Can you believe it’s December? Before we know it, it’ll be January and we’ll have both feet firmly planted in 2009. Yikes.
This is a great time to look back at 2008, and take its measure. How was your year? Think back. Did you make any resolutions — and did you meet ’em?[uncomfortable silence.]
OK, I hear you. Let’s look back in a different way. Take out a piece of paper. I want you to write down 25 things you accomplished in 2008. I’ll do it, too. Here goes:
1. Took out the trash and recycling every week.
Hey, believe me, that is an accomplishment.
2. Paid off and closed two credit cards.
3. Got my mammogram.
4. Started writing an advice column at BettyConfidential.com.
5. Met, then exceeded, my goals for my coaching practice.
6. Never forgot my kids’ orthodontist appointments.
7. Got my roof fixed.
8. Did more public speaking.
9. Stuck to my budget.
10. Made time for my friends.
11. Volunteered to chair a committee.
12. Went to the dentist twice.
13. Taught more classes.
14. Co-chaired my high school reunion.
15. Re-connected with old friends.
16. Took my kids to a baseball game at the new Nationals Park.
17. Published my book.
18. Held a yard sale.
19. Chaperoned a 6th grade field trip.
20. Got a new stove, fridge, dishwasher and microwave. Fun week.
21. Paid my taxes.
22. Took good risks.
23. Read 47 books.
24. Got national press coverage.
25. Laughed often.
What’s your list like? What does it tell you about your unspoken goals — your real resolutions, if you want to call them that — for 2008? My list reveals that taking care of my own physical and financial health, and the well-being of my kids, was paramount. It appears I also served my goal of being connected — with people, with my community and with myself. How about you? What did you do?
2008 was an up-and-down year for so many of us. You had the money in March to plan for a vacation in December, but now wonder if you can really afford to take it. We had $4 gas in August, and $1.75 gas in November. We’ve had lay-offs, foreclosures and financial melt-downs. Plenty of us have lost loved ones or faced serious illness. It would be easy to say, “Ick! 2008 was horrible!” yet your list may tell a different story.
Even in a difficult year, you did stuff. You made progress. You accomplished. That’s where you need to focus — not on all the up-and-down-ness. Believe it or not, your best 2009 resolutions will spring from the list of what you’ve done this year.
So spend some time cataloguing and acknowledging your accomplishments, and next week we’ll take a look forward and spell out some achievable goals — so you can make 2009 your best year yet.