Monday, January 2, 2012

Starting Fresh

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”
                                                                                            ~ John Lennon

It's the beginning of a new year, and people have been reviewing the last 12 months, formulating new goals, and setting new year's resolutions. There's something undeniably appealing about a fresh start.

I'm not arguing against any of these practices, but I am mindful of the fact that January 1st gets a lot of hype and high expectation even though, frankly, many resolutions don't have a great track record.

Nonetheless, I try to be optimistic about January 1st and usually ring in the new year with high hopes, so I was disappointed to find myself feeling ill only a couple of hours into 2012. Fortunately, it must have been some minor 24-hr bug, because I'm already feeling much better, but my big plans for the first day of the year and how I was going to get off to a great start completely tanked. I wasn't well enough to exercise, clean, organize, or do much of anything. Thankfully, by January 2nd I was not as weak as I had been the day before, but I still wasn't nearly well enough to jump in to any resolutions with both feet. 

I mention this little saga not to evoke sympathy (okay--mostly not) but because it was a great example of how the famous John Lennon quote above applies even on special occasions.

There's no denying that life doesn't always go according to plan, and I have to confess that I'm not nearly as excited about cautiously easing into my game plan this week as I was about enthusiastically jumping in on day one, but maybe it will be a good thing in the long run. There's a downside to assigning almost magical powers to any one particular day on the calendar when it comes to planning: if anything goes wrong, the whole plan may collapse like a house of cards.

In spite of all the hoopla about the new year, January 1st is in many ways a day just like any other.  If you get sick that day, you don't have to wait until another January 1st rolls around to re-start your plans, whatever they may be. By the same token, if you didn't get in gear and set goals yet for the new year, that doesn't mean you are too late.

At the end of the day, there's no real magic to starting anything on January 1st (or on Monday or after your vacation, or when the weather improves or you have more money...). 

You can make a fresh start any day. 

And there's no time like the present.

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