There is something about a new year. I know it’s just another day, which technically doesn’t change anything from yesterday, yet there is still something undeniably different about the first day of a new year.
I’m wondering whether it’s because there is an underlying sense of expectation. That something will be different. That things will change. That it’s a chance to turn over a new leaf. That it’s a clean slate to start something new or fix something that wasn’t working in the past.
Now obviously we could make any of these changes on any day of the year. In fact it wouldn’t even have to be a new day. It could just be that one day we get to lunch time and think, ‘I’m not going to do that anymore’ or, ‘I’m done with this job’. But maybe it’s the wider community sense of expectation that comes with a new year that makes us feel more open to change and optimistic?
After all, is there any other time of year that whole groups of people suddenly decide to make radical life changes all at once through new resolutions? It’s kind of crazy, yet I also can’t help but feel that the optimism people go into a new year with is good for us. Is there any other time or season where people are as collectively optimistic as at the beginning of a new year?
Imagine if this collective sense of expectation and optimism could be maintained for longer, rather than just the first week/s of January (for we all know most resolutions and commitments to change don’t last much longer than that).
Imagine if we could approach our work with a collective sense of optimism and expectation. What impact could we have on the people we work with and the people we serve?
What about in our schools? Instead of teachers returning to school with a preconceived sense of exhaustation that they will feel within weeks, imagine if they returned with a sense of collective optimism?
Imagine if the people in our churches were filled with a collective sense of optimism and expectation. What impact could we have on our local communities through meaningingful support to those most struggling and craving for love?
What about in our families? What if we could strive for collective optimism and a sense of expectation? How would that impact our kids and give them a mindset of hope, positivity and self-confidence, rather than worry, anxiety and self-doubt?
What about in ourselves? What if we worked to maintain a sense of expectation and optimism throughout 2019? What goals would we set? What could we achieve? Who could we impact? What relationships would we invest in? Where could we end up?
The first of January may just be another day, but it may also be a chance for you to kick start something new while a collective sense of expectation and optimism is all around you.