A Few Things to Think About Before the New Year
Don’t you love how time flies! The new year is less than a week away.
As we bask in holiday delight and firm up New Year’s Eve plans, it may prove smart to take a little time and use it to make peace with the year that was.
What did we learn about ourselves?
A little reflection (with the benefit of hindsight) can shine a light on ideas, possibilities and conclusions we never noticed before. Whether we got what we wanted, or we didn’t, there are lessons to learn and truths to face.
Let’s take a moment to look back and notice all we’ve been through. Notice the wins and the losses. Notice the teachable moments. How have we changed? How have we stayed the same? The better we know ourselves, the better we’ll be at creating goals for 2017 that rely on our strengths instead of our weaknesses.
What will we leave behind?
As we open a new chapter, we also close the door on many things. A decision to kick a bad habit or behavior, for example, is a great way to end the year and start the new year fresh. We also have to come to terms with the things we’ve left undone. Whether for good reason or not, it’s important to acknowledge the missteps and find a way to make them right again – I talk more about this in last week’s post. Ignoring these seemingly small issues can add to mental baggage and make it difficult to start the year off strong.
What are our goals?
First – dream big. Next – break the dream down into manageable steps. Then – decide what part of that dream will you will achieve in 2017. Bill Gates was quoted as saying, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
Think big but plan small; focusing on consistency. Consistency is what gets us to the finish line. A simple and consistently executed plan is better than a lofty plan that starts off strong but never finishes. It’s never about what we could do; it’s always about what we can commit to. So we should plan accordingly.
And last, but most importantly, what are we grateful for?
It’s also important to give gratitude for the year that was. Whatever successes we achieve in the future will be, in part, because of 2016. Because of all we’ve learned and how we’ve grown. It may be easier to notice when looking back, but we should do our best to see it now, in the present. Understand that the more gratitude we hold in our heart, the stronger we are to face struggle when we meet it. And though life is beautiful and full of joy, we can’t escape the struggle, especially when we’re chasing dreams.