Another year has come and gone and what do we have to show for it? Plenty of shiny new things from Christmas a few days past, old memories, new scars. But now what? What do we do when a new year is on the horizon, when everything around you is focused on newness and change and you feel stuck in the deepest rut. Trapped in the pit of your mind and not quite sure what step to take next. What if you take the wrong path? What if you find yourself even more lost than you already feel? What if you lose yourself in the process of seeking freedom?
And what if, with all the feelings of change that are upon us, nothing really changes. The new year is nothing more than another minute on the clock. The next month on the calendar; one more day of work. The funny thing is, that’s the reality of New Years. Nothing is really different. There is no magical spell that makes this moment more significant than the last. We just attach this unseen value to the change in a year on a calendar over the change in a week or month. But that’s where we derive importance from altogether: the value we attribute to something. The only reason gold is worth so much is because somewhere along the line we decided it was important to us. Yet, in other parts of the world, gold means nothing, and water is the most prized commodity. So the value in the changing of a year can be understood. We have given it so much value because we want to hope for something better. We want to believe that change is possible and there is some magical element of a new year that is able to make it true this time.
So what’s stopping us from making change at any other time of year? Why are all of our goals contingent on the changing year as opposed to the change in seasons? Better yet, why do we think it is only possible to become a better version of ourselves when something is changing around us? Why can’t we bring on the change ourselves, when we know it has to come from inside us? That’s where change really happens in the long run: in our heads and hearts.
This is something I’m personally working on planting in my brain. Each second of our lives it technically a new year. It all just depends on your starting point. Each birthday, each Christmas, each school year, each football season, each and every second. If we can get that programmed into our minds then we can just as easily attach significance to each second of our lives. Change is possible in those moments of significance. So if we can realize the value of a second, we can seize the changes we want to make. It’s up to us to make it happen.
Don’t let the new year define you. I’m all for setting goals in the new year, I will tell you a few of mine below. However, don’t let it break you either. If you stumble and miss a goal don’t wait until 2016. Take that next moment, start your year there; nothing is holding you back from accomplishing your goals but yourself. Don’t be the roadblock to your own achievement. Every moment is a new year, are you going to let each moment reveal the same you?
Here are some of my goals for 2015. And if I stumble along the way, they will be for the following 365 days, wherever that may begin:
1. Read 15 books. (I have several in mind but I am ALWAYS looking for more. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear about them!)
2. Finish writing and pitch my first book for publication.
3. Write one blog post a week. (This is a goal that I have already had to keep moving to the next 365 days because I keep missing my mark. Maybe I keep missing to remind myself of the significance each moment holds as a starting point.)
4. Engage with other bloggers more. There is an amazing community of writers out there and I have been living far too isolationist. We’re all here to help each other make progress!
5. Realize the importance of each moment, each interaction, each investment. While there is still breath in our lungs we still hold a purpose. I want to constantly be aware of that purpose and step into it fully.
What are some of your goals for the next 365 days? I would love to hear them! And I’m sure we can all be encouraged by each other’s and maybe adopt a few for ourselves.