Birthdays and holidays are just days. Most people probably overrate their importance. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be important days.
You can use the symbolism of a birthday or a new year or a holy day to give weight to the stuff you know you need to do. Of course, that depends on how you spend the days.
On the days when everyone wants you to indulge yourself, push yourself. Work. Give. Enjoy – but enjoy the deeper and more honorable things. Spend time with family and friends. Make progress on creative projects that matter. Cut out something wasteful or corrupt from your life – like Netflix or white lies.
Want your year to be full of courage? Do something courageous on New Year’s Eve, then do something courageous again on New Year’s Day. Instead of drinking yourself into a stupor, go and finish that project that’s been scaring you for months. Instead of watching another Rocking New Year’s Eve featuring another pop star, go and call that person you’ve been afraid to confront. You’ll certainly start the year on a right note.
Want your next year of life to be the year you get fit? If you’re going to pick any day to do it really right, try your birthday. Instead of eating cake or (also) drinking yourself into a stupor, go and get that run, lift those weights, and sweat. No one expects it from you. But your body will get the message: this is the age/year we get serious.
You can start transforming yourself whenever you’re ready. But it doesn’t hurt to make your society-designated “special days” as close to your ideal as possible. On these days, show yourself and the rest of the world that you’ll be doing things differently.