On the “favorite holidays” list, Independence Day is #2 behind Thanksgiving.
I love that the 4th of July includes all of the summery goodness like days on the water, hikes in the mountains, hometown rodeos, the small town parades, backyard parties with friends and family, bike rides, trail runs, ice cream, corn on the cob, and watermelon.
I love the patriotic decorations, the stars and the stripes, flags waiving and bunting dancing in the wind, streamers on bicycle handlebars, and flags on t-shirts, swimsuits, hats, socks, shoes…you name it.
But beyond the traditional festivities and everything red, white and blue, I love the reflection, reset and recommitment marked by Independence Day.
As of July 4th, we’re halfway through the year.
As of July 4th, we have 6 more months to make the year everything we’d hoped it would be at the start of the year.
For me, that means taking some time with my calendar and my journal, and reflecting on what I’ve done and how I’ve spent the first six months of the year.
Then, I can take those first-half-of-the-year reflections and use them as a springboard to recommitting to finishing the year strong. To continue to work on creating those healthy habits. To finish — or, in some cases, start — those projects I promised myself I’d complete this year. To keep moving in the direction of my dreams.
And because there are still six months left in the year, Independence Day — much like the blank calendar at the start of each year — acts as a perfect reset point. I may not have ended up where I’d hoped I’d be after the first part of the year. But good news! There is still time, and today is as good a day as any to restart.
The thing that makes the 4th of July so well-suited for a mid-year reset? The holiday is based on a declaration of independence. Well, technically, THE Declaration of Independence, but it can be so much more than that.
Think of this Independence Day as the time and opportunity to declare your independence from roles that you’ve grown out of, relationships that are no longer serving you, jobs that are sucking the life out of you, over-scheduling yourself for the convenience of others, sacrificing your health and wellbeing to meet someone else’s expectations.
The independence to recommit to setting healthy boundaries, and saying “no” without feeling guilty, and honoring your intuition and trusting your gut even when what you’re doing doesn’t make sense to those around you.
Independence from other people’s expectations of you. Stop worrying about what others think you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to think. No more living your life by someone else’s terms or someone’s definition of success. Quit letting others control the choices you make day in and day out.
The independence to stepping into the roles in your life that light you up and fill you up, while jettisoning those people and things and roles that weight you down or slow your progress on your way to living most authentically you.
As you celebrate the Independence Day holiday, I hope that you find some time between the parades and the parties and the fireworks this weekend to reflect, reset and recommit to yourself. To figure out how you want to spend the last half of the year. The person you want to become and the things you want to accomplish in the next six months.
You get one shot at this life. Today is as good a time as any to give yourself permission to start living your life for you, on your own terms, in your own way.
You do you. On your own terms. Without apology or hesitation.
It’s Independence Day.