Juan Alanis shares 5 Latino Sayings that will help you transition to the New Year!

You made it! We made it! Despite all of the chisme, predictions and Mayan-related craziness, it looks like we’re all going to make it to the Año Nuevo—New Year that is. And now, rather than obsessing about when our next predicted expiration date might be, let’s instead embrace the moment and appreciate life. Por lo menos that’s what I’m proposing to do in the New Year.

Too often these days, I feel like I’m running everywhere all of the time and really never getting anywhere. Running in place—that’s what I’ve been doing. And I’m not really in the best shape of my life so that’s obviously going to have to stop. Como ya es costumbre para mí, I’m turning to my dichos (Spanish proverbs) for counsel and guidance in 2013.

These are my new dichos to live by in 2013:

Al Que Madruga Dios Le Ayuda
There´s no such thing as a free lunch. Nothing in life is free of cost. What’s more, anything worthwhile usually costs us a little blood, sweat and tears, and not necessarily in that order. Take the unpredictability of our existence as an example. Embrace the here and now, plan for the future, and don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves in 2013 to get the job done. Yo espero that for me, this year will finally deliver some of the fruits of my labor up to this point. Como dice el commercial, ¡ya es hora!

El Que Tiene Boca Se Equivoca
Accept it, people have big mouths. Some of us are real metiches and can’t help but put our feet in our mouth—notice I said feet in the plural form—every chance we get. As a confessed chismoso who has stuck my feet in my mouth plenty of times and who has also been offended by what others have had to say about me, I can tell you that by giving your friends and family the benefit of the doubt, you will save yourself a lot of heartache and stress. I’m not saying go turn-the-other-cheek all the time y toda la cosa, but take a step back and breathe before you jump to conclusions in 2013. Your corazoncito will thank you too in the long run.

Read Related: 5 Lessons on Gratitude from My Mexican Parents

Hoy Por Ti, Mañana Por Mi
It’s the Golden Rule of life…or should be, anyway. Not only should we treat others the way we want them to treat us, we should also try to help as many people as we can along the way. Whenever possible commit to engaging in acts of kindness this New Year. It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary—something as simple as a smile can make all the difference in the world. I can’t tell you how many times a stranger’s smile has made me rethink one of my own infamous bad moods, jaja. And when that stranger is a child it’s almost guaranteed I’ll feel better.

Una Vez Al Año No Hace Daño
Whatever it is, so long as you’re not harming yourself or anyone else, do it! You don’t even have to tell me or anyone, for that matter, what this single act might be. Actually, in a lot of cases it’s probably better that you keep it to yourself. So there. Don’t tell me! But in all seriousness, a very wise friend once told me, “If you’re not making somebody mad all of the time, you’re not doing something right.” I think that’s generally true. Como dice el Juanga too—no soy monedita de oro para caerle bien a todos. Go ahead. Live a little!

A Camino Largo, Paso Corto
Start small. One step at a time. When you get frustrated, and believe me you will get frustrated, remember this dicho. Nobody is perfect, and whether it’s your New Year’s resolution or something much more important, in order to achieve your goals you have to exercise a lot of paciencia. Expect to fall from time to time in 2013. And when you do, get back up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. ¡No te rajes!

These are my five New Year’s resolutions for the New Year. I’ll let you know next December how I’m doing with them!