More than just for laughs

Do you know the real story behind April Fools’ Day? Let me summarize it, as there’s a valuable lesson underneath.

Many centuries ago, the European New Year officially rang in after the Easter festivities and in line with the more-or-less start of spring. In other words, celebrating the upcoming year on April 1 symbolically coincided with the idea of rebirth, both seasonally and spirituality.

However, with the official shift from the Julian (Roman) calendar to the Gregorian (Christian) calendar in 1582, the start of the New Year was changed from April 1 to January 1. Henceforth, you were considered a “fool” if you celebrated on the wrong day.

Don’t let the backstory or all associated silliness distract you. April Fools’ Day is much more than a day of pranks and compiling your tax returns. Think of it more akin to its pagan origins — as a time to mark rebirth as well as the hope of spring rains, summer heat and a plentiful autumn harvest. Think of it as a second chance on your New Year’s resolutions made in January.

Now that it is April, one quarter of the year has already come to pass, and importantly, the winter lulls in occupancy levels (barring exceptions like sun destinations) are finally turning a new leaf. Use this time for self-reflection and as a three-month checkup for all the objectives you set out to accomplish this year.

Are you making progress? If you are having trouble digging into those big, daunting goals, then consider splitting them up into a series of smaller, more manageable tasks. Announce your objectives to your friends — embarrassment from failure is much heavier in public than in private.

And if you can look back on January, February and March and say with certainty that you feel proud of what you completed, then it’s all the more motivation to keep the momentum going for the back nine. The key is to be wholly honest with yourself, because if you aren’t, then you really are a fool.