Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)

2022 is here and that means a new year and a new you, right? Just kidding. I think that ship has left the port on misguided journeys many times over. The truth is, any change we are serious about making, we would simply implement. There would be no need to wait until January 1st of any particular year to do so.

On a sincere note, however, I am wondering two things:

1. Why do we feel January 1st is the best day to put change into practice?

2. Why do we feel the need to announce the impending changes we plan to make?

As for the first point, there seems to be something refreshing about the beginning of a new year; almost as if we regain a sense of hope which allows us to believe again that anything is possible. Also, we tend to over indulge in a variety of ways in the months leading up to the New Year. Do we select January 1st as a starting point for change in order to give ourselves a pass during the holidays?

Saving money is easier in January after the spending frenzy of the holidays is behind us. Eating healthier becomes much more feasible January 1st. By then, all of the pies, cookies, and cakes have been consumed. Maintaining a regular exercise routine does seem to be less complicated in January. The hustle and bustle of holiday traveling, parties, and the around the town house-hopping to spread holiday cheer is over with the dawning of the New Year.

If we were to be truthful, do we purposefully wait for this one time a year to do soul-searching? We coast through the year, giving no thought to ways we can challenge ourselves to be a better person, to accomplish more, to take our health seriously, etc. However, an introspective is beneficial periodically, not just once a year. What’s wrong with conducting a self-check on April 16th and September 28th as well? Should we not gauge our progress to be sure we are still focused on what we set out to do in January?

To the second point, I wonder if the public declarations are intended to be a form of accountability? If we announce to the masses our plan to work out three days a week, are we, in actuality, expecting those in our circle to keep us motivated? Many times, the second day at the gym can look more like our final day without the support and encouragement of friends and family. Do we broadcast our goals and resolutions to encourage others to make their own vows? Why do we publicize our course of action for the New Year? Are we less likely to quit if we think people are watching our progress more closely than we are?

On today, if you are updating your game plan for life, great! Sincere prayers for success are headed your way. If you’re planning to enjoy this day as the holiday it is, without thought of making adjustments, that’s absolutely fine as well. When the pages of the calendar turn to March and you think it may be time to do some things differently, go right ahead. Tomorrow is promised to no one (Matthew 24:36) and January 1, 2023 is many moons away. You can accomplish much between now and then.

Carpe diem (seize the day) and happy New Year!

Shawn-Ta Wilson is the author of Survival by Faith and Speak Lord. Click here to read more My One Thing by Shawn-Ta Wilson.