They feel auspicious to me.
I realize they're really arbitrary. Each day starts with the sun over the horizon and ends as the earth turns round and we see the moon. That's it. I realize that I don't need to wait for dates to begin changing things, and I haven't, not quite.
But I like marking my changes with significant dates, like the first of January. I like preparing, planning, starting fresh, starting new. And, since I'm a teacher, my work resets in January, to an extent--a fresh six week grading period, a clean slate for my kiddos' grades and record, and a chance to re-establish all of our expectations (and look up the locker combinations for the fifty percent of my kiddos who have probably forgotten them). So this is a natural time for me to reset, dig in, and put a little extra kick in the changes I've been making in my life.
One of my most favorite parts of the new year is picking out a new planner. In years past, I've wandered Barnes and Noble looking for just the right binding, pages, and size, but this year, I already found and ordered just what I need: a Passion Planner. It's backordered until February, though, so I took advantage of the maker's very generous offer to try the PDF version free and printed out the first month of pages (read more here), then sewed them together (twice before I got it right). I have absolutely no incentive to promote these planners, but if you're looking for something that unites creativity with planning? This is what you need.
I'm starting this year with a focus on my health, both physical and mental: building up my fledgling exercise routine (three days a week is a major step up from zero), starting a controlled diet next week (trying to find what triggers my regular stomachaches), and restarting The Artist's Way.
What'll come after that, I don't know, but by the time I see December 31, 2015? I plan to be very much different and very much the same.