Tell me you don't recognize this: "Well, last year was a total fiasco, but next year will be totally different!" "I failed at everything last year, but the coming year I will have an absolute metamorphosis!"

I've uttered and have heard these statements too many a time. They are so cliché, and so wrong.

Now, hold it. I do believe people can and will change, if only they wish to. A person can change his or her life around in a second, and I dare not mock the repentant.

The issue I take with these statements is with the first half of each one: "Last year was a failure. I failed last year. I was a loser…"

How can you discard a year like that?No, you weren't! That is so not true! You are so wrong! How can you discard a year like that? Weren't there so many good things you did, wonderful times you experienced, and many moments of commendable self-growth?

Regardless of how many unpleasant incidents occurred in your life in the last 12 months – whether a divorce, the death of a loved one, a job loss, the pain of estranged children, or other personal challenges – there were likely still many positive moments.

Did you not give charity?

Did you not contribute to the building of a relationship?

Did you not celebrate others' happiness with them, and mourn for your fellow's pain?

Did you never smile?

Did you not see the hand of G‑d guiding your steps?

The attitude of "last year was bad …" is wrong, a lie.

But worse, it guarantees another "failure" for the year to come. The logic is simple: If you were unable to see how much you accomplished last year, how many blessings you accumulated, what are the chances you will be aware of your growth, and the positive events coming your way during the year to come?

In summary: When summing up the year behind us, let us accept the year for what it was: a year of blessing for which we are grateful, of admirable growth of which we are proud, and of mistakes and hardships from which we grew. All in all it was a good year, thank G‑d.

And G‑d willing, next year will be even better.