Why was 2009 a bad year for you? The economic recession, home foreclosures, or job losses could be enough to contribute to a bad perception of 2009. In my practice, I’ve seen increased depression, fear, and anxiety as result of the issues just mentioned. I’ve observed that people are waiting too long before entering counseling and therefore their symptoms are more intense and their expectations are that they can fix their situation overnight. People ignore or deny their problems until they are so overwhelming that something needs to change. There is hope for 2010, since economic signs seem to be slightly improving and people have an optimistic attitude about the future. What makes you hopeful about the future? My hope lies in my faith, the resiliency of people, and the belief that we learn from our experiences. We may have modified our spending habits, shifted our priorities from things to people, and realized that our attitude has a huge impact on our quality of life. Last year many of us experienced hardship, turmoil, and at the very least change. We tend to grow more in our faith and maturity during times of hardship than in times of abundance. What will be different for you in 2010? Focus on what you can change and focus off the things you can’t change. Don’t waste your time complaining or blaming others for your state of affairs. Take action instead of reacting. Maybe this year you decide to exercise, nurture friendships, spend more time with your family, work on your marriage, or live your faith. Stop trying and start doing. The time is now!