08 January 2016

New Starts

We're already in our eighth day of this new year, so it may seem a bit late to talk about new starts, but I have to say that I'm not a big fan of using January 1 as a sort of excuse for starting something new or making important changes in our lives.  New Year's Day is a fascinating day that makes us think of new beginnings, but in my mind, so is every morning that dawns.

Each morning, we move from darkness to light, from night to day.  Of course, some days don't get all that light when there are storms to weather, and people far to the north and south don't see the exact same cycles that we see, but the principle is the same--each day begins something new.  It's not just the clock as the hands move past midnight, and it's not just the name of another day on the calendar. Every day that we live holds the potential for change in our lives, for new beginnings or even restarting something that we've started before and then put aside (or let fall to the side).

If I want to start something new today, I just need to start it.  I'll be much more able to do so if I sit down first and figure out just what comes first--many a great project has led nowhere because someone started somewhere that was impossible to accomplish without some other work having been done before. If I'm going to shovel snow, for example, I'd better dress appropriately before I ever pick up a shovel--if I dress too warmly or not warmly enough, there's a good chance that I'll abandon the job before it's done, or hurry through it and not do it well because I'm either too cold or sweating too much.

If I take the time to figure out the steps necessary to finish a job, then my new start today doesn't have to be completely overwhelming. If I want to write a novel, then my new start can be simply writing one page--and by the end of the year I'll have over 300 pages done.  Or it can be to write for an hour, as many pages as come out.  If I start out to write a page, I have a great chance of succeeding.  If I start out to write a novel, I have a great chance of being overwhelmed.

Do I want to lose some weight?  Then I need to make a series of decisions today that will help me to reach my goals down the road. No, I don't need that chocolate right now--too many calories. Yes, I will walk to work instead of driving, for it will burn off some extra calories.

I may not be able to clean the whole house today, but I can start with this half of the living room, and then finish the rest of the living room tomorrow, and then the spare room the day after.

New starts are just that--starts. Somehow we manage to convince ourselves that starts aren't enough, and we tell ourselves that we need to do something as quickly as possible, or we neglect to plan out the steps we need to take. Today is a new start for you--so what kind of new things will you bring to this day? The sun comes up just for you today, so take the hope and love that it sends you in the form of the light that keeps us alive and use it to start something that you'll absolutely love doing! Make sure you start with a plan, and then move on to the doing.


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