The closure of one year and the beginning of a new one is for most of us a time to take stock, to reflect on how things are going and how that differs from how we want them to be going, to consider how we’re spending our time and energy and how we might shift that to make our circumstances and ourselves better somehow.

And so, many of us usher in the New Year with resolutions, commitments to ourselves and others that we resolve to undertake. We are determined, resolute.

I consider this a valuable exercise: growth only comes from actively pursuing activities that will make us grow.

But, the pattern is clear. We resolve to do (or not do) something or other, make a sincere effort, meet with success for a while, and then…

We slip. We miss a day at the gym. We eat that dessert. We allow ourselves to have that drink.

And then we self-abuse. We consider ourselves a failure, even though we may have gone to the gym or not had that dessert or drink for two or three months straight. We focus on the immediate failure instead of prior victories. We may even feel that we don’t deserve the well-being that we were so resolved to find, because we’re never able to stick to it. So why even bother?

Here we have a choice. We can drop it all and return to our old patterns and behaviours, living our days with a subtle or not-so-subtle undercurrent of self-loathing.

Or we can start over.

It’s never too late to start over.

The calendar year is a construct to help us keep track of things, which is very helpful, indeed. But March 12th (or any other day) is the beginning of not only a new day, but also a new year.

So, my invitation to you if this is your pattern is to pause, take a few long, slow, deep breaths, reflect on why you lapsed in your pursuit, internalize any insights you might discover, brush off the dirt, and start over.

And instead of setting lofty, not-likely-achievable, type-A goals, perhaps aim to move, one day at a a time, closer towards where you want to go. Relax the goal or timeline a bit, smile along the way, enjoy the ride. When we fixate on the end point, we miss the journey, which can often be far richer than the goal itself.

It’s never too late to start over.

Enjoy the ride 🙂