It is brand new when it is the 2nd of January, when you just opened your new birthday gift, when you are day one of your new job, or bought a new car, or when you have a new relationship.
The excitement of new things is intoxicating. Nervy and exciting at the same time.
But at some point, newness fades.
Things don’t remain new forever.
What happens when newness fades?
Maybe by the time it gets to March, it is no longer a new year.
Maybe when you start having issues with you new work colleagues, because someone keeps drinking your juice in the fridge it is no longer a new job.
Maybe when your car mileage clocks over 30,000 kms, it is no longer new.
Maybe when your gift has a few scratches and starts making funny sounds, it is no longer new.
Maybe when you have your first argument, it is no longer a new relationship.
The novelty of new disappears quickly.
This is a line I repeat to myself every time I get started on a new project, or initiative.
To thrive in the long term, we just better be consistently good.
As A G Lafley said: “get good or get out.”
Maybe what should happen when newness fades is that we should get better. That we consistently get better as time goes on.
Instead of looking for a new thing every time the one we have gets old, maybe we should strive to consistently be better at what we do.
As the year gets old, we should consistently get better at caring more, doing more work that matters, focusing more on our goals, delivering more and more on time, being more organised.
A new day does not remain new all day, but your day can get better as the newness of the day fades.
Yes, it is going to be hard and yes, there are going to be many trials along the way. But, you know what? Nobody cares. You either deliver or you don’t. The hero and the coward feel the same things. They just respond differently.
We are what we repeatedly do. And delivering on our commitments consistently is not an act, but a habit.
What is important is not the excitement of a new thing, but it is the consistency of what we do that keeps the thing operating like it is new, even when it is no longer new.
The goal is not to always look for new things as their newness fades, the goal is to consistently look after the things we have. As we look after them, they look after us, as we refurbish them, they refurbish us.
Newness fades, but consistency keeps us going.