Facebook has become an excellent gauge of the zeitgeist of any given moment.
(Yeah, I know: Zeitgeist. What can I say? I lived in Innsbruck, Austria for a year and studied German for five years in high school and college. Don’t ask me to speak it today. The best I can do is throw around words like “zeitgeist.” Jawhol.)
I noticed several people on Facebook complaining about January. That took me by surprise. I love January! It’s a ready-made opportunity for a fresh start.
Is it a bit contrived, a re-set button imposed by the Gregorian calendar? Of course! But who cares?
This week, I launched a column for the Santa Fe New Mexican called “Your Money.” (And yes, my editor Bruce Krasnow wanted to begin the feature in January! Not that I wouldn’t have started in any other month, but he, too, saw the clear opportunity for a new beginning.)
In the initial column, I wanted to put the smackdown on the current fad of rejecting New Year’s resolutions. We live in a pretty cynical age, and one effect has been to reject calendar-based vows to transform ourselves.
Sure, such efforts can seem naïve. “I’m going to lose weight this year!” Right, you and 190 million other overweight Americans. Good luck with that.
No, I am not contradicting myself by going all cynical on you. But I am pointing out that vague resolutions are almost always doomed to fail. Be specific about what you are hoping to achieve? Twenty pounds by December 31? Great! Now break it down into smaller milestones.
One of the books that inspired me in 2013 was Jon Acuff’s “Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters.” The title is fairly self explanatory. We have control over the starting line.
January is a great time to start. There’s momentum now that’s harder to find at other times throughout the year. Take advantage of that momentum to accomplish some of your goals.
Go. Now. Get started!