Birthdays: The Year Ahead, the Year Behind

Article posted in: Lifestyle

We’ve had a couple of birthdays around here in the last few days. We love birthdays. We get presents, we’re the center of attention for a couple of hours, you have an excuse to eat cake—even if you don’t act on it. And you have a very natural, very obvious occasion to stop and reflect on your life. Not that you need to wait until your birthday to examine how things are going. But this year, I found myself looking at the year ahead more than I reflected on the year that just ended. I like what I see ahead. And I hope you do, too. Here are a few things I thought about, and some questions I asked myself:• I set some goals for myself last year at this time, goals about my health, relationships and my career. And while I feel that I met them and took time to enjoy the accomplishments, particularly about my family, I also asked myself if I truly had done everything in my power to reach those goals. I realized that I hadn’t. So bingo, I had my goals for the upcoming year.

• I’ve also used my birthday as an opportunity to think about my routines. Which ones are healthy and beneficial, and which ones are a result of being stuck in ruts. The habitual morning coffee? Perhaps I’d be better off replacing it with a few glasses of water to jumpstart the day, and saving the coffee for later in the morning. A small change, perhaps, but this is the time to look at everything.

• Finally, I like to use my birthday as a time to make one really big, hairy, audacious goal for myself for the next year. I’m not so bold as to state it publicly, but I know what it is. Now I have to come up with a plan for reaching it. I have 12 months.