Today, in the United States of America, marks the beginning of the first full week of the Biden presidency. (Don’t worry, this is by no means a political post or anything. Just employing a useful analogy) Like, pretty much everyone who ran and served before him, Biden won on specific promises and issues, so people all over the country and across the political spectrum are observing what he does. Accordingly, most people were, and are, anxious about what a new administration will do; some are waiting with renewed hope while others with cautious trepidation. And both are discovering the, somewhat, harsh reality: legitimate, long lasting change takes time and effort.
Now, to be fair, Biden has already passed some major Executive Orders and is in the process of, or at least attempting to, working on his platform. However, the day to day functions of the federal government have also quickly caught up. Frankly, isn’t that how change and growth always happen? How many were excited for the new year, ready to hit the pavement, and get grinding toward the goals they had set? How many of those plans got sidelined because of work, family, relationships, or some other outside force that was not completely accounted for? Or even a surprise that came out of nowhere but is now an obstacle to progress? Or, worst, everything has been going perfectly (eating well, working out daily, practicing mindfulness, etc.) only to realize that not much has actually changed in a month?
Because that is the honest truth. You could do everything absolutely perfect in every conceivable way and still fall short of your goal, assuming you made some progress to begin with. That does not mean that you should not have goals or work toward achieving them, but to be realistic in your desires and the work done to make them reality. Americans are realizing, again for the n-teenth time, that a new authority is simply an opportunity for change. And many who made resolutions and plans for this year are discovering that whatever dreams they had will take time, work, and resources to actually accomplish.
This is not a bad thing. Yes, it is annoying and daunting to realize that losing weight, working on mental health, getting financially stable, etc. are more life long pursuits of ebbs and flows than a quick process with a destination that is achievable in a month, six, or a year. While we celebrate the milestones of progress, evolution is incremental. It is a culmination of every day decisions and actions that go beyond whatever metric we choose to measure at a specific moment.
I do not know what the new administration or new year will bring, how circumstances will change over the next year or four, or predict what possible obstacles will pop up. Instead, I’ll focus on the day to day, making the best choices, and taking fulfillment and insight from the daily actions I take. This is really the only tried and tested method to