New Year’s Day is one of the few holidays that much of the world celebrates. Today, on New Year’s Day, we celebrate the possibility of starting afresh and of having second chances, but more even than that, we honor structure and accountability.
New Year’s Day not only structures our lives into one year after another, but it also divides each year into twelve months and beyond, easing the work of record-keeping and accountability into manageable chunks. Around the world, most government offices and banks are closed today on our jointly celebrated New Year’s Day. It may be the only day when all of the world’s financial markets are closed.
To emphasize that today is the day to step back for a broader perspective on key aspects of our lives, we use business metaphors to show our belief that because of today, change will be easier to accomplish. We say that we can now close the books on some task or challenge, or, if need be, we may even give ourselves permission to wipe the slate clean and start anew.
Now if you were, say, a fox, one day would be like all the others, but since you’re not a fox, you are probably finding a moment or two today to reflect on how your year has gone. You may also be giving some thought to what you can do differently for a better outcome. And since you are knowingly or unknowingly celebrating the ritual of planning, as well as that of record keeping, perhaps you are considering what will be your first step in making 2014 a better year than 2013.
It’s hard to miss that wonderful spirit of hope that’s in the air today. We watched the fireworks in Dubai and in Sydney and in London and in New York. In spite of everything this year, hope is still possible. In our individual lives, we get another chance to do and be better in big and small ways.
The fireworks can’t be just smoke and noise, but rather a celebration of the individual strengths that we each call upon to help us be accountable in moving day by day toward accomplishing what we hold important.
Today is the chance for a fresh start, the opportunity to do better, to show up and work.
After you put writing high on your list of priorities for this New Year, then what comes next? What’s the plan?
Make 2014 your year.
Happy New Year!
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com