2023 - Ring in the true

2023 - Ring in the true cover image

First of all, I wish you health and happiness for the coming year.

I want to share these words with you from Alfred Tennyson, from his poem In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells]:

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

I think that this is powerful.

If this is a time for retrospection or goal-setting for you, think of these words, in particular "ring out the false, ring in the true".

Be yourself, everyone else is taken

If you want to set new goals, don't focus on results. As James Clear (Author of Atomic Habits) says, "think of identity, not results".

For example, if you want to write more blog posts this year, don't set a goal such as "I will publish a blog post every day". Behind that is probably a different goal, such as being knowledgable about a subject, or having a good reputation in your field.

Instead think of yourself as writer. Can you identify with this?

If the answer is yes, then work on small habits to support this. Create a system to make these habits easy. They will help you to become that.

Don't go for a big-bang approach to a "new you". Enthusiasm wanes if you don't achieve a thing in a short time. Look for things that support your identity and values, then create habits to support them.

Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That's the paradox of making small improvements.

I find a goal such as "Publish a blog post every day" to be a death march. It is a high bar, and I feel like I am trying not to miss days. Like a tightrope, don't fall over!

I think a healthier habit would be to aim for "Spending 30 minutes writing every day". You can be more specific than that. The writing could be for an audience of one! It could be about any subject, and may never be published anywhere! It is your choice. Be honest with yourself about what you are doing.

Here is a short summary of Atomic Habits if you want to explore that concept.

If you made a retrospective of the last year, what do the things you have listed say about you? Does that represent the person you are?

What is a new year?

A year is considered one circuit of the sun. You are celebrating the completion of that circuit.

Personally, I don't consider the new year a momentous occasion. I don't feel a compulsion to make resolutions. Why are you waiting for the end of something to do better?

I don't think January 1st is any more important than January 2nd. Today is the most important day.

To reinforce this, remember that January 1st is significant because of the Gregorian calendar. This calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory, the head of the Catholic church, in 1582. Do you follow the catholic church, or the sun?

It does not matter really. Our planet follows the sun, and it makes sense for you to have your waking hours to maximise daylight (it is good for your circadian rhythm). The rest is fairly arbitary.

At least, 1.5 billion people do not celebrate January 1st as the new year. In many asian cultures, the lunisolar calendar is followed because the position of the sun and moon are culturally significant. They celebrate the lunar new year. The lunar new year, depending on what culture is celebrating it, can be celebrated for up to 15 days.

Typically, the lunar new year is celebrated between January 20 and February 21 of the Gregorian calendar. The next lunar new year will be celebrated on January 22, 2023. What will you be doing on January 22?

Why am I mentioning this?

It is your choice to make a date significant. Maybe, you feel that something is not optional because that is how your culture is. Don't use dates or culture as a barrier to ringing in what is true to you.

Maybe, it is better to say "happy new day" every day, to yourself at least! 🙂