In just a few days time, the world will be ringing in the New Year. The ball will drop in New York; fireworks will flare in the sky; couples and partygoers alike will be kissing and popping bottles of champagne.
For many, the start of the New Year is accompanied by that age-old tradition: New Year's resolutions.
People march into the New Year with plans to lose weight, to save up enough money to buy a house, to start going on morning runs, to read one book a month or even just to laugh more.
Sure, all of these are great goals and I believe it is healthy and right to want to improve yourself; however, this New Year, I will not make any resolutions.
I have yet to ever make a New Year's resolution. Why? Well, besides never being around resolution-makers growing up, it probably had something to do with how I view January 1: just another day.
Sure, the year changes and that is a big deal. But, December 31 and January 1 are just a last and first day of the month.
To me, time just rolls into one, cyclical series of events and experiences, and the date isn’t too important.
Because of this, the whole New Year's resolution phenomenon has been lost on me. Instead, I believe resolutions, goals and changes in general can and should happen at any other time of the year.
Often, New Year's resolutions don’t last past the month of January. Why? Well, my guess is New Year's resolutions have become a set of standards up to which we must live.
People know they should stop smoking, should shed that extra weight and that reading a bit more will only help their brains.
But, unless you want to make those changes, the resolutions will remain unfulfilled and be laughed off as another set of New Year's failures.
So, as of right now, I’m pretty happy where I am. Just a few weeks ago, I resolved to dance more, both because I missed dancing and because I want to remain fit. I didn’t want to wait until the New Year to make the change; I wanted to start immediately.
Maybe in a week, or as far as mid-April, I want to grow into a better person, set a goal or make another lifestyle change. If I do, I’ll wholeheartedly resolve to start that journey at that time, but not unless I want to do so.
Even the so-called easy New Year's resolutions, like laughing more, will probably end up unrealized if they are goals you feel like you should meet, as opposed to goals you want to accomplish.
You won't get up each morning before work to run five miles unless you have the internal self-motivation and really want to.
This all being said, I do realize that the start of a new year can act as a good jumping off point for many people to change their lives in some way.
If a New Year's resolution helps you get to where you want to be, then great, more power to you!
But, if you decide to skip out on making a New Year's resolution, it’s okay. It is never too late (or early) to make a positive resolution in your life.