Has 2016 been such a great year that you’re sorry is coming to an end, or perhaps you’re sliding into the last couple of weeks heaving a sigh of relief and muttering ‘Thank goodness it’s nearly over!’ Maybe 2016 has been just another ordinary year that’s chugged along day after day with little of note to remember. For most of us 2016 will have been a mixed bag with some happy memories and achievements interwoven with challenges and disappointments.
So how do you evaluate a year? Do add up the good things and see whether as a package they outweigh the not so good?
I’ve decided to evaluate 2016 by asking myself two questions:
‘Have I put my time and energy into things I really care about or have I frittered them away on things that don’t matter?’
‘Am I a better version of myself or am I the same as I was at the beginning of 2016?’
Life is busy and fast-paced and it’s easy to spend your days just surviving and keeping your head above water. But is this really how you want to live the one life you have? If you’ve focused your energy on the things you care about such as the people you love and the interests that excite you, then you’ve had a great year. If on the other hand, much of your time has been filled doing things that don’t matter to you, then 2016 hasn’t been so good and you’re likely to feel a sense of disappointment as you reflect on the past twelve months.
I believe every person has the potential to develop and become a better version of themselves over time, yet many people rarely change from one year to the next. They are good people, but they never grow into their full potential as a person. If you’ve overcome a challenge or learned new skills, or perhaps you’ve taken more responsibility for your life in some way, then you’ve grown as a person and you’ve had a great year.
I’d encourage you to use your answers to these questions as a springboard for 2017. Start by looking at the way you use your disposable time. How can you use your spare chunks of time, sometimes just a few minutes, in ways that build you up, help you work towards a goal or give back to others. What you do with your free time determines whether you create a life you love or waste the life you’ve been given. Identify how you want to grow as a person or the goals you want to achieve in 2017 and start thinking about what you can do to make those things happen.
Finally, no matter what has happened in 2016, remember to give thanks for all the blessings in your life right now. Even if it’s been a rough year, you can always find something to be thankful for and what you focus on is what you bring more of into your life.
I’d love to hear how your year has gone and what you are thankful for at the end of 2016. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Image by Richard Ricciardi