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Ringing out the Old, Ringing in the New

goalsI love this time of year.  I love reflecting over the past, thinking about what I accomplished – and what I did not.  Was the year all I wanted it to be – all I had hoped it would be?  What worked, what didn’t, and what can I use from all that as I sit here thinking of what I want the year AHEAD to be.  Call them resolutions (or not – as some people have a adverse reaction to that word).  Say they are goals, a roadmap, or a plan.  Just don’t miss out on this opportunity to make sure you are creating the life you want, you REALLY want, to lead.

This year is particularly fun, because not only can you look back for the past year, you can look back at the past decade.  Think of where you were back in the year 2000.  Then think of all that has happened in your life.  Perhaps you had, like this Zen Mama Wannabe, a marriage; the birth of children; the loss of loved ones (in particular for me one of my parents – one of the harder losses to experience); a new job; perhaps a new location (we’ve done several “big” moves in the last 10 years).  The list can go on and on.

Then of course there is the smaller stuff.  Think about exactly how old you were back in 2000.  Where you lived (and with whom).  Think of the “other” stuff: how much you weighed, how much you were making, who you were friends with, and how you spent your spare time.  And now…??  Have you had the changes you wished for?  Have you made the most of your life?  Are you in the same place now that you were 10 years ago?  For unless your life back then was perfect, staying status quo isn’t a good thing.

Of course it is where you are at in your life (your chronological age) that also plays into this.  I would think most “big” changes occur in your 20’s and 30’s – around the ages the majority of people get married, become secure in a career, start a family, settled down.  Perhaps, when you are older, you don’t wish for much change at all.  I can see where you might be thankful you are able to do the same job, live in the same house, have the same friends and lifestyle – if that was one you were happy with to begin with.  Still, there are always ways to improve upon what you have.  Perhaps it is not your outside circumstances which change, but who you are on the inside.  (You know, the part that really counts).  I firmly believe one of the main reasons my father lived into his 90’s was his insatiable desire to always be learning.  He had an interest in life, in self-improvement; he made his years count.

So what has happened in your life over the past decade?  Where do you want the NEXT decade to take you?  How do you see yourself in the next 10 years?  When 2020 rolls around (GULP) where do you think you’ll be?  With whom?  Doing what?  Living where?  Looking how?

Then zoom the camera in to think about just one year – this next year – 2010.  What do you want to accomplish?  Can you write down something for each of the main categories of your life?  Health. Relationships. Money and Finances. Career and/or Personal Growth. Hobbies and Interests. Spiritual/Religious (or how to do better in the world).  Nothing will change until you decide it is time to change. To do that you need to take an accounting of where you are at, decide if you are currently satisfied, and come to terms with what you would like to be different (i.e. better).

The clock is going to tick away, whether you make any changes or not.  Next year will come regardless, and either you’ll be a better version of yourself – or not.  We don’t have time for excuses anymore. Everyone has got ‘em – it’s whether you USE them or not that makes the difference in terms of what you accomplish.

Oprah talks about living your best life – even made it her tag line.  Well, are you?  Why would you settle for average?  For humdrum?  For just okay?  (Or, sadly, even worse?)

Best selling author and motivational speaker Debbie Ford has an exercise of picturing yourself having the BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE.  What does it look like?  What would happen?  Now, figure out what you need to do in order to make that happen.

I have a quote on my desk (author unknown) which says:  We’re all going to die – but how many of us truly live?!

Make 2010 YOUR year.  You owe it to yourself to truly have the best year you can imagine!

Happy New Year!

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