As the new year approaches people are planning parties, distributing invitations, and some are perfecting their work schedules to prepare for a stressful night ahead of them. Happening in and around that hustle and bustle though, are quietly changing seasons, optimistic mental resolutions, and the silent promise that somehow in the new year, things will be different. You will finally sit down and start that novel, or get rid of those extra pounds brought on by the stress of the previous year. We tell ourselves we want all of this change and we want it all right this minute. The idea of change is a good one, one that brings us further away from our comfort zones and teaches how to be by introducing us to foreign concepts; ironically showing us who we really are, in the process. I have been telling myself, like I always do, that I will work on that piece I’ve been thinking about, or that I will become a fitness master in a matter of 24 hours. What this year has taught me, though, is that change is good but you need to do it right.
Goals are what get me through my day – if I drew today then I am happy; or maybe I decided to clean out some clothes I don’t wear anymore. These are examples of change, for me. Ways to accomplish small tasks and to rid your life of the old to make room for the new, or to add on some extra activities to soothe your heart and mind. These are the changes we should be looking for in our new year; one day at a time. It is absolutely a positive when you look far enough off in the future to tell yourself you are going to finish that marathon, but if you do not start breaking it down into small goals, the thought will come and go right back to the place all other new years resolutions seem to end up. Embrace and be open to change, but savor the small. Take baby steps when you tell yourself you will start that painting. You may pick up a paintbrush today and feel amazing about it. Take that momentum and run, not all the way to finish just yet, but run to tomorrow; pick up that brush and get back in there.
So much of our lives and creative and positive energy is wasted looking so far in the future and then getting lost in the present. For this new year, take some time for yourself, embrace small changes and praise yourself when you take that first baby step. You never know where it may lead; the finish line is closer than you think.
End note: The featured image above shows a winding path in the fall. I chose this image to symbolize our journey into the new year, along with our fall season that just didn’t want to leave us this year. As we move forward, we will leave the season behind, making way for the next; always looking ahead.