A New Year

Hillary SwankNew Year’s Day is celebrated in many different ways. Depending on your traditions, customs and heritage, the day can involve noisemaking, food, music, football, drinks, gift giving, fireworks, prayer, physical activity, recovering, or in some cases, all of the above and more. To many of us, New Year’s also means a conscious final recharging of the batteries before life goes full force again. It’s during that brief and restful time that we often measure our lives, reflect on the past, plan our future, and dream of self-reinvention. How comfortable and convenient the dawning of a new year is for taking stock of one’s life.

We may look harder at it once each year, but life is a long, continuous pathway and can’t be portioned into separate linear segments. That doesn’t stop us, though, from believing that we can start afresh in almost any aspect of our lives; clean our slates; distance ourselves from our bad habits; take leaps of faith into new territories of chance and opportunity; reveal long hidden or newly found sides of ourselves. New Year’s Day does bring a sense of optimism and hope that we can accomplish more – that we can become more – starting tomorrow.

This noble thought doesn’t become our reality just by wishing and dreaming, of course. We need to actually take action, risk failure and humiliation, alter our behavioral patterns, think in new ways, and commit to doing hard, sometimes unfriendly and self-effacing work. In order to achieve lofty goals, we need to put ourselves in uncomfortable and inconvenient places. New Year’s Day can seem so long, yet whole years can go by in a snap of a finger. That’s why when it comes to becoming what you want to become, time is of the essence.

Make a contract with yourself. Agree to no more delays in the matters pertaining to pursuing your goals and dreams. Commit to becoming what you want to becoming all of what you want to become.

With that in mind, here are few movie quotes that come to mind:

“Stop worrying about ‘what if’ and start embracing ‘what could be’.” –Hillary Swank in New Year’s Eve

“I’ve got to reach for the best that’s in me.” –Robert Redford in The Natural

“What better way to dream than to walk in the shoes of whom we aspire.” –Ben Kingsley in The Boxtrolls

“…I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could have been somebody…” –Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront