Happy New Year! With every new year comes a feeling of determination and a spirit of new-ness. When I was growing up, on days that I would stay home from school sick, nothing brought me more comfort than watching the “Anne of Green Gables” movies. Long before the days of binge watching on Netflix, I would watch the four VHS long saga (totally about eight hours) of the orphan girl, Anne, on all of her adventures and it kept my mind off of being sick for the better part of the day. I remember a line from the movie that has always stuck with me on the topic of forgiveness, or starting over. She said “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”
Isn’t that a great way to think about the new year? Forgiving our past and embracing the creative possibilities for a fresh new future?
In the new year, many people make resolutions and set strong intentions for change. When the old behavior which is contrary to our new goals rears its head we can sometimes fall right back into the habit of the old patterns we wish to change. The best thing to do in these situations is to mentally take that thought or behavior and place it back in the past. Literally visualize yourself cleaning up the new year by removing the old thoughts and behaviors and putting them in the past where they belong. And gently remind yourself that the new year is a place you’re holding as ‘fresh with no mistakes in it’.
The most important thing to do is not judge yourself when these old habits show up. Remember that life is a practice and that each new day is a fresh new day so don’t fall into the trap of beating yourself up when things go awry! Just take a deep breath and start again.