Yay It Is a New Day – Wisdom from a Toddler

leadership-new-years-resolutions-goalsFor Christmas last week we went and visited my parents and siblings in Texas. There was one night when I ended up falling asleep on a couch outside of the room we were sleeping in. In the early morning, our 5 year old son Aaron, came out and woke me up and gave me a hug. He looked out the window and saw the darkness. He asked, “Dad is it morning?” I responded that it was very early in the morning. He raised his hands in the air and jumped up and down and yelled a few profound and innocent words, “Yay, it’s a new day.”

When I heard those words, I paused and wondered at the simple wisdom of a child. After a long day of brightening our worlds, the sun goes down each night and gives up the fight, but each morning it pierces the darkness, shines, and rises anew. When our bodies are exhausted from the physical and mental challenges of each day – we go to bed, rest our minds and bodies, and we start again. We wake up refreshed and ready to conquer the world each new day. When stresses overcome us at night, often the answers reveal themselves in the morning.

The story of the Phoenix is one in which the legendary bird lives a thousand years, builds its own combustible funeral and throws itself into the flames and dies. As it dies in the flames, it is born again, to live to fight another thousand years. While the story of the Phoenix is the stuff of legends, the symbolism of rising from the ashes is something we all do every day, and every year.

As this year begins, maybe we need to stand up like a 5 year old and yell, “Yay, it’s a New Year.” No matter what happened yesterday, last week, or even last year, we can put it behind us, rise again and fight for whatever it is that we must conquer. We can fight for our dreams.

The start of the a new year is a definitive moment like the dawning of a new day. It is a time in which we can lay the past behind us, no matter how hard or awful it might have been, or even how successful it might have been. We can set new targets that are high and far. We can rise from the ashes of the past and begin a path of achievement to whatever our dreams might be.

As we do this we might set goals and resolutions. The problem is that many fear the idea of goals and resolutions, stricken by fear itself. The fear of failure prevents many dreams from being realized. I know, because I have lived and continue to travel that road of fear. I set high goals and I fail a lot. I struggle to pick myself up and I know fear is always holding me back, and second guessing my decisions. Despite the failures I achieve a lot, and I continue to rise again and fight for the things I want in life.

There are many systems, books, and worksheets out there for reviewing your past year, and planning your next. I created my own system called the Ultimate Personal Success Plan, it’s free for subscribing. Over a thousand people in 2013 downloaded and used this system to create greater success in achieving their goals. No matter the system you choose, you have to set goals, you have to stand-up, shake off the dust of the last year, celebrate a new year, and start working and fighting for your dreams.

Its kind of cliche’ to say this, but I am going to say it anyway – let’s make this year the best year ever. You owe it to yourself. Let me know how I can help.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

About Todd Nielsen

Todd Nielsen helps organizations create miracles of success and profitability through the power of execution. Having served as Vice-President, President, Chief Operations Officer, and Chief Executive Officer of organizations, he has learned how to create a culture that "Gets Things Done." He is passionate about leadership, and is a dynamic and inspirational speaker.


  1. I love this Todd! I fully am the infinite 5 year old that still gets everyday up to rise and shine, and even at 54 is still known to jump on the beds in the morning. Each sunrise for me is exactly as your son exclaims, “Yay, it’s a new day.” Everyday is a beautiful gift- full of wonder and strife, and we get to decide what we want to do with it!

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