Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year?

Our society sets us up to demarcate our lives by years...just because the calendar turns from December 31st to January 1. You can try to avoid the hooplah, but it isn't easy.

Newspapers and websites spend the last days of December recapping highlights of the year. Everyone wants to know what you're doing New Year's Eve (I enjoyed a delicious home cooked dinner and watched film noir classics with a friend, thank you very much). Parties abound, restaurants have special seatings, theatres/concert venues provide toasts. We're supposed to watch the countdown and celebrate precisely at midnight with champagne and/or noisemakers and shiny hats, and probably by kissing whoever happens to be nearby. By singing "Auld Lang Syne."

But it's what we do with the new year that matters. Certainly there are things we can't control, like the state of the economy or the price of gas, but there are many ways we can take charge of our own lives...if we have the self-discipline and motivation. A lot of people make resolutions, but don't follow through.

January is a good time to assess our accomplishments--or lack thereof--and make meaningful changes. I like to start the year out fresh by cleaning out and organizing file cabinets and closets. I make a list of projects to complete in the coming year, major and minor (checking off completed items is very satisfying!).

Did I do everything on last year's list? No. But compiling and referring to the list helps me assess priorities and helps me have a road map to my goals. By jotting down everything I want to do, I clear my head for creative thinking. If I'm working on something but run out of steam, I can check the list and move on to another task without wasting time.

If you haven't been a "list person" or goal setter, or have trouble sticking to your resolutions, here are a few sites to try:

Author and friend Gerri Russell has a timely post HERE.

Make a life list

Make your goals happen

Will 2009 be a Happy New Year? It's up to you.


Eileen said...

May 2009 be your year.

Morgan Mandel said...

I definitely need to be more like a pro-active heroine in a novel this year.

Morgan Mandel