Every new year morning, before I roll out my bed, brush my teeth, or talk to anyone, I grab my computer and make a long journal entry where I reflect on all I did in the past year. I reflect on what I accomplished, what I failed, and what I hoped for. As I mentioned in this Weekend Reads post, I usually do this while my family is at church. I see this as a spiritual process though it does not involve church, and it helps me to see how much I’ve developed over the year and assess what areas need further improvement.
I’ve only been doing this for a few years now, probably since 2012 when I started making one-word goals for the year, and it has benefited me well. By reflecting on the past, these journal entries give me perspective on the future. At the end, when I’m mentally and physically spent from all the writing and reflecting, I’m left with is a single word that becomes my goal for the upcoming year.
Last year, that goal was Persevere. I’d accomplished a lot in 2016, but in order to really attain the goals I was still working on, I had to Persevere and not falter when the goals became too hard or I got distracted by other demands that called to my attention. I adhered to this goal in 2017. I Persevered and got my driver’s license, though I thought surely, I would fail the test and maybe I don’t really need a license anyway; but I passed the test on my first try. I Persevered and did not shy away from taking a new job when it was offered to me and did not allow my anxiety about the new position to overwhelm me when I doubted my ability to fulfill the requirements for the job.
After reflecting on 2017 this morning, I was left with this word: Discipline. Self-discipline will be my goal for 2018 and it will be a tough one to accomplish because I chafe against any form of discipline or rigidity. However, I need to add some structure to my life to ensure stability in the future. Both my personal life and job call for me to learn some self-discipline. So though I know this one will be a struggle, I’ll carry with me the lessons learned in 2017 and Persevere in my efforts to develop some Self-Discipline to curb my overindulgence in some things and develop a structure in my life that will ensure stability in the future.
Happy New Year, y’all!