Well we are now on the brink of a brand new decade. Just one more year to go after we bring in 2009. I've broken out everything from my Christmas tree to fancy lights, to organic egg nog, my Kwaanza hat, socks with the toes in them and of course my all time favorite - Mariah Carey's Christmas album (yes, I'm extremely gay for Mariah, but i'll save that for another blog). As we move through the holiday season with glee, along the way we find ourselves blurting out promises to ourselves and others all the goals we'd like to achieve and accomplish in the New Year.
So many people rely on the New Year as their season of change. We hear everything from "I can't wait till the New Year to get things straight," to "Next year is going to be my year," to "I'm so glad this year is going to be over..." and of course all of the proverbial weight loss, smoking, cheating, gambling, drinking, resolutions we list on our scrolls on Dec 31st and are forgotten by Jan 31st. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for newness, and there are definitely people who accomplish everything they set out to do as we go out with the old and in with the new. But my thing is this: Why wait? With 11 other months, 51 other weeks, and 364 other days, we can hand pick any moment as our time of change. One of my favorite quotes is "change the way you look at things and the things you look at will begin to change." Our life changes can literally be as simple and quick as a thought (followed by a little persistence). They don't have to be ushered in by Dick Clark, a countdown, cheap champagne and some cougar you met at the party. We can and should learn to celebrate newness in our lives everyday.
I often feel bad or simply tune people out who look back on their year, months or weeks as series of disappointments and unaccomplished tasks. Again, don't get me wrong, I'm one of em too. I constantly tune out my own negative thoughts. In light of that, I think one of the most difficult things to do is to give ourselves credit. Every day we are blessed with the ability to do something that pushes us forward. Got laid off and didn't kill yourself? Good. Enjoy a few days off and use the skills you developed while you had the gig to advance. Paid your rent late every month this year? At least it was paid! Caught the herpes?... um... err uh... can't help you there. But don't wanna mess with that dick of a guy you met any more? Good. Don't. But at least you experienced something great at some point, even if he disappointed at the end. Such is life. We do. We learn. We live. We grow.
With all that said, I urge you to make this your new year's resolution: Choose change everyday. At the end of each day, ask yourself "Was I better person today than I was yesterday?" Each morning ask yourself, "How can I be a better person today?" Even if you just choose one small area to focus on. Take an extra serving of your lunch to work to share... Just once. Somebody in the office likes egg salad (I hate it, so don't bring it for me). Don't cuss out the driver who cut you off... just once. He or she could be bleeding and in a rush to the free clinic. Don't refer to your baby mama as "that triflin' skank." Just once. You'll be amazed at the habits you develop after a while.
Lastly, I know this can come off corny and cliche and is often easier said than done. One thing I recently adapted to stay on track with positive thinking was to set reminders in the calendar on my phone. Whether it was randomly to drop and do 20 push ups in an effort to stay in shape, or reminding myself to being more patient with my child, or to pray for thanks at any moment, or calling someone I haven't talked to in a while, doing a client an additional favor, or even practicing my Kegel exercises ;), I tried to continually remind myself of the purer side of my personal development. You can set several different reminders for every monday, weds, saturday, or once a week or however you see fit.
The point of it all is that you can shape your life whenever and however you want. Try not to focus so much on the outcome, but more on the journey. Be an example to someone in someway. Be thankful and patient, and IMMEDIATELY nip the bud on the negative thoughts that easily pop into our heads. And most importantly, have a happy and successful new year doing so. I'll leave you with quote from Les Brown: "The fascinating thing about life is that you can't get out of it alive, so you may as well have a good time!"
Enjoy your life.
Peace and Fish Grease.