Happy New Year! I love the idea of new beginnings. A blank calendar with 365 days of opportunity that stretch before me like an open road. I always make a monstrous list of goals, try to shake off any negativity from the previous year and prepare myself for longer, more productive days.
New Year’s Day is, for me, one giant Refresh Button. A chance for a do-over, to make this year better than last. To clear the slate, forgive myself for mistakes, oversights and just plain “didn’t get to’s”. In technology terms, it’s a chance to reboot my life. In all honesty, I tend to do this a few times during the year, but New Year’s makes it fun because so many others are hitting the Refresh Button, too.
I’m not sure whether it’s the shorter hours of daylight, the chilly winter temperatures, the fact that we watch leaves drop from the trees and our grass turn brown, or our preoccupation with the holidays, but by January 1st, I always feel that my daily routine has become mired. My life feels static. I fall prey to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder—yeah, even in Florida; believe me, it bites). My creativity goes down the tubes and everything begins to feel like it takes way too much effort.
That’s why I’m always eager for New Year’s. It’s my chance to shake off all those feelings. Pull myself up by my bootstraps, strike while the iron is hot and a host of other clichés. Whether or not you’ve made any resolutions, I thought I’d offer up a list of 10 Quick Ways to Refresh Your Outlook. They’re pretty simple, little things—things we often overlook when we wallow in the winter doldrums.
- Cook a recipe you’ve never tried before.
- Splurge for a manicure and pedicure. Especially the pedicure.
- Buy one new clothing accessory. Hat, scarf, gloves, belt.
- Take a walk outside in the sunshine.
- Rearrange the furniture in one of your rooms.
- Go to a movie, a real one, in a real theater. Popcorn optional.
- Try a new hair color, cut or style. Take a risk!
- Call or mail a physical card to someone you care about but haven’t been in touch with for awhile.
- Get down on the floor and play with your child. grandchild or pet. Don’t have any of those? Check for dust bunnies. Seriously, everything looks different from your floor. Lie on your back, stare at the ceiling and pretend your world is upside down.
- Put on your favorite music and dance.
Give yourself permission to try something new—anything new! Remember, the goal is to shake off the fog that may have wrapped you in a daily routine that’s become, well, boring. 2012 is here, baby. Make it an open road.