In about half an hour, 2011 will be officially, completely, irrevocably over. People all over the Eastern Time Zone will join the millions of others between here and Greenwich who have raised their glasses, cheered the New Year, and vowed to change their lives in 2012. For some reason, we seem to hold the end of the year with a sort of awed respect, as if 12:00 AM on January 1st were a portal to a new world in which anything is possible. That weight you’ve been meaning to lose? It’s as good as gone. The book you’ve dreamed of writing? All you have to do is put pen to page and it’ll practically flow from your fingertips. Looking to renew a relationship? Learn origami? Be a better mother? Just step right through to the mystical land of New Year and it’s all yours.
All too soon, however, you discover that all of those things you resolved to do are just as hard on January 1st as they were at 11:59 PM on December 31st. Old habits are just as hard to break, new skills are just as hard to learn, and becoming a better person is just as much work as it always has been. So why do we wait until New Year’s Eve to take a shot at something new? And why are we so disappointed when nothing changes?
Why don’t we decide to make a change, not because of what day it is, but because it’s something that we want or even need to do? Why don’t we pray about it, asking the God who makes us new to renew us again? Why don’t we persevere because we know that the end result will be worth it even though the in between is hard?
I can’t answer those questions for you, and you can’t answer those questions for me, but they’re definitely worth considering and answering for yourself as you head into this new year. What things do you want to change? What’s been holding you back? What will it take to replace the old with the new?
Why not take the first step now?