If you feel like 2015 hasn’t been your year, especially if you have gone some through difficult transitions either at work or with your family, there is some good news for you: the year is almost over!  Seriously, there are less than 8 weeks left to go here, and while none of us can go back and un-do what has been done, we can all think positively and start making plans for a brighter year ahead. Here are 3 key areas to think about:

Health– if you are not happy with your work out or eating habits, the holidays is probably the worst time to try and implement some changes, but there is nothing like the start of a new year to set a new routine in motion!  At least explore options for a gym, personal trainer, or maybe meeting with a dietician to set you on the right path for 2016.

Finances– if you want to earn more or spend less next year, now is the time to plot out what changes you can make to have a more balanced budget.  Many of us need help figuring out the best strategies to pay down debt and save for retirement while also putting money aside for our children’s education, and these questions are best discussed with a CPA or financial planner to make sure you are not making decisions based on just your emotions.

Relationships– if you realize that some of your personal relationships could stand some improvement, you are definitely not alone!  Maintaining relationships is hard work– especially with those you love.  Your spouses, children and other close relatives often do not share the same personality as you, and sometimes things get lost in translation.  Luckily, there are many great books or coaches trained to guide you through the process of learning to communicate better and manage your expectations.

When my divorce clients first come to me, I warn them that they are in for a rough year.  There is a lot of upheaval in that first year as you create a new identity for yourself, learn to manage your own finances, and have to build all new routines. If you think about it the same is true for those who just got married.  Lots of change all at once is very stressful, even under the best of circumstances.  So you know what my best advice is to all those that feel like 2015 hasn’t been an easy year?  Be kind to yourself.

This holiday season make sure you plan something fun for yourself.  Take some time to just be alone and enjoy some peace and quiet.  Don’t wait for someone to get you the best gift ever or plan the best date for you– do it for yourself.  This year is almost over, and if there is one thing you can do it is this: make sure  you end it on a high note so you can  be sure to start 2016  on the right foot.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.