steve ivory (2014)

Steven Ivory

*First, you need to define “new.” One dictionary’s elucidation: not existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time.

“Different” is another word to be embraced. New, different–that’s what you want to achieve in the coming year, something different than what you’ve been doing for the previous 365 days.

Next: Get rid of that list. You know–that list of stuff you impulsively scribbled on the back of an envelope you just opened; the column of desired results you’ve given space in your smart phone or printed out and hung on the door of the fridge. Things you insist, come hell or high water, you’ll make happen for yourself in 2016.

Toss it. Not far. Just put it away. For now, anyway. Because, like mashed potatoes masquerading as ice cream on the set of a TV sit-com, that list is nothing more than a prop in your long-running play, titled, Good Intentions.

Be honest–in all the years you’ve compiled that year-end to-achieve list, how much on it gets done? The list is usually too long and not realistic in terms of what you can actually accomplish. In your effort to make it all happen, you become overwhelmed, throw your hands up in frustration and nothing gets done. So get rid of the list.

Except for one thing on it.

It could be your declaration to lose weight. Or your promise to deal honestly with your finances. Or your emotions regarding a personal issue. The goal could be to travel more. Or less. To go back to school or clean out your garage. Or that front closet. Whatever is most important to you on that list, that’s the thing you’re going to attack with everything you’ve got.

That one thing you’ve chosen as the thing to tackle doesn’t have to be the only thing you accomplish in 2016, not by a long shot. But that singular victory will supply you the inspiration
and the fire required to tackle those other goals.

This is a recipe that will work. Just add an optimistic attitude, patience for who you are, dedication to doing the work and the conviction that you deserve the positive result, and stir.
Add water, too. Don’t know about you, but I need to drink more water.

The coming 2016 promises to be one hell of a year. But you are the only one capable of making the coming year that you experience “new.”

Steven Ivory, veteran journalist, essayist and author, writes about popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet. Respond to him via [email protected]