I hear people say there isn’t anything “special” about the New Year, that it’s just a day like any other day of the year. That setting a New Year’s resolution, an intention or a new habit in the new year, isn’t a thing that really matters. And while in some sense I understand where this thought process comes from, (that if you are unhappy with something in your life, you shouldn’t wait for a new year, new week or new month, you should just take action today, which I totally agree with), I think it’s also a bit short sighted to disregard the opportunities this time of year has to offer. Hear me out.
The end of the year finds us collectively taking a pause. More time off is taken, books are being closed (for a lot of organizations), projects are wrapping up or being put on hold until “after the holidays”, we allow for more grace in response time to emails and phone calls, we have more lunches and send more thank you’s to clients and friends. It feels as though the whole world takes a breath and just lets it sit for a beat. Even when you take a vacation during the rest of the year, there isn’t the same feeling as time off during the holidays. During other vacations, we rush to get everything to a functional place while we are gone and hit the ground running the second we come back (if we are even able to actually disconnect ourselves from our work when we are off). But the end of the year feels differently. Even if we are working during the holidays, the pace and our days (for a lot of businesses) feel different. Offices are quieter, we get more accomplished, we tackle the things we haven’t had time for during the rest of the year, we feel the calendar turning to a new one.
Couple this collective breath with the fact that SO many people set new habits, resolutions and intentions at this time of year. People feel refreshed and renewed. They have more energy and excitement. They have a greater sense of hope that they can make things better. Even if for just a short window (we all know the statistics about success rates of New Year’s resolutions), right now, at this very moment, the collective masses are working to make themselves and the things around them better. We often have this feeling when we come back from vacation, that things can be different, that we can operate without the stress and frustrations of everyday life. But at this time of year, we all collectively feel that feeling. What a powerful time of year! What an opportunity for us to capitalize on.
After the past few years of life being harder than we’d like, it’s easy to be jaded and just put your head down (I know I was tempted to do the same), but the reality is that this IS a fresh start. There is powerful energy and opportunity for us to capitalize on all around us. I encourage you to not get jaded by the hard years we have been surviving, but to pay attention to the fresh start that we are all given this time of year. You have the power to create the life you want, not simply manage the life you’ve got. And this time of year, more than ever, supports that truth. My next blog will share my “word of the year” but until then, remember that you have the power to create the best version of yourself and to support those around you who are trying to do the same!