Some of my friends think I'm a bit of a cynic when the New Year rolls around.
I think it's because I tend to hold a negative view of resolutions, goals, and promises made on the first day of a new year. I just don't think they work. Don't get me wrong...I wholeheartedly believe that resolutions, goals, and promises work. In fact, they're vitally necessary if one is to grow and develop as a person.
I just don't think we're focusing on the right number.
I'm just not a fan of date-based changes. I don't believe the calendar gives us enough sustaining momentum to create reasonable and necessary change in our lives. In fact, I think if we focus too much on the year (or even the month) we lose sight of where change REALLY occurs - one day at a time.
This is why I think it's better to make a resolution, a new habit, or a promise today...and then work on it daily.
I can understand all of the excitement that comes with a new year. It's a great party. There's some space with the holidays to spend a little time in reflection. There is also a sense of hope that the upcoming year will be a little better than the last. It can bring about a sense of a new, clean slate.
But I woke up on January 1 the same person I was when I went to bed on December 31 (actually...I didn't go to bed on December 31 because I stayed up to breathe New Year air). I think the commitment to make a change on January 1 is just as effective as deciding to start a new habit on July 27 (or any random date) AS LONG AS a person commits to living out that change on a DAILY basis.
I guess I've seen too many people fizzle out by January 21 on date-based changes because their commitment lacked the proper motivation - the calendar couldn't keep them inspired because they were focused on the wrong number.
So I say "Welcome 2010! We're glad you're here!" But my focus is going to be on what I can accomplish with that number in the middle...I call that number: TODAY...the most important day of the year.