Brace yourselves! Get ready for the new years resolutions and big plans for 2016! It’s normal…it’s coming. Many are excited about the great things that happened in this year, and eagerly awaiting what will come next, but what about the people who look at their year and feel like they have failed? What about those who had so many plans they felt they needed to accomplish, but it seems that the year just went by entirely too quickly? Did they fail? Was their year in vain? Not at all. We have all had some things we wanted to accomplish this past year. Some things we have “rocked out of the park” while others things got laid aside as we focused on the business of life. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday regarding a vision board I created at the beginning of the year. I found myself looking at the board, and checking off the things I had not completed or even come close to seeing. Instead of looking at the things that were accomplished, I still found myself wanting to focus on those things left undone. As I talked to her, I began to recognize my own negative thinking, and I realized that, really, I had a great year. Everything did not go as planned. Some things worked out in a completely unexpected way, but one thing remains…I made it through another year. So, regardless of what you have not seen or done, know that you have accomplished a lot just by making it to this point in the year. You are still in your right mind. You are still able to smile. You are still able to see the light at the end of the tunnel…and if you are reading this, know that now is not the end, but it is a beginning. There really are great things ahead, so don’t take any chances. Go after it.
Many of us watched as President Obama spoke of his triumphs since being President. We watched as he confidently spoke of how effective he has been, and of his plans for the future. Whether we like him or not, it was undeniable that he was sure of the progress that has been made, and he was steadfast in his belief that things could only get better. Most people stop analyzing his address at that point because it is political, and it’s not supposed to have an effect on us personally. I realized I’m not most people. I took his address in, and came out with some revelations about myself. When January came in, I told myself I would not make any resolutions, because resolutions become so easy to break. Instead, my claim was that I would be happy, healthy, and prosperous in whatever form that took. Sounds good, right? Sure it does. However, there was one problem. My desire to be all of those things was based on me believing in others to help me be all of that. I thought that making peace with everyone, having people love what I do, and then having them be a part of it, would make me happy, healthy, and prosperous. Somehow, I came into a new year believing that if I did all I could to make people want to be around me, I would be happy. Not so. I have learned early on this year that people really can be fickle, including myself, so I cannot base who I am on anyone else. At some point, I had to face the state of the union, which in this case was a country named me, made up of all of my intricacies, desires, wants, and tendencies. Taking a step back, I had to really see if I had things all together. Had I accomplished, up to this point the things I promised I would? Had I truly changed things for the better within myself? What was my legacy so far? I answered these questions, and though I have accomplished some things, I was not as confident in the things I have done as my President was in his address. To be better, we have to first understand what it means to be better. Early on this year, thankfully, I learned to address the state of me without making my changes about everyone else. Now I can focus on being happy, healthy, and prosperous. I have reviewed and finished my State of Me address. Have you?
Now is the time when we each prepare for the new year. We are creating a list of resolutions. Some of us want to lose weight or exercise more. Others of us want to do something we have never done before. Still others of us are starting with small steps and making resolutions that include eating breakfast or taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator. While these resolutions are well-meaning, the terrible truth is that we end up veering away from our resolutions for one reason or another. Sometimes it is due to time, or other times due to lack of motivation. Because of that, I generally do not make resolutions. Instead, I usually make sure that at the end of the year, I am in a place where I am at peace with myself and with those around me. Around Christmas is the time when I reevaluate myself, and I do some “soul-searching” to make sure that all is well in and around me. That way, when the countdown begins in the New Year, I can truly say that in the new year, I am already new. Some of us have some things we need to let go and move forward from. Others of us have some people we need to forgive. Still others of us need to spend some time forgiving ourselves. Regardless of what we need to do, our resolution should always be that we will be better than we were the year before. To be better, we have to do better. To do better, we have to truly consider ourselves and fix the things we need to. Just today I had a necessary conversation with a friend of mine. We talked about some things that happened in our past, and we made a resolve to do what we could to keep each other moving forward. That was one of the things I needed to close out so that the new year would really present a new me. What is that one thing you need to do to start the new year fresh? Is there someone you need to talk to and have a truthful conversation with? Do you need to learn how to forgive yourself? Whatever it is, take care of it so that next year you can focus on things that are important instead of worrying about the things from your past. Let this new year truly present a new you. Then, if you want to make resolutions, go for it. Instead of Happy New Year, I say Happy New You!