“If you’re not getting older, you’re dead.” ~Tom Petty
I’m running behind. It is the 4th day of 2018, and I’m finally starting to feel like I did on the last day of 2017. Yes, I partied well.
A friend of mine wrote a hard-hitting, powerful, and sagacious piece, on the 2nd to the last day 2017, and I finally just read it. It is about how nothing changes on New Year’s Day. He’s right, it doesn’t. Not in the cosmic sense. It’s really all a state of mind, a matter of perception. Everything in the universe is exactly as it was, for the most part. The only change that really affects us, outside of catastrophe, is an individual change of perspective.
Of course, this means that, for any individual, the ticking of the clock, the turning of the calendar page, or the changing of the final digit in the annual nomenclature can signal massive change. For some, everything changes on New Year’s Day.
According to common understanding, 8% of people keep their resolutions each year. That’s a terribly low number. But that also means that some people do keep them. Less than 10% of the population is left-handed, too, but what that means is that some people are. Less than 10% of the population think that the world is getting better, but I do. And I’m right-handed, so there’s no correlation there.
But let’s break this down.
The population of the United States is 323 million. According to studies, 45% of Americans make resolutions at the turn of the year. And, like I said, 8% of those people keep them. This means that, every year, there are 11,628,000 people out there for whom New Year’s Day was a life-changing event. This January, there are more than 11 million people who are healthier, or kinder, or stronger, more organized, or simply happier in some new way. And that’s only in America.
And if America is only 5% of the world population, and we extrapolate those numbers, then there are nearly one-quarter of a billion people better in the world today, by their own perception.
That’s pretty impressive.
I don’t know yet if I am better today. I didn’t make resolutions so much as set a few goals. Some of those goals have been altered already, but the year is yet young. I know that on New Year’s Day itself, in the evening after a long stretch of celebration, the missus and I vowed some new intentions. I hope those stick; we both deserve to be among the 8%.
But if they don’t, we’ll always have February and April and June and next autumn to make some changes. As my friend intimated, the calendar is arbitrary. Today we have a chance to be better than yesterday, no matter what today or yesterday is. My personal evolution does not stop. Not until I am dead.
I intend to get older. I resolve to be better.
2018, like 2017, will be a fine year. I will do some things better than I have ever done them before. Some things, not as well as I am accustomed. Things that harm me I will try to do less. Things that enrich me I will try to do more.
So, stay hopeful, my friends. Stay hopeful that the best days are still ahead of you. That the world is becoming a better place, despite the contrary news. Stay hopeful that intentions and resolutions can change worlds, big ones and small ones, because, it is only intentions, resolutions, and catastrophes that ever do.
Do you believe that? Do you believe that there are aspects of yourself that you can improve, others you should excise? If so, do so. Not just today, but every day, until everything you want and everything you need is yours. You will either gloriously succeed or you will not, but either way you’ll get older and, having tried, you will be better.
Make the resolution. Set the intention. If not 4 days ago, today. If not today, tomorrow for sure.
I will walk among those who have tried.
Join us in the walk.
240 million people can’t be wrong. 😊