Not another New Year’s post with a list of goals
Keep your NYE glasses on this time.
I’m a big fan of New years eve. Not the parties or fireworks though those can be fun, I’m a fan of this day where we think of what we actually want and dare to say it out loud.
It’s a moment where we are like kids again, and we dare to dream like kids. On New Year’s Eve, we are not closet-poets or jogger-wannabe, or almost-successful at our jobs. It’s a moment when we forget that: we fall asleep every time we meditate, we freeze up every time we talk to the guy we like, we have three of Marie Kondo’s books but the house still looks like a colorful mess, or that we’ve chickened out of asking for that promotion two times already.
We look at each other and say we will be better, braver, bolder and, for a night, we believe it. We believe it with the same conviction that kids wrote their wish lists under Dear Santa.
For some reason, this feeling, this shot of conviction, this champagne flute of bubbly hope seems to get diluted during the year. All the I Wants and I Wills seem to get translated to the same two or three complaints: I wish I had more money, I wish I had more time, I wish I wasn’t lonely. All the I Wants and I Wills are re-phrased in a way that makes it seem like we have no control over them.
But on New Year’s Eve and early January, All the I Wants and I Wills are just that. We start January looking at the 12 months ahead like a box of brand-new light bulbs, simply waiting to be attached, turned, and lit.
My brother tells me: “it’s so arbitrary!” You could decide to make changes on a Tuesday afternoon in April or a Thursday morning in July.”
My mother tells me: “often people begin to make changes after more personal events: a break-up, a graduation, or a holiday…”
I know this. We all know this.
I worked in app marketing: January sees a surge in downloads and usage of health and fitness apps, and finance apps, which usually trickles down towards the end of the month.
So why is there so much hope set for NYE? I think it’s because we get to do it together. I think it’s because you can look to your left, and look to your right, and you’ll see other humans closing their eyes and wishing too.
Changing is and isn’t hard. We are changing all the time, but bringing change in the way you want can be challenging. Even when it’s for the best, even when you are convinced, there are fears and insecurities, and outside barriers. And humans are social beings, going at it alone will always be a little scarier, tougher. My brother and my mum were right, you can decide to change on a Tuesday afternoon in April or a Thursday morning in July or after any number of events. But on NYE we are all doing that together.
I love NYE. I don’t want to steal from its magic. Instead, I want to propose something different. Close your eyes, hear the countdown, feel the smile spread, and your little heart pound with all the I Wants you to have for the year. See this image clearly in your mind’s eye. Frame it, press it in a locket, place it with care in a little glass jar, and put it on a shelf you can see for the rest of the year. Take New Year’s into the year, into every hour, day, and month. Every single moment you are about to have is NEW. Maybe this year we will condense all our I Wants into this one: I want to keep my NYE glasses on this time. I want to remember that every moment contains possibility, every day and every night of this new year.
Make it a mantra, a recurring event on your Google calendar, or a post-it on your fridge. Keep your NYE glasses on so you can see what you want and that in this you are not alone. Keep your NYE glasses on so that if you slip and forget for a minute, you can look through them and restart: take the next step on a Tuesday afternoon in April or a Thursday morning in September, because NYE is now a state of mind.