Leap Year feels special. It’s so much more than just a year with one extra day. On Leap Year, it’s like we are all winners before the year even starts. It is a fantastic opportunity to try new things, to break old habits and rituals, or to actually leap out in courageous adventures. Leap Year gives us that tiny little nudge that we need. Since we experience Leap Year so infrequently during our lifetime, it's a fantastic time to change the script, to adjust our story, to try out alternate ways to be human. And on Leap Year we can all confidently reply, “this is just what I do on Leap Year” in response to any question about the sudden improvements in our behavior.
To name just a few possibilities you could:
- quit smoking, lose weight, start exercising
- become a vegetarian or give up carbs, or sugar, or double your coffee consumption
- start working on forming a better relationship with your significant other
- learn to meditate or take up yoga
- send 100 thank you notes over the course of the year
- choose to spend time with positive and affirming people
- make a change at work, in your family, at your church
- make new friendships or end toxic relationships that drain you
- quit something you have been hanging onto for too long
- write a book or start a blog or record a podcast
- travel to exotic new locations or familiar places you’ve forgotten
- take a break from drama at work
- put your TV in the closet for the whole year
- Start an instagram account to document what happens everyday at 2:29pm
- [insert your crazy idea here]!
I know what you might be saying, “But, that’s not what I do. Those aren’t my habits.” Hmmm… maybe not most of the time, but this isn't 'most of the time', it is Leap Year. Maybe some of those things are “just what you do on Leap Year.” I mean, why not? Why not leap in some fabulous way that takes you deeper into your humanity? Why not try out a few new rhythms and risks? Why not re-evaluate where you spend the energy of your life and make a change (no matter how small) to aim your life in a direction that brings you joy and makes you a more pleasant person for the rest of us to be around?
And hey, if it doesn’t go so well, it's ok. It was just your thing for Leap Year. But if it is amazing and you discover new things about yourself, and your mirror conversations with yourself start to be a little more positive, well then next year can be Leap Year for you, too.