You Don’t Need The First Of January To Start Over

I have probably made—and broken—over 20 New Year’s Resolutions in my life; 2014 will undoubtedly be no different.

On Thanksgiving I lay awake for hours, imagining what the next year would be like. I explored all the opportunities that 2014 would bring me, the clean slate I would have, how I would start over.

Then it hit me—there are no real do-overs in life. If becoming a new, better person was so easy, we’d all be angels by now, earning whiter wings every new year. We’d beat out Apple for records of the latest improved model ever—for instance, I would be Me v. 24S or 25.0.

But it’s nowhere near that easy. January 1st isn’t a ticket to a better life.

I pulled a lot of shit this year. Did a lot of crazy stunts that I can’t even begin to explain, much less apologize for. I made some new friends, lost a few. Gained a lot of weight and got so out of shape. Opened some new doors for my career and locked a few dreams away.

As I lay in bed that night, I thought about what I would do come 2014. I planned to really, really focus on improving myself, to become a real good, if not better, person. I would move on from lost friendship and take care of the good relationships in my life. I would start a healthy lifestyle and do an everyday work-out routine that would put VS Angels’ abs to shame. I would explore more options to develop my career. I planned to take complete control of my life as soon as the first day of next year rolled around. Then I realized…

What is January 1st, 2014 if not a date? Yes, it is a calendar date that marks the beginning of a new year for the whole world, but it is still just a calendar date. It is merely the day after December 31st. If things were different, February 1st could have easily been the first day of the new year, as could the 1st of March or the 1st of April. So why January 1st?

Why did I need to wait for the 1st of January to take control of my life? If anything, it made more sense to use birthdays as the benchmark. They, at least, mark your next year of life. And each year, if not each day, you have to keep learning and to keep growing.

The thing is, one thing that the 1st day of the year and our birthdays have in common, is that you can use them to check on your development. Compare your professional growth in the new year to the previous year. Think back to your personal improvements from one birthday to the next.

But taking (or regaining) control of your life can start now.

Say goodbye to negative thoughts and actions that never really did you any good. Start becoming a better friend as a mark of the lesson you learned from old friendships. For so long, I cared too much about people’s opinions and let them affect me. I focused on impressing people who never liked me much to begin with and left the ones who really cared about me on the back seat. Well, not anymore. I will put my attention on keeping the good people in my life and let go of toxic relationships. If there’s anything I’ve learned about friendships, it’s that people who want to be in your life will truly make an effort to be in it.

Begin a healthier lifestyle today along with that work-out you’ve been studying for ages. Start reading up on marketing and branding to help you learn more about your career path. Make time in your schedule for stress-relieving parties and coffee dates. Remember to also pencil in a lot of time for yourself, to think about changes that you need to make or what you really want out of life.

To borrow words from Mr. Feeny: “Dream. Try. Do good…” Now. Do-overs might not be real, but you don’t have to keep making the same mistakes over and over again, just waiting for a new year to stop you or breathe a new life into you.

Start today; start now. Just as it’s never too late to begin again, it’s never too early to learn and be better.

You don’t need the 1st of January and you never really did. Enough with the excuses and the pointless New Year’s Resolutions. Just promise yourself that you will take full control of your life, and keep that promise. That’s all the resolution that you need. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – kevin dooley

Sometimes, I soar. Sometimes, I tumble. But most times, I free-wheel.

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