I am a sucker for New Year. I love the idea of drawing a line under things, wiping the slate clean and having a fresh start. (Or any other cheesy idiom or metaphor you can come up with.) It has never mattered that the rational part of me knows that it’s a silly idea or that realistically you can make changes at any time. I’m even deluded enough to claim that I’ve kept most of my resolutions. Yes, I did give up biting my nails every January for fifteen years in a row, but I did eventually stop…
There’s just something about January 1st that inspires me. Always has.
The last couple of years, I’ve made successful resolutions by keeping them broad and simple. Thus 2015 became the Year of Running, where I entered a couple of races and completed two half marathons. I dedicated my spare time and energy to getting out jogging and by the end of the year, I felt like I’d achieved something, however small. 2016 was the Year of Learning German. After four years in country, I got myself organised with a teacher and committed to learning der, die and bloody das. Now, my language skills are a long way from perfect, but, again, I can see, feel and hear the improvement. (I might still only be able to use the expression das ist Schlecht (this is bad) to complain to the Internet company, but I do have enough words to get passed the voice recognition thing and announce myself)
So what about 2017? Can the running and language learning be sustained if I add another mini-challenge to the mix? Because drawing a line under them makes no sense at all. The end of the year shouldn’t mean the end of everything. When something’s going well, you’ve got to keep working at it.
Thus, next is going to be the year of keeping going. I’m not going to celebrate 2016’s achievements too hard, nor am I going to set the bar too high for 2017. Rather, I am going to approach the New Year with hope. Hope that I stay fit and healthy. Hope that I keep finding the motivation to learn the difference between the accusative and the dative. Hope that I keep up the good habits I’ve been quietly working on to be a better person, to contribute more to the world around me, and live in better balance with the planet.
Hope alone won’t do it, of course. But I feel confident being hopeful because I know I can commit and be motivated, especially as December rolls into January and the New Year bug is tempting me again.
So, my reflection this New Year’s Eve afternoon is: tomorrow might just be another day, but if it’s the day you need to stop doing what’s bad for you, start doing what’s good for you, and keep doing what you do well, then embrace it with hopefulness and see where it takes you.
Happy New Year