As you face a New Year full of resolutions, old problems and new challenges, here are a few ideas to help you at work. Don't let ghosts of the past ruin your future. What we do with...

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As you face a New Year full of resolutions, old problems and new challenges, here are a few ideas to help you at work.

Don’t let ghosts of the past ruin your future. What we do with what happens to us is more important than what happens to us.

If you’re unable to break bad habits, find somebody to talk to about them. When our behavior gets stuck in the glue of unexpressed feelings, expressing the emotion can get you moving toward change.

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Good listening is more effective than advice. Put your agenda on hold, repeat back what the speaker has said, and be patient. For most folks, a good listener will bring out creativity, insight and gratitude.

Highly effective people are less likely to have all the answers than to help people discover answers for themselves. People are more motivated to implement their own ideas than someone else’s.

If you’ve been talking but not changing, you lack courage, not empathy. Decide to take the risk you’re avoiding or be at peace about your situation.

Don’t buy the myth of the life free of trade-offs. Every decision we make (or don’t make) has consequences.

Happiness is highly overrated and confused with getting our way. Developing the capacity to learn from whatever is happening and maintaining an inner equilibrium is more sustainable.

Most brilliant successes are forged in adversity. When disappointment, failure or frustration comes to visit, figure you’re getting a crash course to get you ready for your next opportunity.

While dreaming big, understand that life never goes according to plan. Realize that nobody else’s life is going according to plan, either. You can develop patience, tolerance and humor, or feel picked upon.

What we want often doesn’t arrive on schedule. Douglas Adams, author of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” has an attitude that can be useful. “I love deadlines,” he says. “I especially love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” Detours can take you down a better road than you could have imagined.

No amount of interpersonal magic can fix every situation. Sometimes the best solution is to exit. Know when a graceful goodbye is your best solution.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry, no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to: www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube