Focus on the good that happened in the year

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As much as this time of the year is fun and great, it also makes me very sad. There are so many memes on social media talking about how awful the year has been and how great the upcoming year is going to be. But the thing is, those memes are around every year! Is every year so bad?

It seems that as the year comes to a close, we forget the beautiful things the year has brought, and we focus on something at the end that may have been unwelcome. But those bad moments don’t make up an entire year.

This year has brought me so many great things. I’ve had traveling adventures. I’ve gotten to try new things like rock climbing. I stood on a weight lifting platform in front of a crowd. I got to grow another year older and wiser. I had my heart mildly broken. I picked myself up when I fell down. Most of all, the Lord has been with me and made all of these things possible.

Sure, there are things I didn’t get this year. But they are things I didn’t have last year either, so I’m not going to base my whole year’s attitude on what I didn’t get or didn’t get accomplished.

We all fall down. We all fail at something or wish we could be better. New Year’s Resolutions are all about making us better by stopping a bad habit or cultivating new ones. But here’s the thing: you don’t have to wait until the new year to be a “new you.” And if you’re waiting until the new year to completely form a whole new habit, chances are it won’t stick. It takes weeks to replace a habit with a better one. There’s no need to feel like a failure in February or March because the resolution didn’t stick. Rather, we can work each day to be better and pick ourselves up when we fail.

We don’t have to be so strict on ourselves. We can celebrate our successes today and celebrate when we “get back on the wagon” tomorrow.

I pray that our attitudes about the end of 2018 aren’t bad ones, because I’m sure there were amazing things that happened in 2018 (we just have to look hard sometimes). I also pray that we have an attitude of gratefulness throughout 2019 so that at the end of the year, we aren’t sharing memes about how awful the year was.

If you have time, I encourage you to take a few minutes and write down the fun memories from 2018 and maybe make a list of things you want to do or adventures you want to have in 2019. If you can’t remember 2018, grab a calendar for 2019 and start logging the great things throughout the year so you can reflect on them later.

No matter what the new year brings or what our goals are, let’s agree to have a good attitude and be thankful for the experiences we get to have. Send me your thoughts about the new year. I’m always happy to hear from you.

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