It’s about a week into 2021 and it feels a lot like 2020.

You can’t tell but I whispered that. It’s a limitation of the medium.

I’m not shocked. Are you? I mean did anyone really think the clock would strike midnight and all of a sudden everything would just snap back into place?

I’m all for wishful thinking, but I’ve watched enough movies to know that the characters have to learn and grow before the credits can roll and, as a whole, we’re not the best at learning, growing or changing.

The end of the year is a good time to reflect because that’s when some dude, a long, long time ago, said “Hey, that last thing – let’s call it a year – is over and now this new thing, again we’re calling them years now, starts.”

I don’t blame the guy. I mean can you imagine if we didn’t have any mile markers? What if our existence just continued in perpetuity and the only thing differentiating the passing of time was the sun coming and the sun going.

If you’re like me you kind of got a taste of that last year when you’d wake up and not know if it was Tuesday or Saturday, much less if it was March or October.

Fortunately, we do measure time, and it gives us the ability to look into the future and feel like we’re making progress. Progress toward what, I don’t know. But thanks to our linear existence we are moving forward.

Well, we’re moving in a direction away from where we were. Saying we’re moving forward has certain positive connotations associated with it, and of course saying we’re moving backward carries the inverse negative connotations. And, honestly, it’s too early tell.

I have my suspicions, though. Either way it beats the alternative.

Back in my earlier days (I know this took place earlier thanks to the aforementioned dude) I got on a pop-psy/sci kick.

Think Freakonomics and that book about a positive mental attitude.

One of the books I read was all about forming habits, breaking bad habits and why we have the habits we have and make the decisions we make.

That might have actually been two separate books, but if you read enough of them you’ll learn that all those writers do is read someone else’s book, borrow from a third person’s book and then throw in their two cents and call it a new book. So things get jumbled.

But the short of it is basically you do what you do because an action triggers a reward and then you crave that reward so you repeat the action. So if you identify and replace either the action, reward or craving you can change a habit.

Now I realize this leaves a lot out, but I didn’t spend five bucks on this book because I wanted a degree in psychology. I was killing time. I was probably doing the same thing you’re doing right now reading this column.

Here’s my point. Last year was horrible. This year can be just as bad. Why don’t we all just take a few minutes and think about some things we can do differently, as a whole, to make sure it’s not?

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