We’re almost through the first full week of the new year. Resolutions have come and gone, decorations have been packed away for another 11 months (10 if you’re part of the council’s street decorations team) and Christmas trees stripped and recycled.
What’s left? Anti-climax!
For many, the hangover from the festive season is now something that was on the horizon some time ago; the onset of a new year and with it, something perhaps of a personal blank sheet of paper.
We spend so much time preparing for festivities at the end of one year that when a new one comes along in a blaze of fireworks and a chorus of Auld Lang Syne, it’s easy to get caught out by its arrival.
The closer we get to January 1, the faster that date seems to be arriving.
As it does, we’re all encouraged to find something new to sign up to, by way of a change in behaviour or activity, in much the same way as is the case with Lent.
Maybe for the supermarkets they could resolve that they WON’T put Easter eggs out on sale until we’re closer to Easter than we are to Christmas, but then maybe I need to make the resolution of being less naïve…
Whether we make resolutions for the start of 2013 or not (and whether those that we do make survive the first week of January), there is certainly something about the start of the new year which offers an opportunity for each of us to grasp personally, if we choose to do so.
2012 was undoubtedly a remarkable year in a variety of ways, personal and public. 2012 is now part of our collective past though and we have to live in the present.
Last year brought some very high personal highs; it also brought some very low lows and I am looking forward to the next 12 months hopefully bringing with them some stability and certainty to my life.
How much of that actually comes my way remains to be seen, but I’m guessing that my ability to exercise some personal influence during the year will be crucial to achieving it.
Regardless of whether you apply it to the individual or the masses, I’ve always believed that we make progress incrementally.
Small steps in the right direction are preferable to large strides, because if you have to go backwards you can also do so with small steps.
Every step forward is an achievement in its own right and if we recognise each one for what it is, that sense of achievement is itself an encouragement to take the next step forward.
And the next. And the next.
Sometimes it’s hard to see a future because of what’s happened in the past or indeed what’s happening in the present.
But it’s at exactly that point, I suggest, where we should be looking for those little ‘wins’ or achievements that move us forward, even by just a small distance.
Small steps keep us moving in the right direction. I moved into a new home last month.
When I was a tenant, I was very aware that I couldn’t really change things to my liking because the apartment wasn’t mine to change. Things are very different now and with every change to the house I make, however small, my own confidence and sense of achievement is growing.
None of us can control everything in our lives, but if we can take a small step forward every day, 2013 promises to be a great year.
It’s a resolution that I’ve made... for me.