How to Boldly Reset Your New Year With Intent, Flow, and Rainbows
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 1:57PM
Linda Samuels in Fresh Start, Motivation, decisions, fresh start, goals, happiness, hope, intentions, organizing, possibilities. change, stuck, temporal landmark

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. 



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!





Article originally appeared on The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels (
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