I enjoy new beginnings. They are a fresh start, a clean slate, an unmarked expanse awaiting design. New beginnings are even more stimulating when accompanied by the colour of white symbolizing purity, freshness and cleanliness. Unfortunately the occasion of enjoying a new beginning is not often celebrated outside the annual event of the New Year.
I was prompted to reflect on this recently. Pristine whiteness is exactly what I experienced on the morn of January 1, 2019—light, fresh snow was falling to bury the slippery, dirty snow-covered terrain of 2018.
It was enchanting, yet thought-provoking: What are my intentions for the New Year? Do I have any resolutions?
While resolutions typically accompany the start of the New Year, I am cautious of this practice. The intention of resolutions is admirable, but for many people the ultimate outcome is less than desirable leading to the feelings of failure and defeat. More than 10 years ago I was successful in fulfilling my new year’s resolution: I quit smoking—cold turkey. I was incredibly proud of myself, and even with this achievement to my credit, I find that I no longer advocate this practice of making resolutions at the turn of the year.
I believe that it is wiser and more achievable to live each day consciously and to its fullest. If you find that certain behaviours, attitudes or thoughts no longer serve you, then change them. It is not healthy or advantageous to wait for the New Year to start anew.
Resolve on a daily basis to be the person you want to be. If your goal is to lose weight and you overindulge at lunch or eat one chocolate too many in the afternoon, that’s okay. From that moment on, correct your behaviour and resolve to proceed immediately with your goal of losing weight.
And for those who resolve to be more active yet decide not to go to the gym on a given day, don’t feel guilty for not doing it. From that moment onward re-commit to your goal and start anew. I remember when this happened to me. I really didn’t feel like working out. All kinds of excellent excuses poured into my head to justify not working out. So, I decided to walk around my car once as that walk, albeit extremely short, was more than I had done before making my resolution. I even ended up going a little farther.
I recall watching a movie where an executive of the company was sitting at his desk which was organized and spotless. I sarcastically thought, “Yeah, right. A lot of work gets done in that office.” The next day, when I walked into my office, a resolution immediately popped into my head to tidy up my workspace… starting next week. After I had a good chuckle at my procrastination, I took 10 minutes and cleaned off the top of my filing cabinet. Every day I had to do something toward this goal, no matter how tiny the effort. After my summer holidays, I had forgotten about my resolution and only remembered when I couldn’t find a file. I immediately started anew.
Don’t wait for a new beginning to present itself and then decide to start something anew. Discover it yourself. Each and every day is a new beginning. The hour following this one and the moment after this moment is a new beginning. Seize it and make the change you have imagined right now. Today. This moment.