It’s not just because of the opportunity for a lie-in, or the not-so-fashionable all-day pyjama fashion, video gaming, watching good films, pigging out on chocolate, or taking a long walk – although all that is of course good too!
No, the main reason we love New Year’s Day is that it has a great sense of clean, fresh start about it. Somehow the start of a new calendar year makes us realise that we can start something; something we’ve put off, something that’s important to us, something we really want. We can wipe the slate clean, change something, find the energy to turn things around, we can start afresh.
This isn’t about “New Year’s resolutions” though. They can have a tendency to become a threat and a slow or fast journey to failure (as we somehow know, or have even decided, that most New Year’s resolutions fail). They could work though – if we called them something different or if we used them differently – as a great possibility, as an encouragement, as a carrot and a lever.
Although this is not about resolutions, let us instead get back to the magic of New Year’s Day.
You could argue that the problem with all other days is that they are not New Year’s Day; that they don’t give us that same sense of hope and opportunity that 1 January brings. But we all have the power to change that. We can choose to make every day New Year’s Day!
In reality, every day is a fresh, clean start – if we choose to look at it that way. It’s never too late or too early to act on our dreams, our aspirations, our interests, our passions.
Take this day with you throughout the year. Make every day New Year’s Day; keep the clear outlook, the hope and the drive. Learn from yesterday, take from it what you can; learning, insights, results – and move forward with curiosity and joy. Anything can happen – and often does. What do you want to happen? And how will you make it happen?
When 1 January comes around, we will start by treating ourselves to a leisurely day with our respective families, full of gratitude and relaxation, and opportunities to recharge.
Yes, we will start New Year’s Day with the evergreen insight that to achieve anything, you need to take time to take care of yourself too. Too many people are just busy running, running, running; trying to do everything. And it’s not a very effective use of time and resources.
Think about it this way: When you fly, the cabin crew will say something like: “In the unlikely event of the cabin pressure dropping, oxygen masks will appear. Before helping anyone else, please secure your own mask”.
And in these simple little instructions lies great wisdom – whatever we want to achieve personally and professionally – we need to look after ourselves, to recharge and refuel, so that we have something to give. We’re no use to anyone else if we have simply passed out (from lack of oxygen, energy or steam). So it’s a metaphorical oxygen mask on for us. Go ahead, you do it too!