The New Year offers all of us a fresh beginning. We’ve made the pledges to lose weight, call so-and-so more often, finally clean the garage, or any other series of goals, but I’ve found over the years that these resolutions often fade into the busy landscape of our lives.

Some years are a challenge, and it’s not always easy to know which direction we’re heading. So in 2009, I created a different kind of New Year’s resolution: I started outlining a yearly theme that I could constantly gravitate towards at any time during the year.

I found the theme created a barometer for me to constantly keep in tune with. Kind of like my Catholic Italian guilt. Only without the guilt and no homemade spaghetti sauce 🙂

Here are my past New Year’s themes:

2009 – Vision
2010 – Balance
2011 – Abide
2012 – Push
2013 – Growth
2014 – Team
2015 – Focus
2016 – Joy

I’m happy to look back on years past and see how different themes were needed. I think about goals I achieved and obstacles I overcame as they relate to each theme.

2016’s theme was especially important to me. JOY was a new focus in my life. Most themes tended to be related to TEEN TRUTH and other professional goals, but this theme was built to reach all aspects of my life. And boy did it do that!

As you can see in the picture above, we joyfully welcomed Avery Greyson to the world this October. We also saw Austin Christian grow into a loving and caring big brother who loves to do puzzles and play with trucks.

My work with TEEN TRUTH and RISING UP has continued to bring joy into my life because it is a way for me to invest in our schools, our youth, and our employees. Giving, with this in mind, has really changed my approach to our business and my life.

Lastly, 2016 marked my first year as a marriage and family therapy associate. It’s brought tremendous joy to my life to help clients work to find growth in the adversity that they face.

I hope 2016 brought a lot of JOY to your world. I wonder what 2017 might have in store for you?

For me, 2017 will be all about the GRIND! I invite you to share your theme with me either via email or on Facebook. It would be great to support you this year in any way that I can.

As always you can visit and for more info about our programs or connect directly at


Thanks for your continued support,

JC Pohl
President & CEO, TEEN TRUTH
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