We are a week in… a week into 2014. How’s it going so far? The holidays are over. Christmas decorations have been taken down (or at least there are plans to take them down). New calendars have been purchased and filled with upcoming events. Children have returned to school, and adults have returned to the daily grind of emails, meetings, and carpool while visions of the next vacation dance in their heads.
Last week we discussed how to wrap up one year before leaping into another. We looked at ten questions designed to help us reflect on 2013. In keeping with that theme, here are a few questions to ponder as you start 2014.
What are some things you would like to do differently this year? What are some things you would like to repeat from last year? What relationships would you like to cultivate or invest more heavily in? What would you like to learn in 2014? But here’s the big question…
What do you want your 2014 to be about?
This is your 2014. You only get one. You only get one 2014. What do you want to do with your 2014?
As we all know, the start of a new year often means all sorts of plans for turning over new leaves. I’m going to go the gym ___ days a week. I’m going to stop ________. I’m going to start ________. I’m finally going to take up that hobby. Resolutions, goals, plans. Our minds and journals are filled with them.
But what do you really want your year to be about? If you set a goal because you think you should do it, chances are pretty slim that you are going to actually accomplish the goal. If you are really going to “cut back” or “ramp up” or “start anew”, then you have to have something much deeper motivating you than the self-imposed yoke of should thinking.
Not sure how to discern what you want to make of your 2014? Try this… Fast-forward eleven months and a few weeks. It’s the end of December 2014. You are trying to figure your New Year’s Eve plans and your cursing the person who decided New Year’s Eve should be a big social occasion. You realize, once again, you are only days away from the turning of yet another year, and you start looking back on what you have done in 2014.
When you put yourself in that picture, what is the one thing you want to be able to say you did? What is the one thing you will regret not doing or working on in 2014?
I think there are a lot of things we can say we want to work on or try or accomplish this year. But, in truth, there are only one or two things that are so significant to us that we will feel regret or disappointment if they go untouched. Regret leaves a terrible aftertaste and can be an interesting motivator. So what are your one or two things that you want to be able to say you did, or at least worked on, in 2014? What are the steps you need to take to insure against regret?
Is it surrendering a self-destructive habit or letting go of an unhealthy relationship? Is it repairing a broken relationship? Is it repairing your broken spirit? Is it facing old fears and insecurities and finally going after that dream or goal?
My hunch is that we all know the one thing we need to work on that will have positive ripple effects in other areas of our lives. It is hard to ignore unhappiness, conflict, and dissatisfaction- the telltale signs that always point us to the one thing starving for our love, time, energy, or courage.
So how do you start this journey once you’ve identified your one thing? You know what needs to change so that you will stop kicking yourself at the end of each year. You know what you want your year to be about. You start on your journey by answering these two questions:
What has kept you from this goal in the past?
What is presently keeping your from this goal?
We have to know two things to move forward- we have to know where we want to end up and we have to know where we were. The first step is identifying what you want to be different in your life. The second step is figuring out why you are there in the first place and what is keeping you stuck.
Last week on Facebook I kept seeing this quote:
Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.
You get one 2014, and you play a significant role in making it a good one. What do you want your 2014 to be about? What is your one thing?
Here’s to 2014, friends! May you have joy in your heart, peace in your mind, and courage in all your endeavors!