It is that time of year. Many people will pause during the next few days and come up with a list of resolutions for the coming year. Some people have genuine goals they want to see fulfilled in the coming year. Some individuals use this as a bargaining time with God or their higher power…….. ‘I will be “good” this year, if you only give me my health (or wealth, or a new job, or a significant other).
I think that, in the right context, taking stock of where we are at can be a very healthy thing. Looking at where we have come from previous years and setting goals for the upcoming year gives us a way of planning for our future. Some people will even take the days before New Year’s Day to make 1, 3, and 5 year plans – understanding the necessity for both short and long-term personal planning.
One exercise I love to do is to take a piece of paper and write my goals (and, perhaps, a few dreams) for the upcoming year. I add and many details as I possible can when describing my goals for the year. I then put this piece of paper aside – for a year. I am always surprised to see how many goals I have been able to accomplish throughout the year. I know of people who have created variations of this exercise. One person places a piece of paper in a jar every time they accomplish something special during the year – this jar is then emptied on December 31st and the person celebrates all of the victories that have occurred. This is also a critical step in taking stock – having the ability to take your eyes off the future long enough to pause and give thanks for the past.
Today, 55 days ’til 40, I am thankful for the many things I have accomplished during this past year. I have been given many opportunities for personal and professional growth and I feel honored to have been afforded these wonderful moments. I look forward to embracing the new opportunities that will come my way in the new year.