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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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« What Does Making the Best of a Fresh Start Look Like For You? | How to Appreciate Life Balance in That Everything Has Its Time »

How to Boldly Reset Your New Year With Intent, Flow, and Rainbows

There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding the start of a year. Why is that? It’s the timely intersection of three fresh start motivators and temporal landmarks- new day, month, and year. They form an enhanced boost, a fresh start effect, which incentivizes you to clean your slate and reset your goals and intentions. Of course, you can activate a fresh start at any time, but it’s especially useful to harness the power of the New Year. Today I’ll focus on three ways to do this. I hope that one of these ideas will resonate with you and help you create a magnificent year.



The process of goal setting can be frustrating. We might not be planners. We might get easily distracted. We might quickly become discouraged if we make our goals too lofty, complicated, or numerous. So instead of planning every change, minute detail, or date of when “x” will be accomplished, how about considering this other idea? Pick an overall intent for your year and let that be your guiding force as you make decisions each day. You might already have an idea, but if not, below are a few questions to nudge your thoughts. 


  • What do I want more of this year?
  • What do I want less of this year?
  • What is my one word for the year?
  • Where do I want to visit this year?
  • What am I ready to let go of?
  • What will I say “yes” to?
  • What will I say “no” to?


We had our close friends over for dinner on New Year’s Eve. I randomly put a card with one of these questions at each place setting. There was no expectation for answering them as a group or even introspectively. However, to my great delight, our friends wanted to talk about them. It made for some deep conversations. My card said,  “What will I say ‘yes’ to?”  I decided to use this intention for my year. I’ve interpreted it to mean that I will lean into interesting opportunities and openings with minimal deliberation and doubt. On the first day of the year, I had the chance to exercise that intent, and it was quite liberating.





Positive psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, discovered and defined the flow state as an

“optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and

perform our best.” 

We talk about achieving flow, trying to attain flow, or feeling in the flow. On New Year’s Day, my husband and I took a leisurely drive on the winding roads in the Hudson Valley. It was quiet. We stopped several times by various water sources and were mesmerized by the undulating movements and soothing sounds. Some water rushed along their paths. Some streams were more still than others. All were unencumbered. They easily moved from one point to the next, navigating their paths with confidence and ease. It made me think how so many of us struggle with blocked paths. Our calendars, spaces, and minds are obstructed by “stuff.” There is no flow. We’re weighted down. Our movement is slow and challenging. 

For this year, focus on flow. Think about these impediments and ways you can open the gates. Maybe we turn the idea of organizing upside-down this year. Think flow. Think simplicity. Think better movement, less heaviness, and more freedom. As you activate your senses and pay mindful attention to the flow of your days, notice where you feel stuck. How can you create more flow this year?




Just so you know, I hesitated about including rainbows in the title, let alone as a serious topic. Despite my reservations, for two reasons I decided to go for it. First of all, you’re an open-minded, accepting group of readers. Thank you for being the fantastic people who you are. Secondly, I had an extraordinary rainbow-related experience that felt timely and relevant. I wanted to share it with you. Those of you that know me, probably get that I tend to subscribe more to the “glass half full” philosophy. Recognizing that perhaps you’ll accept this rainbow mention as a natural extension to my optimistic tendencies. 

Above I described the drive that my husband and I took yesterday. The last stop on our journey was the Croton Dam. This magnificent structure built in 1907 and stretching over the Croton River is part of the New York City water supply system. It has incredible views all seasons, and I love walking across the top to see the changing landscape. Our walk yesterday didn’t disappoint. 

The water was in full force, so much so that I could feel the spray. The sun kept disappearing and appearing from behind the clouds. And then it happened. As the sun came out, an enormous, vividly colored rainbow graced the shore from the hillside of bare trees down to the white, rushing water. The colors sparkled and undulated in the light. We were totally captivated and knew we were witnessing something remarkable. We just happened to be there at this moment, on this day, the first day of the New Year. And what is it about rainbows? They are fleeting. They are gorgeous. And yes. They are magical. And they also symbolize happiness and hope

So the last idea of the year is this. Your New Year offers you a fresh start filled with possibilities and hope. Take a deep breath in of good intentions, of fresh air, of newness. Exhale as you relax and let go of all that’s holding you back.



I wish you all the best that life has to offer as you begin your new year.  

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are you thinking about as you start your year? Did any of the ideas from intent, flow, or rainbows resonate with you? Come join the conversation!





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Reader Comments (12)

I resonate with all three, and especially the rainbows. Some people I love have been having a lot of "rain" in their lives recently, and your video reminds me that rain (or water/mist/froth) is necessary for a rainbow. When the sun appears, it takes that water and makes it into something magical... a wonderfully encouraging thought during a storm. Blessings to you and all in 2019!

January 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Seana- Ahh. The rainbows. My heart goes out to your loved ones that are having a challenging time right now with more "rain" than usual. As you so beautifully expressed, the rain or mist is an integral part of a rainbow's appearance. We receive comfort in knowing that the storms will pass and better times will follow. I wish you and your loved ones ease, peace, and gentler days.

January 2, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

As we've discussed elsewhere, the word I've chosen for this year is MINDFUL, so you can be sure I'll be revisiting some of your many blog posts on Mindfulness!

A few years ago I picked FOCUS, and although this is similar, it's more all-encompassing and more calming than driven, if you know what I mean.

January 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- I'm loving your 2019 word, as you can well imagine. I hope the mindful posts I've written will be a source of encouragement and ideas for you as you follow your "word." I think we've talked about it before, but I organize this blog by setting up one theme each month. Since the inception, I've pretty much used the same themes (sequentially) each year, starting with "fresh start" in January and ending with "life balance" in December. Over time, I've added some additional categories and mindfulness is one of those. The concept appeared so often in my writing that I felt it deserved special attention. Mindfulness shows up in its relationship to change, organizing, clutter, letting go, etc... All this is to say that you can easily find posts about mindfulness by looking at the "Mindfulness" category under the Blog Index on the right column of the page.

I see what you mean about the difference between "focus" and "mindfulness." Attention is an extension of mindfulness, as in what we give our attention to at any given moment and being fully aware of that without judgment.

I look forward to hearing more about your mindfulness path.

January 3, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, I knew that you had monthly themes, but didn't realize that you cycled through them each year. What a wonderful idea!

January 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- Thank you. The monthly themes correspond to the chapters in my book, "The Other Side of Organized." The book and topics are designed to bring you seasonally through the year in a thoughtful, proactive, yet gentle way.

January 3, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I have your book, and I've read it, but I didn't remember that. Maybe it's time to give it another read!

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- If you do read it again, enjoy!

January 8, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love this Linda. I love your idea with the questions for a fun dinner party on New Years Eve but anytime really. Rainbows are always a good sign :)

January 16, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKim

@Kim- Feel free to try it out anytime. As I mentioned in the post, I did it without an expectation of what would transpire. The outcome was more than I could have wished. People were so thoughtful and opened up. Wishing you a great 2019 filled with all that you hope for...and possibly a few rainbow spottings too! :)

January 17, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

What a lovely idea for dinner party conversation! I embrace with intention the blessing of a fresh start every day and start each day with a smile of gratitude and a prayer for courage and wisdom. How amazing that you were able to capture the rainbow on your video!! Such a wonderful reminder of God's power and promises.

January 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOlive Wagar

@Olive- Thank you. I had no idea it would turn out as it did. I love how you begin each day, honoring the fresh start with gratitude and prayer. It's a reminder that we can "start" at any point and don't just have to wait for a new year to do that.

January 20, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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