Every so often, I like to purge. I think I have the sort of personality that is prone to addiction, and I like to restrict myself of things to keep from getting too attached. Back when I had more hair, I used to shave it; every couple of years, I don't drink soda for a year; in 2014, I didn't eat any candy. I can't know anyone better than myself, and it pays to know what I'm capable of.

I've learned over the last few years that it's much easier to omit than insert. I've had no problems cutting out soda, but every time I try to learn a new language, I fall off the wagon after two weeks. Omission is a non-decision. It takes no effort not to do something. You actually have to discipline yourself to learn something new.

This year, I'm back into my usual restriction resolutions, but I'm also going to challenge myself to do, rather than not do. I'm going to be writing more often, reading more often, and being more proactive about both. I'm going to try things I haven't tried before, and I'm going to focus on finishing things I start.

I believe that it's easiest to maintain a new habit when your first step is on solid ground. To help solidify the new habits in my personal life, I took a short road trip to the coast with my family on New Years Day; every time I look at these photos, I'll remember why I took them. To help remind myself to write, I've implemented a new design on my website. To challenge myself to try new things, I set up a page on SmugMug, where I'll be selling prints of some of my photos. If you have any requests, please reach out.

Every year, we have a chance for a new beginning. The world around us dies and is reborn, and we are reborn with it. But every month is the same: the moon leaves us and returns; every week, we have our rest; every day we have our night. Winters, Mondays, and mornings all give us an excuse to start tomorrow, or next week, or next year. As I watched my daughter watch the ocean, I hoped that I could teach her this important lesson: habits start now. Don't wait for the next wave. Every habit is a series of single decisions, made in the moment, that get us by until the next moment. There will never be a better time.

AuthorSheffield Leithart