- Special Sections
- Public Notices
The New Year brings with it a fresh new start. There’s something about a new year that spurs us to want a new beginning. Just ask the diet and exercise equipment companies; their busiest time of the year is January. One of my clients specializing in exercise equipment, videos and apparel would joke that Christmas season was not very busy, their black Friday was Jan. 1.
New beginning has a positive thought. It’s like you could make a list of all the things in your life that aren’t pleasing and start anew. One thing many of the items on the list might have in common such as weight control, exercise or a diet plan, is they all take discipline.
So, I looked up “discipline” in the antiquated dictionary and it reads, “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.” No wonder we resist that word, using punishment to correct. This year, I’m going to try “new beginnings” on my meditation program, exercise plan, eating healthy and smelling-the-roses plan. What’s your plan?
New beginnings entail many things. It could be a new member of the family. It could be life without a cherished one, a new career or new adventure such as going back to school. Whatever your new beginning is, it might help to develop a new attitude about the fresh-start effort.
A dear friend just got fired from her job. She was devastated and felt wronged.
“That’s fantastic,” I said when she called to tell me about the situation. “Now you have an opportunity at a new beginning and to find a perfect job.”
“How can you say that?” she asked, horrified at my response.
Well, I said, you have been unhappy in that position for some time, your boss (as she had shared many times) doesn’t like you and you don’t like her. So, this is wonderful. There’s a better, more perfect job for you out there. Now all you have to do is go find it.
The first step in putting together a life plan is identifying what it is you really want. The next step is identifying what you need to do to acquire this desire, followed by the next step, an action plan.
The plan can be as simple or as complicated as you like. The fact you are thinking about improvement and having a happier life in this New Year is your first reward. Identifying the areas in your life you want to refresh or bring anew is not only therapeutic but enlightening. Making a list of all the areas in your life you want to work on — mind, body, spirit, family, career and friends — will give you a clear picture of where you are in each category and also will reveal the area needing the most attention.
The mind aspect might be to eliminate worry, fear or negative self-speak. Body might be to lose some weight and build stamina. Spirit might be to find a new church that inspires you and fills you with joy. Family might be to accept the members of your family for who they are and not who you would like them to be. Career might be to find a job you are passionate about, one you enjoy, because then it’s not work but a mission of fulfillment. Friends may be finding new ones who are interesting and fun or moving away from friends who make you feel unworthy or unhappy.
Whatever your plan, you can identify the areas, prioritize and work on the easy ones first.Enlist a buddy to help you and make it fun so that every year you look forward to the new beginning in your life.
Many years ago a wise teacher, Mrs. Lemaire at West Hardin High School, said after hearing some of the students saying they couldn’t wait until graduation, “You are wishing your life away. There will be a time in your life when it seems to fly by.”
Well, time seems to fly by these days and it won’t be long until we start planting new seeds for spring, another new beginning.
I always remember this devoted and committed teacher and her wise comment that has become true. Honestly, back then, we really didn’t understand it and did what typical teenagers do — rolled our eyes — but now it seems very wise.
This time of year, when I’m thinking of my personal action plan, it helps to remember how very precious each year and each season has become.
Susan Rider is Speakers with Spark’s Lead Dynamo. She lives in LaRue County.