“New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.” — Charles Lamb (And woman’s….)
There is a lot of negativity around 2016 right now. People are calling it their worst year ever. There have been some high profile celebrity deaths. Are there more deaths this year than last year or are we all falling victim to our own tendency toward negative news?
If you take a look at social media, you will see statements and stories on how people are so ready for 2016 to be over. Are you looking forward to the end of the year? You probably do have some years when you are happier than usual to close the door on the old year and get started with the new one. Perhaps 2016 is one of them.
Have you created a belief that once you make it through to the end of the year, everything will be good again? Poof – New Year, a new clock ticking and you will instantly be re-energized!
Of course YOU know that life does not work that way. Anytime you fall into this type of thinking you are really falling prey to a false deadline. I don’t mean the kind of false deadline your project sponsor gives you to make sure that you are ready in plenty of time for the real deadline. I mean a false deadline as in, non-existent, completely not real. All in YOUR head.
Life does not know about the pages of the calendar. There is nothing about the experiences you are having (happy, sad or tiring) that are specifically tied to a time of year. There is nothing about the calendar flipping from one time period to the next that makes your experience change. There is no magic time genie that looks and says, “Wow she had a long year with some challenging experiences but all of those challenges will disappear as soon as it is a new year.” Life does not work that way. Life brings what it will bring and your job is to celebrate the good and to meet the challenges to the best of your abilities.
You do not need the date to change; you need to make a change. If you are feeling worn out, then you need to rest. If you are looking forward to ending an assignment, then you need to evaluate why you are happy to end that assignment. That is true ALL of the time; you don’t need to wait until month end, quarter end or year-end for this to be true.
Marking time is something very convenient we do as human beings. It is good to recognize seasons and special dates and milestones. And celebrating the New Year can be lots of fun. And looking back over the past year can provide valuable insights. But to view a new month, quarter or year as some kind of magical completion date at which you will no longer be ill or tired or have difficulties; that my friends is working toward a false deadline.