Life Wisdom

Life Wisdom Tips: Life Wisdom for an Incredible Year (Part 1)

The new year is here! It’s a time for thoughtful reflection, careful planning, and positive changes. Growing in life, wisdom is needed if we will make each year better than the last. In preparation for the new year, you may be asking yourself:

  • What changes will I make?
  • How will I build into the lives of others?
  • What is the one goal that I absolutely must accomplish?

If you–like me–wrestle with these types of questions, then I applaud your passion for growth. This week, I asked some of the smartest bloggers I know what life wisdom tips they had to offer. Here is what they had to say:

Life Wisdom Tips About You

The most valuable asset is you. You should strive to fulfill your potential and become everything you can. What if you lost everything? You will still have the knowledge, experience, and your ability to work. No one can take that away from you. That is why investing in yourself is the most important thing you can do. 
A personal investment will continue to pay out as long as you reinvest in yourself. It is easy to earn credentials and then focus only on work. If you do not invest in progressing in your industry, you can become irrelevant. Time and the world do not stop advancing, and neither should you. Would you want to invest in a growing and developing company or one that is okay with surviving?
What got you to where you are will not keep you there or move you forward. To succeed and make this the best year ever is to be learning and doing. The decision is up to you to be the best person you can be. To make this an incredible year, you should be learning and growing. Everything is learnable. We are all ignorant in specific areas until we made a decision to learn. 
I knew nothing about business or counseling until I attended a school. You are not restricted to formal education. You can become an apprentice, be mentored, or coached. Learning from top industry experts is as simple as observing them. Industry leaders share their proven paths to success. Find their reading list and take the same courses. 
The key is to make the decision.
You cannot change your life if you do not invest in yourself. 
Kirby Ingles is a Life Coach who helps people discover where they are. By encouraging you to undertake an intentional life of growth, he helps you get to where you want to be. Do you want to learn how to capture your vision authentically and start getting results? 

Life Wisdom Tips on Happiness

For me, the marker of “an incredible year” would be nothing more (or less) than having been consistently happy. Truly happy.

I was interviewed in the fall about how I came to be “an exceptionally happy person.” Here’s a condensed version of what I wrote about it in October:


It wasn’t my past. It wasn’t dependent on other people. It wasn’t circumstantial. It wasn’t seasonal.

It all comes down to choice.

And you always have a choice.

In each circumstance, I remind myself of this simple fact. I am not a victim. Life isn’t happening to me. I may not choose everything that happens in life, but I always choose what I will do next.

I believe that.

I practice it. (And practice and practice …)

In fact, it’s why I wrote the book, The Best Advice So Far. I’m careful to say at the very beginning of the book, in the Preface, that I didn’t invent any of the advice in the book and that if something is true, then it’s always been true. “Truth just is. The best any of us can do is to discover it, to better understand it, and to explain it in such a way that others can make some sense of it with us.”

I didn’t try to invent any slick new jargon or catch-phrases to use in the book to up the marketability. I didn’t include any charts or graphs, or scientific studies. My intention was that The Best Advice So Far is simple; that it be about the basics of happiness, things like:

“You always have a choice.”

“Misery is a choice.”

“You have to start where you are, not where you wish you were.”

“Treat people as people, not as problems.”

“Kindness still works.”

Nothing fancy. Nothing complicated. See, I don’t think we need more information to “find happiness.”

We just need to be intentional and consistent in practicing the basics.

In fact, we don’t need to find it at all.

Happiness isn’t hiding from us.

We just need to choose it.

You always have a choice. 

Erik is an author, speaker, blogger, mentor, people lover, creative force, conversationalist, problem solver, chance-taker, noticer, and lover of life. He lives in the Boston area of Massachusetts. 

Life Wisdom Tips on Moving Forward

In my counseling practice, I have almost universally discouraged people from making New Year’s resolutions. They are really a horrible idea. The assumption that something magical takes place between the poor decisions of last year and the first day of a new year is faulty. The process of lasting change requires an entirely different mindset altogether.

If you want to make 2016 an incredible year, make a decision to make it the first in a series of years that you are on a forward-moving journey. If this year is incredible and you do nothing to build on that in the years to come, all you have is a brief “golden moment” to look back on. As my pastor recently put it, “We don’t need more ‘one-hit wonders.’”

Being on a change-journey involves a mindset shift, one I share in my book, Momentum: How to Build on Positive Choices, and Avoid Downward Spirals. You begin by learning to think long-term about change, rather than only thinking about what seems good in this one moment. Another principle is to avoid the mental debate (“Do I feel like going to the gym right now?” or “Should I… shouldn’t I…??”). It is important to focus on routines, overcome one obstacle at a time, and keep treading to avoid moving backward when you need a rest moment from change. In my book, I also describe how to turn a lose-lose situation into a win-win, how to keep your focus on the reality in front of you, how to grow deeper in your strength areas instead of trying to broaden into too many areas, and how to develop into a leader.

May your 2016 be a year that you come to reflect back on as a turning point in your thinking — the year you decided that change was a lifetime journey.

Focus on routines, overcome one obstacle at a time, and keep treading. 

Kristen Kansiewicz is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, speaker, and author. She has written four books (available on Amazon) and blogs at

What life wisdom tips would you add to this conversation? Which of these tools has worked well for you? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below!

Finally, if you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out part 2, where you’ll find more life wisdom for an incredible year!

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Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at

4 thoughts on “Life Wisdom Tips: Life Wisdom for an Incredible Year (Part 1)”

  1. Jed, this is my favorite takeaway: “Happiness isn’t hiding from us. We just need to choose it.” I would add “and keep choosing it.” I pray we see God working in and through us in 2016 and beyond. Thank you, Jed, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday. : )

    1. What a great addition Crystal. Happiness really is a daily choice. And thanks again for all you do. It’s awesome to connect with you guys each week.

  2. Thanks Kirby, Erik, and Kristen,

    I love learning from your insights, and teaming up with you guys. Thank you for all of the value that you add to my life!

  3. Thanks to Kirby for the reminder to invest in personal and professional development. Erik, I’m with you on choosing happiness–too often we choose to let others make choices for us. And I love Kristen’s perspective on change as a lifetime journey–we can waste a lot of time and effort by not thinking long-term and how today’s actions impact our future.

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