You feel the excitement rising as the clock counts down.
- 10. Every horrible thing of the past year is soon to be gone.
- 9. This is the year that everything is going to change.
- 8. Everything is going to be different.
- 7. This is your year.
- 6. Promotions, relationships, fitness, health – you’ll have it all.
- 5. A fresh start.
- 4. A clean slate.
- 3. A new you.
- 2. And it all starts….
- 1. Now.
Except that it doesn’t. You raise your glass, maybe you find some lips to kiss, or you toss confetti, and when the night ends you fall asleep the same person you were before that clock struck midnight. When you wake up your past is still your past and every horrible, brutal thing you’ve ever had to endure is still with you. Just like last year and the year before that.
So don’t say it’s a new book with unwritten pages or a new beginning or a clean slate. Your life continues as it has been unless you decide that you want to change. After all, it is everything that you have seen, done, experienced, and lived that has brought you here and shaped you into the person you are right now. You can’t erase the past and you shouldn’t pretend that you have. Go ahead and look forward to your future with bright, shining eyes of hope… because you should be doing that every day anyway. Every single day is full of potential, not just at New Year’s. You can’t shut the door on the past year. If it was hard, then you need to work hard to overcome its challenges.
So instead of saying it’s a new start, say today I decided I want to change. Because it isn’t about the difference between 11:59 and 12:01 or 2015 and 2016, it’s about the difference within you. I don’t make resolutions for the New Year. If you want to change something, do it now. Don’t wait. It shouldn’t be about the New Year, it should be about you. If it’s August or April or February or November or any month or day and you decide something isn’t good enough or that you want to be better, then that is the day you begin trying to change.
Most New Year’s resolutions only last a few weeks before petering out. It’s easy to slip up and not go to the gym one day or not write when you’re supposed to or not do whatever it is that you promised you would. And it’s easy for that slip up to become another and another until you throw in the towel because you messed up your perfect year so why continue?.
Continue because it isn’t about a perfect year. Your year will have wins and losses, successes and failures, good times and bad. It is never about perfection. It is about the pursuit of your own greatness. You will fail. But be relentless, every day. You are meant to fail. You are meant to fail until, finally, you succeed.
When people fail their New Year’s resolutions, that’s it. That’s the end. So don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Make life changes. Make them now. You’re allowed to fail in life, just so long as you keep trying.