Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Day

So it’s a new year. Everything is fresh, a new slate. It’s a lot like that first day of school. Anything can happy. You could even become a different person. This could be. The. Year.

Except it’s all smoke and mirrors.

What is a new year except a change in date? And what power does a shift in numbers on a calendar really have? None.

Like Susan pointed out, resolutions mostly fail. How can they not? A year is a long, LONG time. (Oddly, a year can also fly by. Go figure) But to set a goal in which you have a whole year to play with? First off, it’s a procrastinator’s playground. We procrastinators have MONTHS to get started. What’s the rush? I’ve got a YEAR. ;)

Even rigid taskmasters can find themselves floundering with such a far off end date. Not much motivation in a year’s wait for self-congratulations, is there? And taskmasters usual need those pats on the back. :)

And yet, that New Year allure is there. We all want things to get better. We want to get better. The thing is, with resolutions, you are usually trying to change/fix a fundamental feature about yourself. Lose weight? Make more money? Finish that novel? Write EVERY DAY? Let’s face it, if we naturally had it in us to do those things, we would have done them already.

Should we not try? Of course not. But let’s not set ourselves up for failure before we even begin shall we?

Instead, I propose the New Day resolution. When you wake up, make one: today I’m going to write 1500 words. Today, I’m going to get on the treadmill for twenty minutes. Today, I am going to put away twenty dollars for a rainy day. Today, I vow to be civil to that assmunch in the office, even if she is not!

A 24hour deadline is a small window. You either put out or shut up. And the good thing about it is that if you fail, you’ve got tomorrow to start all over. It need not be the same thing every day either. Mix it up. This isn’t for a long term goal. This is just about today. What are you going to do today that is a challenge?

By making small, daily goals, putting one foot in front of the other, it soon becomes habit. Habit means a fundamental change in how you live.

We don’t live in the future. We live now. Dealing with now is much easier. In reality, if there is only now, the only true change we can make for ourselves is how we operate in the now.

So, what are you going to do today?


  1. Today being Friday, and myself having procrastinated all day - I think I edited about two paragraphs in all - I've been thinking about all the Fridays I used to procrastinate on in school. Sure, I started essays and projects early, but half the time I only finished them late Sunday night before they were due.
    The trouble with doing that on the novel is that I have no deadline. And yet I have this urge inside me, to finish finish finish. I wish that translated to less procrastination every day instead of some days...

  2. Kristen,

    Yeah, no new year's resolutions for me this go round. Just going to take everything a day at a time and try to do my best on all fronts. I'm trying to set small goals for now...and just plow on. Hard not to focus on the big picture, but when I do, I stress myself out. Best not to do it when at all possible. (g)