January first. The first of 365 potentially magical days.
There is something inherently exciting and alluring about a fresh start to another year. Perhaps it’s because it hasn’t yet been sullied with all the stresses of the years before, or because it hasn’t yet revealed the challenges and opportunities it will inevitably hold. It is an entirely new year, latent with the potential to present the most blissful and transformative days of your entire existence.
Except…will they be transformative?
The truth is, when the glitz and glamour of December 31st are over, and the clock strikes midnight, you will be exactly who you were in the moments before. Even Cinderella lost the magic of her Fairy Godmother at midnight. While the cosmos may spontaneously alter the very fabric of its essence and the stars may abruptly align in your favor, you will still be you. If you’re disappointed after having realized that, then you know something is in need of changing. Much like the saying, “Wherever you go, there you are”, there is another striking truth: (When)ever you go, there you are.
There is no significance in years alone. Meaningless moments will amalgamate into an entire lifetime, unless you consciously design your life. And the secret is this: that elusive, magical life starts by starting, now.
I’m not here to tell you that you will fail if you make resolutions.
I am here to tell you that you owe it to yourself to make full use of this instant, and to bring your vision into reality, today.
And for the love of God, please do not get up on January first and get a gym membership. Chances are, if fitness is your goal, it has been for a while; and either you’ve already been working towards it, or you’ve been waiting to begin. And if you’ve been waiting to begin, starting on January first is like starting a diet on Thanksgiving: it does not work. Why not take this year as an opportunity to set yourself up for success? I am not condemning you from making the bold decision to change ; no, that is a noble and commendable action to take. Rather, I am condemning you from making this year another mundane, and frankly, monotonous year. I am condemning you from withholding your talent and from hiding your best self from the world any longer.
My goal here is to deliver you the tough-love message that you’ve needed all along: whatever you are waiting to begin, do it now. Otherwise, give up on it entirely, and stop burdening your mind with the pain of another year of unrealized goals, of failure. If you are committed to transforming your life, you will start this instant. If you’re not, you never will. Take this as your sign to begin.
Please, do continue to make yearly goals because they are important. Make 5-year, even 10-year goals. They are not definitive, and they are not meant to limit you; they are meant to fuel you with a vision worth striving for.
Because without a vision, you will just be like a limp leaf in the wind, with no particular direction, fallen from its purpose, waiting to degrade to nothingness. But what are most important, what truly separates the goal-achievers from the wishful-thinkers, are the monthly, weekly, and DAILY goals that they work tirelessly to achieve.
Commitment to your goals is not an option – not for the privileged ones among us who have been granted the gift of the present moment.
And of course, don’t forget to wholeheartedly celebrate 2015, the struggles and successes alike.
Welcome, 2016! We’ve been waiting for you.