A fresh start

Column: On a Brighter Note by syndicated columnist Lori Welbourne

On a Brighter Note with Lori Welbourne

On a Brighter Note with Lori Welbourne

By Lori Welbourne

Staring at a blank page before typing the first word for my column reminded me of what I love about New Years: a clean slate and a fresh start.

Okay, so the slate of life can’t be completely clean when we begin a new year, I know that. But it can be tidied up so the fresh start is stronger.

That’s where the beauty of resolution lists come in.  They help un-clutter our minds from all the things we want to do and organize them accordingly. Yet this is where ugliness can also occur when we fail with our lists, even those with only one thing on it.

I’ve always taken this time of year very seriously. My obsession to setting goals and trying to improve has me doing what most people want to do: get rid of my bad addictions and habits that are holding me back. But what’s going to happen if I don’t?

Our propensity as a society is to grumble about the pressures of New Years resolutions and surrender to the belief that we usually fail so why bother with them at all. Of course the alternative to that is to remember that it’s not perfection that creates our dreams, it’s persistence.

So you’ve started smoking again or you’ve gone off your diet already – so what? Falling off the wagon is just part of life.  Get up, dust yourself off and jump back on again.

Can you tell I’m writing this article more for me than for you? I should paint “Get back on the wagon” with a few exclamation marks on my wall to remind myself how important that is.

A few years ago I had the word “perseverance” tattooed on my forearm. I look at it often and it reminds me to keep going and stay the course. It also reminds me to pick a nicer font with a thinner needle and double check the spelling the next time I decide to mark my body with permanent ink.   2015 was a tough year for a lot of people I know, myself included. That old saying that we learn more from our failures than our successes has me believing I’m far wiser than I once was. But I’m ready to learn less and succeed more in the year 2016 and I wish that for all of you as well.

The other thing I was sadly reminded of this past year is how precious life is and how short it can be  – another reason not to beat ourselves up for failing to be perfect.

A quote I have displayed in my office says this: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Add in there: “Have fun while you do” and it’s the perfect quote.

Happy New Year and good luck with whatever goals you set, and remember that our fresh starts can start at any moment we choose. As long as we’re living, there are no limits to how many times we can re-set our fresh start button.

Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. She can be contacted at LoriWelbourne.com