I love the New Year holiday. Over the years, I’ve celebrated the New Year many different ways. I’ve done it quietly, and sometimes, not so quietly. I’ve done it alone, and sometimes with way too many strangers to count. I’ve come to prefer the quieter version.
To me the new year is a turning point, another opportunity to re-evaluate my life, what I’m doing with it and exactly what it is I want to do with the rest of it. I see it as a time for change — the self-induced kind. It’s a time for reflection, a time to process the events of the past year. For me it seems easier to let go of the more difficult events of the year because they now seem further away. Referring to a bad experience from last year makes it feel more distant.
We’re all aware of the traditional resolutions and how they tend to only survive no more than a few weeks. Even though the odds are against me, do I still make them? Yes, I do. However, over the years I’ve learned to tweak the process just a bit, making it a little less painful.
I no longer attempt to begin this huge wave of change at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1. I’ve learned to spread it out, which helps keep me from becoming overwhelmed and improving my success rate in the process. I also think of my resolutions as goals. Since I’m a big goal-setter, this seems to help me a great deal. I’m also a big list person and scheduler. If I write it down or put it on the calendar, it’s more likely to get done. I’m also big on special dates. I use these dates throughout the year to re-evaluate where I’m at in the big picture of life. This gives me permission to make adjustments and go from there without totally giving up. By taking these baby steps I find that come years’ end, I’m closer to achieving more of them than the younger version of myself would have ever been.
These are things I’ve learned over time which help keep me on track. Because there’s always room for improvement, when the next new year arrives I find myself once again quietly reflecting on my progress and where I stand with my big picture.
I have some definite goals set for myself this next year — some bigger than others, some life-changing. Two-thousand twenty will definitely begin a new chapter for me.
As always — Allow yourself mistakes, stay safe, and be kind.
Gloria Wall’s column appears Fridays in the Journal Review. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.