Resolutions and the Other 364 Days

2011-year-resolution-400x400As New Years Eve approaches, we take pause and reflect on the year that has passed.

“2013 was a _______  year!” you will say.  Some will reflect fondly on 2013, and others will be happy just to see it tucked away in the records books.  And yet, regardless of your thoughts on 2013, you are already looking forward to the prospect and the promise of the coming year…  As you should.

“This year will be different… better!” you might say.  But will it?  Will this year be the one in which you finally “turn it all around?”  And if so, why is it that the arbitrary date of January one be the moment in which the change will occur?  Were the other 364 days past not worthy of change?  Is there something about the first of the year that grants everyone some sort of yearly reset, in which the past is forgotten and the future is presented with an even greater possibility?  Is there something about the first of the year that grants us more will power, dedication, and determination than we had in the year, month, week, day previous?

My point is this…

Life is meant to be lived… everyday.  Not just one day a year.  Buying in to thinking that January first is any different from May first is a waste of 364 perfectly viable days to make the changes and do the things you’ve always wanted to do in life.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it great that we all share a common goal in the commitment to resolutions on January first.  There is a great power in community.  Yet, after the dust settles from the New Years Eve celebrations, that community, solidified by the resolutions made on the 31st or the first, falls apart as early as the second of the month.  Why?  Because there is no communal sense of accountability to those resolutions.  If you don’t make good on your “promise” to yourself, that’s on you.  The community won’t scold you for it.  It won’t call you out.  It won’t help you see it through, or even check on your progress.

For this reason, although it is a communal thing to make resolutions, and announce them in front of friends and family, or on Facebook and Twitter, have any of us actually been held accountable (beyond ourselves) to see the resolutions through?

And this brings me back to my original point.  Aside from all the “fun” and the “tradition” of making resolutions on the first, any other of the 364 days of a year are suitable to make changes in your life for the better, suitable to be resolute in those changes, and suitable to take the necessary steps to see the changes through on a day to day basis.  After all, change is (usually) not an overnight phenomenon.  It is instead a series of daily affirmations and reinforcements, which become your new “normal” over a period of time.  It only takes a moment to make a resolution, but can take days, months, or even years to see it through.

And sometimes, change cannot wait.  The answer to “when is the right time to take action?  When is the right time to implement positive change in my life?” is always… Now.  There truly is no time like the present.

So here’s to to living life with urgency… everyday.  Here’s to sleeping when we are dead and here’s to having the peace of mind that any day of the year, especially today (whatever calendar day that might be) is exactly the right day to “turn it all around” for the better.

I wish you all a Happy New Year… every single day of it.