2016 is coming to a close and people are posting all kinds of reflections and commentary on the year. Though I do think reflection is valuable, it really bothers me that people sum up the year in terms of “good” or “bad.” I don’t see years that way. If I look honestly at 2016, I remember some good things and bad things that have happened. It’s why you won’t ever hear me say, “Make 2017 the best year yet!” I literally gagged just typing that. Hoping for a year to be the “best one yet” is not even hopeful. It is full of unrealistic and unclear expectations that aren’t even possible. It actually sets your year up for disappointment. I learned a few things from being a teacher for 13 years, and having clear, reachable goals is the only way you will actually reach them. Here are some examples:
- In 2017 I will work toward financial security by_________.
- In 2017 I will reach a fitness goal of __________by ____________.
- In 2017 I will find peace in my relationship with _________ by __________.
- In 2017 I will work hard at my job and strive to ______________.
- In 2017 I will show love to ________ by ___________.
- In 2017 I will organize my _________________.
- In 2017 I will show love to __________ by ________.
- In 2017 I will grow in my relationship with God by ______________.
- In 2017 I will be a role model to my children by _______________.
- In 2017 I will be a better spouse by ________________.
I plan to take this list and fill it out for myself. I can’t promise that it will make 2017 “my best year EVER.” But I do think it will help me to focus my efforts and work toward daily and weekly goals that will help me to find success in all areas of my life. If you are married, chat with your spouse about some of these. In fact, you might even try this as a family. Maybe your family can work toward a goal together. I can’t promise that I’ll keep all 10 of these for 12 straight months, but having a goal like #2 means that once it is finished, I can mark it off the list. I didn’t write down “get in shape” or “Lose weight”–these are unclear. I do plan to run some specific races in 2017, so once I train and complete those, then I’ll mark it off my list–I will have met my goal–whether or not my year is “good” or “bad.”
Wishing you a year full of successful endeavors in the middle of life!