Here we are on the precipice of a New Year, ready to ring in 2023. I enjoy New Year’s Eve just like anyone. I love the excitement and anticipation of the new year and being with people I care about, I love the idea of one moment leading to the next and making a fresh start. I remember feeling it as a kid and I remember the excitement and anticipation just three years ago when we were about to welcome 2020, talking about the roaring ‘20’s, how the decade was going to change things. On that eve three years ago we had no idea what was in store for the year. We talked openly about things changing as we always did, we talked about shifting the world and making things different, we talked about being better and welcoming a new way of being. We all know what happened a few months later—we started talking COVID. The point is, we all talked about changes and what we thought we wanted for us and those changes came—just not in the form we thought it would.
The point is simply this: we approach each new year with anticipation when the reality is we have no clue what’s going to happen. We set intentions and make plans and talk about goals and we either let them fade away as we fall back into our routines or the unexpected happens and we aren’t able to see them through. There are a few who make the change, who dive in and do the work. More importantly, they are able to pivot as things move along. That’s the key. We generalize change or we get too specific about it. We cant throw a dart hoping something will happen and we can’t have a choke hold on the outcome because we will suffocate it.
This year I suggest a different approach. Flow. Yes, we can set the course, we can choose the direction things are going in, but we need the follow through. At the same time we can’t expect to drop the person we are in favor of some new version we haven’t tried on before. It’s a process, an assimilation, a becoming. Do I have goals? Yes, I do. But the main goal in all of that planning is to allow myself to be the person I need to be to achieve those goals. Life is too damn short to continue on a path that doesn’t work, so I still say shoot for the stars. I’m also saying take the time to build that rocket ship so it will make it there. This isn’t about giving up, it’s about laying a foundation and that’s another difference.
We look at the clock expecting that a shift on the dial is going to change our lives. I’m not saying it CAN’T happen, but we are pretty much the same person before and after midnight. In order to become that new version, we need solid ground to walk on. We need to act as that person would—and honestly, it’s more than behavior, we need to be that way; it’s just really hard to do that if you haven’t been that person before. So let’s not pressure ourselves to magically transform. Instead, let’s approach the time with optimism, gratitude, joy, and anticipation that we can shift and that we are able to handle what comes our way. We are all still here and that is a gift. The truth is we are meant to change the course of things, we are meant to make them better. Sometimes that means diving into the muck and doing the work instead of hoping for a magic shift of the tide. We can still roar and make this a pivotal decade, let’s look at the focus and pivot to what really matters.