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Thoughts on New Beginnings

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Like most people, the end of the year gets me thinking. About the year past. About the year to come. About life in general.

There’s something magical about the end of the year for so many people. The new beginning. The fresh start. Rebirth.

On January 1st we look ahead at the year to come, full of promise and possibility. Fresh, with no mistakes in it. We are free to imagine a better life, a better self. We make promises about the things will we accomplish, about the people we will be. And in the moment that we’re making those promises, we absolutely mean them. And then, as the days, weeks, and months slide by, most of us lose sight of those promises. Perhaps we slip a little bit, and think “what’s the point?” and give up on ourselves entirely.

There’s always next year, right?

The thing is, January 1st is just an arbitrary date that we’ve all assigned a meaning to. It’s all one big agreement that we’re in together. And along with the agreement that January 1st is significant is the agreement is that this is our only opportunity in 365 days to start fresh, enact change, do something big and positive.

The truth of it is — this is complete and utter bullshit.

We don’t need an arbitrary date to tell us when we can do something new, make a change, reach for something better. Every single day is a fresh start. Each morning we’re given the opportunity to begin anew. Make changes. Do something unexpected or different. No matter what happened the day before, we have the opportunity to start again with each new day. It’s one of the beautiful things about life.

The problem is that most of us simply get in our own way. We’re weighed down by our own self-beliefs. We keep ourselves reigned in by these perceptions of who and what we are, that, in most cases, were likely handed to us by other people anyhow. I mean, how many of us have formed our sense of self based on what others have told us we are, all of our lives?

In the past I’ve been a bit jaded about this whole idea of New Year’s Resolutions. This year, however, I’m making myself a whole long list of them. And when I “fall off the wagon” come mid-January — like the rest of the planet — then I’m going to get back up on that wagon and keep going. Because a fresh start doesn’t need to wait for January 1st, or the first of another month, or even the first of a week. We all get a fresh start every single day, in every single moment.

And I plan on making the most of every fresh start that I get.

4 Responses

  1. I love this. And yes, you’re absolutely right–every day we’re given the chance to do something different and make change for ourselves. A date on the calendar shouldn’t have any impact. I do like to set personal goals, but I think of them as non-resolutions. I think it attributes too much stress to make resolutions that are set in stone.

    Best of luck to you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  2. LOVE this. I totally agree, the first of the year isn’t the only time you can create change, resolutions, goals. And it certainly doesn’t mean once you fall off the bandwagon, you can’t hop back on again! I love the idea of day to day ‘resets’ if needed and not tossing away a goal just because you are behind in whatever goal that is (like the proverbial, I’ll go to the gym more! goal, fall off the wagon and then say welp, guess I’ll start again next year). that is total BS. Game on every single day!

  3. […] that it’s good for us to make plans and have goals to work toward. But as I recently wrote, new beginnings don’t have to wait until January 1st, they can happen anytime. But truth be told, it’s good to sometimes have a “start date”, arbitrary or […]

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