“Every day is a new day,” wrote Lucy Maud Montgomery in Anne of Green Gables. Well, with this edition, it’s a new month and a new year. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Have you sat down and taken stock of what you did last year and then planned for what you want to achieve this year?
Well, according to genius Albert Einstein, “if you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” In other words, money won’t buy you happiness. Goals that revolve around “getting” someone or something are rarely satisfying and, most often, a waste of valuable time. In contrast, the best goals to set are those that will make a positive difference in your life or in the lives of those around you.
I do this every year. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t. Some things get checked off my list and some things don’t. Either way, I still like to feel like I have a purpose or direction to follow during the coming days – (as opposed to flailing around aimlessly until that fateful hour when my heart stops ticking).
In goal setting, it’s important to remember some famous advice: Winston Churchill once said, “success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” So, if at first you don’t succeed, then try again… and again… and again… and again… (Get the idea?)
Another piece of advice that I found helpful when “taking stock” is from Kofi Annan: “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”
Life doesn’t happen by mistake. Life happens because of choices we make or choices others make. Things, for the most part, don’t happen “to” us. We make choices every moment of every day, whether we acknowledge that fact, or not.
Something I tell myself and something I tell my children often: “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Think first. Ask yourself, who do I want to be? How will this choice affect me and the people around me? Choose wisely and remember, if you get it wrong, tomorrow is a “new day with no mistakes in it”, so try again.