New Year, Same You
I can see it coming. The end of the year is upon us. 2019 is approaching (or are we approaching it?). People are panicking as one year falls into the next. I can hear it coming. The complaints. The disgust. The anger. The disappointment.
“I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to this year.”(me)
“I didn’t finish my writing project like I said I would.”
“I didn’t save money.”
“I didn’t lose weight.”
“I didn’t maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
“I didn’t improve.”
“I didn’t change.”
All of those negative thoughts are almost immediately followed by these:
“I’ll read more this year.”
“I’ll finish it this year.”
“I’ll save money this year.”
“I’ll lose weight this year.”
“I’ll be healthier in 2019.”
“I’ll be better in 2019.”
“2019 is my year.”
This might sound a little harsh at first, but bare with me. Here’s the truth: 2019 is not your year. Every year is your year. Every second you spend on this earth is yours. Yours to explore. Yours to live or die trying. You can choose to seize each day or complain when your days run out and nothing has changed, like so many people do at the end of December. Why? Why do we base our success and failures on the calendar? Why do we consider ourselves failures if nothing has changed come December 31st? Why do we start January 1st? Our goals should not be bound by something as trivial as time. Use every day to its full potential. Stop saying to yourself that in the new year you’ll do this or that. Don’t tell yourself that next year will be better, that next time you’ll try harder. Not when you’re using it as an excuse to procrastinate your potential. Why not start over in October or build better habits in June? You don’t have to wait for January's ‘fresh’ start. It’s an illusion. Any day can be a fresh start. It’s up to you to decide when you want to change. New year’s day isn’t going to magically propel your goals unless you make a conscious decision to follow them, so why not make that decision today?
Why are we always waiting for tomorrow? We always say to one another that the future is bright, but guys, the future is now. It’s all around us. It’s in every decision we make, or don’t make. If we’re being realistic, the past and present are the only things we truly have. The future is a concept we fall in love with, but never get to know and we get so caught up in the idea of it that we watch the present fly by. We miss things and we complain about it after the fact. We wish we’d taken that chance or tried that thing. And then we spend the next however many days wallowing in the past or thinking about how the future would be if we would’ve done that thing... It’s crazy. Don’t beat yourself up over things you didn’t do. If it was meant to be, you’ll get another chance. If it wasn’t...then why are you worried about it?
What will be, will be. It might take longer than you wanted. It might not happen exactly as you planned, but you will get to where you need to be – New Year’s resolution or no – but you have to work for it. Show up for yourself every day and you will see results. Look at the here and now and see what you can do with the time you have. Don’t leave things for future you to deal with because you are the only you you’ve got. Got it? Live now. Make the most of every second, of every day.
That’s my New Year’s resolution this year, to do the best I can with the time I am given and to never make a New Year’s resolution again. This is my life resolution because time goes on, life goes on, with or without January 1st.
Go out there. Change the world. Don't wait. And as always, keep writing.