Dr. Asa Don Brown


“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet; a new backbone; new ears; and new eyes.” ~ T. S. Eliot

At this time of the year, we are encouraged to develop our New Year’s Resolutions. The resolutions may serve as a renewing of our lives and a refreshing of our person. The resolutions may play upon our heartstrings, moral compasses, and ideological viewpoints. Resolutions are not only geared towards improvement of the individual, but as well as the improvement of societies’ moral and ethical compasses. The key to moving forward is establishing new pathways in life, which includes forgiveness.


“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

A key to moving forward, is forgiving others, as well as yourself. Forgiveness is not only a state of mind, but it is a state of being. Forgiveness is a constant attitude occurring through a purposeful action. As humans, we are instinctively designed to forgive. It is only when
we choose not to forgive that our minds, bodies, and spirits begin to experience disrepair. The lack of forgiveness is the catalyst for stress, anxiety, and depression. Forgiveness cleanses the body, ridding it of the decay of negativity, disappointment, and heartache. Forgiveness is the key to living life productively, thus by producing the desires and intended results with which we may choose to acquire. Forgiveness is a purposeful action filtered through a permanent attitude.


“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice, and to make an end is to make a beginning.” ~ T. S. Eliot

The basic principle of a resolution is to be firm with one’s decisions, opinions, intentions, and expressions. It is through a resolution that we clarify our stance, becoming a decisive person. Being decisive is intent on settling an issue or a set of issues, by producing a definite result.


“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  ~ C. S. Lewis

When we set goals, we are seeking to achieve measurable, attainable, viable, and time oriented objectives.

“Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later.”

My goals have always involved the following: my personal (effecting myself); my professional (my employment, occupation or pursuit of a career); my academic (my pursuit of knowledge, instruction); my familial (promotion of family); and my overall life (global picture of my life).

Consider the following questions:

  •  Do I believe in myself and goal?
  • What is the purpose and intent of my goal?
  • Do I rely upon others for admiration, acceptance and approval?
  • Have I an ingrained attitude of approval, acceptance, and self-worth?

Key Ingredients:

Acceptance: the ability and willingness to unconditionally receive oneself.

Admiration: the warmth and approval through a pleasurable contemplation. Approval: the direct action of completely and unconditionally accepting oneself or another.
Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about oneself and one’s life.

Career: an occupation with which an individual commits to.

Education: knowledge is the foundation of personal liberation.

Expressive: Researchers have shown that the self-expression of art is one of the greatest tools towards developing one’s ability to think in the abstract. Family: a group of individuals that you have a biological or non-biological connection to.

Financial: financial stability leads to financial liberty.

Physical: our physical body which is not including the mind or the psychology of the person. We may have physical aspirations to improve our health or to reach a particular physique.

Pleasure: an ultimate feeling of bliss, happiness, satisfaction and enjoyment.

Psychological: the psychology of the human condition is the study of the mind, interactions, and behaviors of an individual.

Public Service: Serving improves your outlook on the world and encourages others to serve.


1. Begin by identifying the goal.
2. Declare the intention of your goal.
3. Create a personal vision and quest.
4. Devise a plan and a course of action.
5. Allow yourself to make mistakes, because mistakes are key to growth.
6. Focus your time, energy and desires towards attaining your goal.
7. Believe in your person and ability.

Capping your ceiling gives an allowance for mediocracy. When we set goals, we should always be aware of potential ceilings. By eliminating our ceiling, we are essentially leaving room for the maximum opportunity for growth. Placing a cap upon your ceiling, may prevent you from reaching your greatest potential in life.


“Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.”

~ Abraham Heschel

The power of faith in oneself is a remarkable commodity. Faith is an ultimate player in goal setting. Faith is an empowerment in your desires. If you have the faith to believe, then you shall succeed at whatever your heart desires. The lack of faith in one-self is the greatest obstacle preventing someone from reaching ultimate success.

What is it to have faith in one-self? Having faith in one-self is to deny room for negative communication. When you deny room for negative communication, you are preventing the infestation of negative language into your life. Words like: impossible, implausible, improbable, and no are not welcomed into your life. Faith in oneself is the key that grants the individual freedom from limitations and boundaries; allowing us to be the ultimate superhero.

Do not allow anyone to deny your ability to reach for the heavens. My precious daughter Esperanza, at the whopping 3 1/2 years of age, informed my wife that her daddy created the moon for her. As a father, it is a humbling remark, but as a child, I am encouraged to see that she believes that we can accomplish anything in this life including creating the heavens and the earth. I beseech you to reach for your stars, create your moon, and to conquer the heavens.

May you begin living beyond.
Dr. Asa Don Brown
Author: Asa Don Brown, Ph.D., C.C.C., D.N.C.C.M., F.A.A.E.T.S. Website:
Adapted from Dr. Brown’s article with Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association