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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Branding Your Brand New Year

Around this time, several years ago, as we were hauling the Christmas tree out to the curb and enjoying the last of the pumpkin pies, my husband and I got to talking about resolutions for the New Year. He shared with me a resolution that he and his sister had made some years before in order to jump start their fitness and exercise plans for the New Year. It was simple, yet effective: "Put the sneakers on." Those words fueled their actions. Had a tough day at work and don't feel like going to the gym for the day's workout? Well, just put the sneakers on. These were words that went beyond the vagary of most resolutions, and went into a direct action. Put the sneakers on. It was, and it is, still, pure genius.

Over the years, we've continued this tradition of branding the brand New Year. One year it was "clear the clutter," and that issued in a top to bottom effort to organize our household stuff. Another year it was "purge the circle" - ridding ourselves of toxic relationships that were dragging us down and not lifting us up. This was a hard one to execute, but the results were tremendously freeing and soul-satisfying. So what's on tap for 2015? Maybe "read more books," although Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has already claimed that with his New Year's promise to read a new book every other week, and Arianna Huffington has also pledged to read more good books. I like soup, so maybe our 2015 brand could be EAT MORE SOUP. Although that sounds more like a Campbell's Soup advertisement. "Just do it" has been done to death.

There were some years where the theme just presented itself, but this year, it's a bit of a jumble. We're being pushed and pulled into so many different directions with aging parents, our own aging bodies, and work, work, work. Never have we needed spiritual, mental and physical rejuvenation more, and never have we had so little time to achieve it. For now, though, I'll be content to stop, take a slow and deep breath, and hold onto the brief stillness of this brand new, unbranded New Year, like freshly fallen snow.  

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