01/24/2011 07:49 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

How To Live Your Best Life Now!

Americans love new beginnings. We love the idea of wiping the slate clean and getting a fresh start. We are a profoundly forward-looking, optimistic people. As someone wise once pointed out, "Just as the Victorians repressed sexuality, Americans repress history." We have little or no interest in the past: "It's over," "It's done," and "There's nothing we can do about it," we pronounce. Rather, we are intrigued, excited and energized by what the future holds. Our favorite question is: "What's next?"

New Year's isn't the only time we make resolutions to embrace new beginnings. We do it on "big birthdays" and for other meaningful life events. A wedding, a divorce, a retirement, a graduation, a promotion, a new job, a new house -- there are all sorts of significant emotional events that can trigger a decision to make positive changes in our lives.

We make lists of what we'd like to be, do, and have in our lives. We re-commit to goals and projects that got put on the back burner during the recession. We dust off our dreams for the future -- though still a bit wary and tentative, lest we let our expectations get too high and set ourselves up for disappointment.

And many of us make entirely new and different commitments for living our lives -- having re-evaluated our values and changed our priorities due to the hard times we've been through. We decide to create a new future for ourselves.

Hope springs eternal in the human heart. Today -- any day -- is the perfect day to fan that flame of hope - for ourselves, for our loved ones, for our country, and for our world.

26 Ways to Live Your Best Life NOW ...

Affirm that your life has purpose and meaning.
Believe in your skills, abilities and talent.
Count your money and make your money count.
Disregard the doubters and critics around you.
Enjoy foods that make you feel vibrant and healthy.
Forgive those who have hurt you... because forgiving them frees you.
Give yourself credit for having weathered tough times.
Honor your spiritual beliefs by living them.
Inspire others with your compassion, kindness and character.
Jump skip, bend, stretch, run, walk... move your body!
Keep your sense of humor -- even if others have lost theirs.
Listen to your intuition and heed its wisdom.
Manage your time and energy as precious assets.
Never Give Up on yourself.
Open your heart, your home, and your wallet to those in need.
Push Boundaries and test your limits.
Question self-limiting beliefs and old habits.
Rebound quickly from disappointments and setbacks.
Surround Yourself with people (and pets) who love you.
Take Time to nourish your body, mind and spirit.
Understand that you're perfectly imperfect.
Veer away from negative or toxic influences.
Wear clothes that make you feel wonderful.
Express Gratitude for the blessings in your life.
Yawn in the face of fear.
Zing with Joy each day you're alive!

And remember ... It's never too late to be what you might have been!