Hump Day: New year brings big dreams and motivation

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

This is always a strange week of the year.

First of all, it’s filled with much hope. A new year brings new beginnings. New plans. New motivation.

But after a very festive holiday season with bright lights and good cheer, it’s also the week where those lights are turned off, the decorations come down and we hunker down for a long winter.

With that said, I think Mother Nature is on an extended holiday this year because winter hasn’t really hit us yet. My plow driver has only come twice – once in late November and once in December.

Comparing the snowfall in early January this year to early January last year shows a stark contrast.

As I write this, it’s nearly 10 degrees outside and feels like spring – hardly typical early January weather! But I know – and you know – what this means. We’ll still be shovelling snow in May to make up for it. Mark my words, there will be some freaky snowstorm in May that will break records and will send everyone to their knees calling on God to have mercy on us all.

Meanwhile, in January, there’s barely a lick of snow and it’s practically barbecue weather! Heck, I still see certain folks of obviously hardy stock walking around in shorts from time to time.

January is a great time to take stock and to decide what things you would like to change or improve over the next year. I’m a big fan of making resolutions, even though they seem to be falling out of favour with many people lately because resolutions tend to get broken.

While it’s true that some resolutions may not make it past January 15, I’m of the firm belief that those of us who choose to make resolutions should still do so with gusto and excitement. I’ve already made a few for this year that will make a positive difference in my life.

Resolutions (or ‘commitments’ – as perhaps we should call them instead in order to give them extra gravitas) can be made at any time of year, but the beginning of a new year is a natural date to begin many of the bigger goals. Losing weight.

Making more money. Saving for retirement. Showing gratitude toward others. All those things can begin at any time of any day of any month.

Sometimes, you just have to start.

It sounds like a cliché – but it’s not – when we say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a tiny step. The bottom line is that we have to start somewhere. Anywhere. Getting healthy. Getting more financially secure. Ya just have to start.

That’s the key. Whether it’s January 1st, 5th, 10th or 31st, you just have to start.

There’s nothing that feels as good as setting a goal and achieving it.

It’s a real confidence-builder! Sometimes, it’s best to set small goals that are easily achievable in order to gain confidence in your abilities to make bigger changes. Then, as your confidence grows, you feel that the bigger dreams are achievable.

If you want to lose weight, set a 10-pound goal and work toward it.

Then do it again when you reach the first one – and then again after that. You will inevitably reach it, no matter how big it is. Same goes for building your bank account or any other goal that you previously thought was unachievable.

Personally, I use percentages for saving money. I put a certain percentage of income into savings.

It’s not a huge percentage, either, but a few months after starting the practice, I was very pleasantly shocked at how much was there!

Every new mansion begins the same way – simply by putting a shovel in the hard ground and turning it over. From the smallest shed to the tallest skyscraper, they’re all built the same.

Winters around these parts tend to be long and dark. The least we can all do is set a few goals for ourselves – something work on and to look forward to! At least it will keep us busy after it gets dark at 4:30 p.m. and the bitterly cold wind blows around all that snow we’ll eventually get.

I love having stuff to look forward to. It motivates me to think about how achieving goals will make me feel… how it will improve my life and give that extra ‘oomph’ that I’ll surely need to get through February – the shortest month of the year but also usually the most brutal weather-wise.

Yup, it’s a new year. By the end of 2012, I’ll be getting calls from Bill Gates to borrow money and will be making a hefty income renting out my six-pack of abs as cheese graters at gourmet dinner parties. I’ll have a staff of 100 well-paid people to do my bidding. I’ll win American Idol.

I’ll win the lottery. If I try really hard, I could even be Miss America!

(Note to self: It may also be a good idea not to drink two bottles of wine while writing columns.) This is your year! The year you kick some serious rear-end!

By December 31, people will be talking about you in whispered tones, wondering how you achieved everything you accomplished in 2012.

Anything is possible! Just take that first step! You have to start somewhere.

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