The video below from my colleague, Susan Eckstein, was brilliant. She talks about being in the locker room at her gym during the first week of January and the despair she heard in the voice of a woman on the other side of the lockers, saying to her friend that she had already failed – she had already missed her goal one week into the new year. 

Susan’s thoughts on this were lovely, warm, and wise. 

So you overslept and didn’t get to the gym. 

So you ate the whole pint of ice cream last night. 

So you put on 5 lbs over the holidays. 

So what? 

Over the course of your life this is nothing. A crack in the sidewalk, not even a pothole in the road. 

The truth is, January 1 is just one possible reset. You can restart your year or reboot your life at any time. I have a few resets throughout the year – January 1, my birthday in mid-March, and Labor Day, which always feels right because of back to school. 

You also could try the Chinese New Year, which falls on January 22 in 2023, if you messed up in January. You just lost three weeks if you do that. No big deal. 

Why would you make yourself miserable because of a day on the calendar, some arbitrary line in the sand? You can begin again every single morning! 

My Zen monk used to say, “Start from where you are and then try to improve.”

Somehow, these simple words have always had great power for me. I generally don’t beat myself up for what I “should have” done. I just honestly acknowledge where I am and where I want to be. Then, I take some small steps or make some small changes. 

Small steps over time lead to big results every time. 

The new year gets a lot of hype, but there’s nothing particularly special about it. Figure out what you want to do and then create some good habits, and add in some structure to support yourself in achieving your goals. 

This is what works – and it can work at any time of the year – not just in early January.

What do you want to create for yourself? I am cheering you on. You’ve got this.  

PS – If you are totally not feeling the new year reset this year and have a moment (or several moments) where you just want to say “f*ck it,” the first part of this podcast may be the exact thing you need to hear right now. 

Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash