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Monday, January 8,2018

Every Day Counts

By Jonna Shutowick. M.S. Ed.  

One is such a big number. It is assigned so much clout: Number one; one of a kind; the one and only; first place; first in line. On the first day of the first month of a brand new year the importance gets even more magnified. It is the first day of the rest of our LIVES!!!! Brand new diet, brand new lifestyle, workout routine, project getting off the ground, filing system, morning routine, calendar, brand new YOU.

So much pressure. Thankfully, wisdom is finally kicking. I’m approaching this new year in a new way. Finally, I realized that striving to implement all of the changes is too lofty, and perhaps even unnecessary, goal. Especially in light of how they’re usually put off for the last month of the previous year in anticipation for this day. This year I’m going to use the New Year transition as a reminder that every day is a new day with another opportunity to be the best me possible. And when the stress sets in and old habits creep their way back in here and there, I will notice, be mindful, forgive myself my trespasses and try again tomorrow.

Until now I’ve been apprehensive about this philosophy. It sounds weak and undisciplined. It sounds too easy. I’ve always been a more “no pain, no gain” sort of gal. But the truth is that whenever I approach anything from an all or nothing’ mentality I inevitably fail. All is not possible on a consistent basis. In this dichotomy, when all runs out, nothing naturally follows and I’m back to square one... on the following Monday, of course.

This year I am setting moderate goals with some mental deadlines attached, but am resisting the urge to break the mold and shoot for Super Star status. The truth is we are all stars shining light every day in our own way - big or small. Every day offers us a precious opportunity to make new choices. The idea of waking up and appreciating a new day every day, rather than going all in on the first day of the year sounds more appealing and feels much more achievable. One thing I am going to do is put 52 marbles in a jar and every Monday I’m going to pull one out and put it away. That way I will have a gentle visual reminder that time is ticking away. I am also going to place a marble in a new jar each time I accomplish a goal that I had set for myself as a visual reminder that I am making progress. I’m hopeful that this ritual will keep me focused without the added pressure of feeling like I have to get every single thing done as soon as possible. I have no idea how it will turn out, but it will be an interesting experiment.


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