This year has been a little bit of a whirlwind for me. I can’t believe we are closing out another year this week. I say that every year. It’s amazing how time never slows down, it just seems to get faster as we age. When I was young, it felt like a year lasted for an eternity, now it feels like each year speeds by quicker than the last.
At the end of each year, I like to pause and take a little time to reflect and think back over the year. I have some big dreams and goals for 2016, but before I get there, I want to look at what happened last year, the progress I’ve made toward my goals, the ways I’ve grown, the things I’ve learned, and the experiences that have changed my outlook and plans.
Your future doesn’t have to be defined by your past. We don’t need to spend a lot of time looking backwards, and we shouldn’t if we want to make good progress moving forward. But I think what has happened over the past year can teach us things. There were lessons that life attempted to teach us and it’s a good idea to pause for a moment to make sure we learned those lessons and make sure that our goals line up with the transformation we’ve experienced over the past year.
I like to ask myself just a few questions as I reflect on the year gone by. I’ve included them below so you can do your own thinking and reflecting as you prepare for the New Year.
What was the single best thing that happened in 2015?
What was the single most challenging thing that happened in 2015?
What unexpected joy did you experience in 2015?
What unexpected obstacle did you experience in 2015?
What 3 words would you use to describe 2015?
How did you change from January to December (spiritual, physical, social, family, career)?
In what ways did you waste time in 2015 on things that aren’t important to you?
What were the best ways you used your time?
What is the biggest thing you learned this year?
How do you want the next year to look different from this past year?
For me, 2015 was a bit of a mixed bag. I experienced some really incredible things. My husband graduated from college and got a promotion at work. We made some really fun memories with our extended family, many of them involving lakes and boats. I fell madly in love with running and now can’t imagine going a day without running. I developed new friendships, ran lots of races, and went on a couple of girl’s race weekends. My trust and reliance on God grew far more than I expected. And so much more.
But this was also the year that I lost my dad. It was so shocking and difficult. I had no idea that such a deep tragedy would hit this year and it has shaken me. I don’t want to be on this journey. Everyday I ask God to send my dad back. There are so many things I don’t understand, so many unanswered questions.
There were goals I set for this year that I did not achieve. Many of them I grew away from as life changed my perspective and a few goals were put on hold as I dealt with more pressing matters. There were things I could have done differently this year, but there were also things that I didn’t plan on doing that ended up being some of my best decisions. I didn’t plan on spending so much time playing with my family on lakes this summer, but that time gave me my most precious memories from the year. I didn’t plan on running as many races or starting this crazy streak running thing, but all this running has been healing for me.
I’m excited for what the New Year has in store for me. I’m not the same as I was at the close for 2014. My priorities haven’t necessarily changed, but their importance to me has. I’ve learned in a very deep way that time is precious. Each moment is a gift and our relationships are what matters most. For 2016, my prayer is that I make the most of the time I am gifted with the people who mean the most to me.
What have you learned from 2015?
If you are looking to have a better year in 2016 and need some help in creating a more organized, motivated life, I would highly suggest you take the Make Over Your Mornings 14 day course by Crystal Paine (www.moneysavingmom.com). I took this course late last year and was able to completely recharge and gain some focus and structure to my days. I’ve accomplished more in the last couple months than I accomplished all year largely because of this course. (affiliate links, see disclosure.)
And, the course is currently on sale for 50% OFF! This course is already priced very reasonably, but at only $9 now, it is a steal. The sale ends on January 8th, so don’t wait. Click here to get started, you won’t regret it.