Today is the first day of the new year. I can't seem to escape the "it's time for a fresh start" and "today my entire life changes" posts all over the Internet. Let's leave 2012 behind and begin a brand new life today! Blah blah blah... I've heard it all before.
Don't get me wrong, I have a few simple things I would like to change in my life, too. However, I seem to be left questioning why it takes a brand new year to bring out this determination in people. What is it about change that makes it seem like it's only possible once a year? Every treadmill in town is currently being used and cigarette sales will be at an all time low today. It's time to tackle those pesky bad habits.
Back when my brother and I were in grade school, my dad would annoyingly wake us up with his world famous quote, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life! Make the most of it!" As I get older, and of course, wiser, I start to realize how much truth is in that simple quote. Every morning we start a new day; a clean slate. So what makes January 1 different than any other day of the year? As I sip my coffee this morning, like I do every morning, I have the same opportunities today as I did yesterday and the day before and the day before that.
According to dictionary.com the word change can be defined in a few different ways-
1. to become different, altered, or modified
2. a variation or deviation
3. the substitution of one thing or another
Change seems simple enough when described in these terms, but it's an illusion. The truth is, change can be the scariest thing in the world for some people. Change is unfamiliar and anxiety provoking, which in turn, typically sends people bolting in the opposite directions. By making a decision to change your life, you are also making a decision to try something brand new. There's no way to know if your efforts will be successful or if you will fail miserably. Change is a gamble.
Unfortunately, for most of us, myself included, change is a necessity in life. My life, and yours too, I'm sure, is drastically different than it was five years ago. Whether we realize it or not, change is happening all around us, every single day. Change is one of the greatest gifts we have in life, if we choose to see it that way.
So, as the first few weeks of the New Year pass and willpower seems to vanish, maybe it is a good idea to ask yourself what is holding you back. Fear? Uncertainty? Anxiety? All three of these things get in my way every single day, but if I can learn to let go of them a little at a time, change might not seem so daunting.
As resolutions are being put into action today, I think I will take my dad's advice this year. "Today is the first day of the rest of my life..." just like every other day; including January 1. If taking 2013 day by day makes change seem a little less terrifying, then that will be my resolution.
Day by day...