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Are you the type to think that everything you do in the first couple days of a new year is what will shape your year entirely?

I commenced 2014 at a very small bar in a very small town known as McCall, Idaho. At 11:59 pm, my cheap champagne and I were ready to welcome the new year with open arms. I had my paper party hat on and my cell phone in hand. Armed with positive thoughts of how great 2014 would be, I was ready to document the moment and ward off any bad vibes.

And then, 12:00 am! My friends and I vivaciously clanked our plastic cups together. Happy new year! Salud! But alas… something was off. The DJ was late ringing in the new year! My phone told me that it was 12:01 am and he had just started the count down! Because of this man’s tardiness, and my superstition affirming the question previously posed, I was doomed to a year of lateness! Nooooooo…!

Well, it’s six days in to the new year and I am proud to say I haven’t been late once. The truth is, that silly superstition is exactly that: silly. Some say the new year is about setting goals, resolutions, whatever you want to name them. And, if you don’t meet them always, you’ve failed. I’m here to tell you that that’s not the case. So, whenever you feel the need to reevaluate, please do so. Ask yourself: what will you do today that will make you proud in a year?

Five days ago, I was not very proud of myself. I was recovering from a cold, loading up on junk food, and watching multiple seasons a day of Breaking Bad (I’m late to that party and I got sucked in). It was 2014, a brand new, shiny year of possibility… and this was how I was spending it? But what about all of my goals of turning AinA into a powerhouse, running my next half marathon, and reading more? Meh… it could wait.

Could it? I suppose. My goals truly could wait, but I am impatient enough as it is. I didn’t want to stall my plans even longer. But, I was so unmotivated. Unmotivated to move, think, be innovative. Unmotivated to face rejection again. I didn’t feel like this new year had brought anything new at all. In fact, I felt like I was wallowing in old instances of failure and disappointment because I was just sitting there – doing nothing.

Enter: me being hard on myself. As so many of us are, I am a rehabilitating perfectionist. I wasn’t actually doing nothing. I was taking a break – a five day break. Yes, we need those sometimes. It’s okay to be unmotivated… as long as it’s not your default setting. Staying focused on your goals can be as simple as a two step process. Ask yourself:

1. What is making you proud of yourself today?

2. Will that make you proud of yourself in a year?

If so, keep doing it. If not, find the willpower to change it up. Having a peer you can turn to is one of the easiest way to ask  these sometimes difficult questions. Our peers are what keep us accountable.

Remember that one action, or series of actions, does not shape your reality. You have the power to create change and it’s okay to depend on others sometimes when you need that. What’s your default setting this year?

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