429: How to Determine the Start of Your new Year

Create Your Calendar

The holidays and the end of the year can be a very confusing time for many people.  All around us, regardless of religious beliefs, are messages of good tidings and cheer.  We are reminded to be kind to each other and to be joyous.  Of course these are all sentiments that I profess everyday.  Yet even I can see where these well meaning intentions can go astray, especially in regards to the new year.

Despite the fact that time is a man made creation many people put great emphasis on the ending of one year and the beginning of another.  On some level it is good to note these changes, endings and beginnings.  However endings and beginnings happen every day, not just on December 31st and January first.  The trouble with setting these calendar markings is that many times people are not ready for the marked ending or beginning.

In January we reassess; hopefully we reassess.  We look at the year passed and determine what we would like to see in the new year.  Some people create huge plans.  Many of my peers laud this time as “the time”.  The time to make this new year the best ever.  While their intentions are usually well-meaning this can and does create pressure for some.  It is my belief that is why so many resolutions and goals are quickly created and dropped and dismissed with same alacrity.  So many people scurry to find the best diet, the newest way to be better and they hook it all on one predetermined date, January 1st.

There is a fervor to conform to the concept that the date of the new year possesses some mystical property that will allow the fulfillment of all goals.  There is no magical quality that grants the success of all goals made and started in January. 

Getting back to my initial point, this time of year is confusing because there is a mix of feelings.  We are told to be happy and joyous, and at times we are because we are surrounded by family, friends and the warmth of holiday traditions.  Yet even in the midst of holiday revelry is a gnawing, slight for some and all-encompassing for others.  What is it?  It is the impending last day of the year.  The day that many believe is the last day to complete all the grand plans they laid out the previous January.  Many become sad because they had such high hopes for the year and yet for many they did not come to pass.  They may feel a sense of failure, of hopelessness.  Again, to have hopelessness residing in the same body that is celebrating the holiday can bring much chaos and indeed incredible pressure.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t offer another way to look at things.  To that end, relax.  Proceed with joy.  You may have had the grandest plans at the beginning of last year and they may not have been achieved.  So what?  They aren’t markers of who you are as a person.  Nor should an arbitrary date on a calendar bring about remorse, failure or guilt.  It will be December 31st soon.  Big deal.  Celebrate.  End the year.  Start another, but in name only.  If you have plans for new ventures or new goals then by all means go after them.  Proceed with the process.  Determine your goals, create an action plan and work toward their completion.  If you don’t have any grand plans or goals for the new year then don’t feel compelled to create any.  I am not proposing apathy for the new year, simply offering a different way to look at things.    Create your own calendar.  When you feel a stirring in your heart and soul to be better, act then, regardless of date, regardless of day.  If you don’t feel any intense yearnings to change then, then stick to the growth that you experience every day.  Look to the accomplishments, large and small.  Of course spend time each day in silence, quietly reflecting.  In these moments, also regardless of time, you will become aware of what your soul wishes to create, to experience.

I am always quick to point out that your nature and the nature of our entire world is growth.  It is abundantly clear that is the case or none of us would be here.  None of us would be creating new technologies, curing diseases, lifting hearts and minds with art and music.  We are a people destined to grow.

You are a person destined to grow.  You are every day.  See it. Know it. Acknowledge it.  When a change stirs in your being, then go with it.  Do just what most people will do on new years day, create a plan and jump into action.  But do it on your time,  responding and creating your own calendar.  Your own time frame will alleviate the end of December blues.

I am thankful for the new year, because for many it does indeed provide a seemingly imposed time of reflection.  Men and women who would not reflect on their lives seem urged by conformity to do so.  However, you are not a sheep.  You understand that reflection will produce the growth I spoke of.  You are aware that you are the only one that truly knows what is best for you.  You fully understand that for your life to have peace and meaning you must follow what your heart yearns to experience, and not follow the wishes of loved ones or entire societies.  You are are courage and grace.  You are powerful.  Yet in that power is an understanding that power doesn’t steamroll.  It quietly and self-directly proceeds with a calm understanding of your individual path.  There is no need for drama or chaos.  In fact, their very presence disavows the peace and power mentioned previously. 

While many are embarking on new ventures with a stern commitment take a deep breath and relax.  Wake up each day with lightness of spirit, a firm understanding that the day you are about to experience and indeed your entire life is unfolding just the way it should be.  No amount of ego based forcing will change why you are here on this earth.  You chose to come here and yet your destiny is not fully written.  You are here to experience divinity and love.  The most awesome thing about that path is that you determine how you wish to walk it.  You can plod through each day, fighting and clutching, worried and fearful, exhausted as the sun sets.  Or you can instead awake refreshed, revitalized, confident in the belief that you are light and that your desire shapes the day. 

I would urge you to look at every situation as an opportunity to grow.  Always look to smile and laugh.  Don’t take yourself so seriously.  If you feel like you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders it is abundantly clear who placed it there; you.

You are limitless, unconstrained by time or circumstance.  Freed of the perceptions of others.  You are you.  Truly amazing. Here’s to whenever you choose to start your new year.

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