New Years: 2014 Edition

At midnight tonight an event will occur all over the globe that we’ve become quite familiar with. The new year will begin, two thousand and fourteen of the common era. I think this is a more momentous occasion than we often afford it, the new year. Most of us—here in the United States—think of a ball in New York’s Times Square, covered in strobe lights and crystal, descending a mast in time with a count down clock as the main event. There are similar events and parties the world over. Essentially we are celebrating the turn of the clock. But, let’s think about it for a moment. What the new year really signifies is the completion of an approximately 585 million mile journey about our nearest star, Sol. That’s pretty incredible! Granted, we’re traveling those hundreds of millions of miles in a circle (okay, it’s an ellipse, but that’s roughly circular!), so we’re not getting very far in relation to where we started—in relation to the sun and the other planets. But let’s think about that too, the sun is orbiting the center of the galaxy meaning that we end up nowhere near where we started. It’s all on a very large scale that we, ourselves, are simply too small to observe, but still it is happening every minute of every day or every year. The new year is a pretty big deal, explorers!

It’s become tradition in our modern society to make a resolution, or several resolutions, for the new year. Promises to yourself to be better, do more, and tackle parts of ye ole bucket list. Personally, I think this is a little unrealistic. Despite its cosmic implications we, as a society, have a pretty jaded view of the new year, especially today with the on going economic recovery, global conflicts, poverty, famine, and disease, etc. People make resolutions to go to the gym more, volunteer some, return to a long forgotten hobby but very few make good on these resolutions. I think it’s because these are all too specific. It’s difficult to make a sudden change to your routine, and it isn’t made any easier at the tail end of winter-holiday vacations.

Last year I made no resolutions. Like the year before that, and before that.

This year, I’m not going to make any resolutions either. But I am going to set some flexible goals for myself. In 2014 I want to start getting better at using my time wisely—which includes getting on a better sleep schedule—to finish all the little projects and tasks that I’ve started. I want to keep writing for this blog, and get better about posting more frequently! I want to investigate ways to use more efficiently the devices I have and goods that I purchase throughout the year to save money and energy. Save for my goal to keep writing entries for my blog, these are all somewhat nebulous. And they’re all achievable because they’re flexible. That’s the trick. It’s worked for me for almost ten years: don’t set rigid resolutions for yourself that you won’t be able to maintain throughout the year, set flexible goals that you can accomplish over time. Make every day a little better and a little closer to what you want to achieve! And if you slip up, don’t sweat it.

Whatever you do, and however you celebrate tonight, please have a safe and happy New Year! If you’re celebrating out on the town, remember that AAA and other organizations offer free rides home in case you imbibe a little too much or lose your designated driver.

Happy New Year!