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Who Says It Has to Start on January 1?

The other day, I saw some sort of journaling prompt video on Instagram for daily writing. We were about two weeks into 2024. The most liked comment read, “if only I had seen this ten days ago!!!” with many, many frustrated emojis.

I get the appeal. As we all know, New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday and January, one of my favorite months. It’s fun to feel we’re all embarking on some new journey together.

But sometimes I fear we’ve built so much pressure around the simple flip of a calendar and we’ve collectively bought into the myth that if we can’t do something perfectly from the beginning then it isn’t worth doing at all. 

Looking at the journaling video… is the alternative truly to wait another year to begin that sort of daily notebook exercise? Or could it possibly be okay to have a few blank weeks? 

If anything, does that not take the pressure off this idea of a perfect, Instagrammable, flawless notebook? Is it not inherently more human to say, “I tried this daily challenge and I missed some days but hey! Look at all the days I didn’t miss. Look at all the things I did accomplish!” 

I understand consistency. Building specific and expected routines into my life has been one of the kindest things I’ve ever done for my mental and physical well being. But I also don’t believe in—can’t believe in—waiting for everything to be perfect to begin. 

The best thing I ever did was post a single “Happiness is” that grew into over 4,400 “Happiness is” that grew into an entire nonprofit organization. And that all began on a very unceremonious November 9.

I write all this to say if you didn’t start on January 1, that’s okay. 

There’s always today.


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