It’s fair to say that 2013 has not been a great year for us at Lewington Towers. There has been a pretty significant break in my blogging and, in many ways, our lives over the last 12 months.

I’m not going to go into great detail here (for reasons which will become apparent), but there has been altogether too much illness, downsides and death this year.

But, as I reflect on the previous 365 days I realise I have a huge amount to be grateful for despite everything that’s happened.

My wife and I survived what I hope may be one of the toughest years of our marriage just six months into it; certainly it’s been the toughest year of our relationship together to far, all 8 years of it. We’re stronger now than we ever have been before.

My newest niece was born. Not being a parent myself, I can only imagine the feeling to hold your own child in your arms, but beyond that there can be little else that can compare to the joy of holding your brother or sister’s baby in your arms and feeling such an overwhelming sense of love and protection for them.

In a very mundane way, we are still in our loving, warm home – we can pay our bills, we can afford some little luxuries and, if we were to compare ourselves with others around the world, we are extremely privileged.

We are surrounded by friends and family that love us, who support us and who would stop at nothing to protect us if they could.

Starting fresh

Both K and I sincerely hope that 2014 is going to be a better year for us, but regardless, I’ve realised how important this blog (and its ideas) are to me.

I stopped blogging for long periods in 2013 because I couldn’t see the light – I couldn’t find things to smile about, couldn’t see the positives in the mire of terrible events, couldn’t enjoy life for the gift it was.

So this year I’m resolutely turning over a new leaf. Inspired by Leo Babauta’s Year of Living Without I’ve decided to instigate A Year of Positive Change.

Positive Change

I wanted to focus on positive change because that’s the best way – for me at least – to stay motivated towards doing something good to change things in my life.

Too much of the things people vow to do around the turn of the year is about not doing things, about subtracting from your life the things that you enjoy in the name of some sense of “proper-ness” and a desire to be better.

My theory? We get better by becoming more than we are now, not less. Sure, there are things that giving up will make better. If you give up food, you’ll certainly grow thinner, but who wants to live a life without food?

This year will be about finding positive changes I can make in my life and, each month, choosing just one thing to work on to try to form a lasting habit that will take me forward into the many successful years to come.

Tomorrow I’ll launch my first monthly challenge and I’d love for you to join in. There is no reward or prize, nor any punishment for not achieving what we set out to do, but I hope that the sheer force of the positive energy and willpower will help to shape 12 months of positive change that will get me closer to the happiness I want to feel and the person I want to be.

And if I take anyone else along for the ride with me, so much the better.

Leave me a comment and let me know what one positive change you’d like to make in 2014. Positive means no “stopping”, no “less”, no “fewer”.