New Year Toast

Happy New Year!

Although, today is a somewhat odd date for a big beginning. It’s not the start of any meteorological season. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, winter is just getting started. Hardly a reason to celebrate.

No religion I can think of holds January 1 as sacred. In fact, here in the US, starting the new year on September 1 would more closely align with a major religious event – the start of football season. All hail the NFL!

Anyway, I’ve ranted on this topic too many times in this space so let’s skip that path. Because the date we use for New Year’s Day really doesn’t matter. You gotta start somewhere.

However, society’s milestones like New Year’s Day are wonderful motivations for reflection. Not for making “resolutions”. That term is far too heavy and intimidating since many of us overpromise on the kind of large alterations that take a lot of work and time to achieve.

Instead, the relative lull of today provides the inspiration to think about where you are in your life and what midcourse corrections you might want to make. For both the long term and the next few months.

After all, another cultural pivot point will arrive very soon, whether that’s your birthday, the first day of spring, or even Groundhog Day.1 Each provides one more reflection point and the opportunity to make a few small adjustments to keep your goals on track.

Here’s hoping 2020 is a big improvement, personally and more globally, over the past few.


The image is from a space high up in the Washington National Cathedral. We were told that the carvers who worked on the building over more than a century celebrated each new year with a bottle of champagne. These are some of their empties.

1. Aside from the actual date, the movie of the same name contains a ton of philosophical ideas to consider in your life-improving reflections, with Bill Murray as the perfect guide. Pair it with Scrooged for a master class in ethics.