Although there is very little to it, as far as “holidays” go, my favorite day of celebration throughout the calendar is New Year’s Day. When you think about it, it is a pretty arbitrary thing. We are celebrating a marker in time. Not an achievement of mankind. Not a memorial to a hero of the past. Just a day we decided is going to be the day we start anew.
I like New Years so much because it invites, almost begs, contemplation. It ushers all into varying degrees of thinking about where we are, where we have been, and where we want to be. New Years is a time of complaining about the ills of the year past and celebrating its triumphs. It is also a time to consider tomorrow – what will we be celebrating at next year’s New Year?
Vision and Value
A few years back, Kylie and I looked up New Year’s traditions around the world. There are some hilarious ones. One of them is to take an empty suitcase and carry it in a lap around your block. This is supposed to usher in a year of travel. We found traditions for fertility, fortune, and good luck.
What is interesting about all of these is that they point to a system of values. What matters to us? Why? You better believe we marched around our block with those empty suitcases (we love travel and exploration).
New Years is the perfect time to consider where you want to be heading and evaluate if you are on the right course to get there. I also set writing goals at the beginning of the year. We are often talking about our next travel plans.
All of this points to a system of values and vision.
If, like many, you find that you are in a bit of a rut. That every New Year, you swear this year is going to be different, but can’t seem to see it through (your diet or exercise peters out by mid-January, for example). If you want your resolutions to truly have an impact, you have to ask yourself why you are making them. What is the vision behind your desire to be better and what are the values that fuel that vision?
Our resolutions often fail because we don’t really know what we are after. We make cosmetic changes because we just want to feel better. Why? What is missing? Getting to the core of these is the secret to long-term commitment. We commit to our values not to our behaviors.
Turning The Page
The New Year is an opportunity. And perhaps more than anything, this is what we are celebrating on January 1st. Possibility. You have survived. You are here. Tomorrow awaits.
The truth is this is available to us every single day. Each day is a New Day. Each hour a New Hour. And each moment a New Moment.
New years recognizes an ever-present reality – that we have the opportunity to make choices. New choices that break old patterns. Consistent choices that continue what we have started. Renewed choices that reinforce and reinvigorated our journey.