list to work from I take action daily. This is the key. We can dream all day, but if we don’t take the first step toward achieving our goals then we will always be in the same place. Every day look at your dreams, remind yourself what you are working towards and why you want to achieve it. Then, as you have your coffee with God, ask Him to help you. Ask Him for the guidance, strength, courage, understanding, perseverance, determination, etc. to live your best life and to become the person He created you to be. Let’s make 2018 wonderful!

Candida Sullivan is an author and inspirational speaker. She lives in New Tazewell with her husband and kids. For more information about her books or to schedule her for your event, email her at