Let me start by saying that I get it. I understand (and appreciate) the symbolism of turning the calendar page to a new year. I get that New Year’s Day symbolizes a fresh start, a clean plate. And I can appreciate that, for some people, it works.
But, honestly, I don’t get it.
I don’t understand why people wait until Jan. 1 to make positive changes in themselves and in the world? What’s the difference between Jan. 1 and Oct. 15 or March 3 or Aug. 14? There’s no difference. Every morning when you wake up, you should say “Self. Today’s your day. This is the day you’re going to be the best you can be and you’re going to do good things for the world.” And then you should get your feet on the floor, take the steps in the right direction and smile at yourself in the mirror as you head out into the world. Every day you should treat yourself right and every day you should be a positive influence on the world.
Perhaps should is the operative word. People should do that, but they don’t. So, who am I to begrudge people their “clean slate day” or their fresh start (or, really, their last free-for-all on Dec. 31)? I really don’t have that power. And, please don’t get me wrong: That’s not what I want to do, either. I just want to point out that you really don’t have to wait until Saturday to take a step (how big or small is your choice) in the direction you want to go. I also want to encourage everyone to look at themselves and challenge themselves to make every day the best it can be — even especially when it’s tough.
I can only use my own life as an example. If I had waited until the new year to step into Weight Watchers instead of joining on that hot July day in 2009, I’d be far behind — and who knows if I would have stuck with it. Because, in addition to being an excuse to wait, New Year’s resolutions come with a lot of pressure. I joined because the time was right for me, and it was important for me to make these changes right then. I didn’t wait until everyone else was doing it. I didn’t wait until I could have one more party. I didn’t give myself a last giant bowl tub of ice cream.
If I had waited until the new year to make a big move and break up with Amor No More, I’d have spent the last two months sad, lonely, stressed and guilty. I could have said “Wait until his birthday and the holidays are over. Wait until January, so you both can start the new year fresh.” But I didn’t. I looked at the changes I needed to make to move my life in the right direction. And I made them — even though they were amazingly difficult.
So that’s why I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. They don’t work (for me).
“Every day is a fresh beginning, every morn is the world made new.”
~Sarah Chauncey Woolsey