Alas, it is the final day of 2022; December 31st. The thought fills me with both excitement and
regret, disappointment. Disappointment threatens to silence excitement; but instead, I silence him with gratitude. I choose gratitude! When you reflect on 2022, what feelings come up for you and what do you choose to anchor in?
Reviewing Your Year
One of the things I most look forward to at the end of each year, is doing my ‘year in review’. In the post, A successful Year Awaits You, I share a simple method that you can use to review your year.
This year, my ‘year in review’ did not yield the results I expected. I did not accomplish all of my goals for the year. For example, I had a goal of writing a minimum of 24 blogposts this year, but I only managed a mere nine. I had a ‘one thing’ goal for 2022; that is, if I did not accomplish any other goals, I had to accomplish this one thing. My ‘one thing’ is only 90% complete. Oh boy! The negative emotions began to surface, not good for my mental well-being.
Is not reaching all of your goals or not reaching that one goal you wanted more than anything else, something you can identify with? Are there areas in your life you feel like you have failed at in 2022? If so, don’t be too hard on yourself. Take another look at 2022, but this time do so from a position of gratitude.
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Alex Korb writes, “Gratitude is a powerful antidote to negativity…” So I went through the process of reviewing my year again, but this time from a position of gratitude. This allowed me to steady myself mentally and emotionally, as well as to truly appreciate all that 2022 has brought me. And I mean all of it. The good and the bad. You see, the good lifted my spirits and nourished my soul, but the bad taught me valuable life lessons.
As I took another look at 2022, this time from a position of gratitude here is what I realized.
Timing and Obedience
My most significant accomplishment this year was being promoted at work. When the year started, getting promoted was not a goal I had set out to accomplish. But I am proud of this accomplishment because I had to step out of my comfort zone and advocate for myself.
It also meant that timing, and obedience to that small inner voice, which I call the Holy Spirit is also important. In the story in Luke chapter 5, Simon was obedient when Jesus told him to let down his net. Even though Simon had been fishing all night and did not catch a thing, when Jesus spoke to him, he said, “because you say so I will let down the nets.”(verse 5). Because of Simon’s obedience he caught so many fish that his net began to tear.
When reaching our goals, timing and obedience is important; it was for me. It is possible that for some of the goals you and I did not reach in 2022, despite our best efforts, the timing was not right. It does not mean that we will never reach them, but maybe this was not the right time.
Had I chosen to wallow in my disappointment and not taken time to review my year from a position of gratitude, I would have missed out on the significance of this achievement.
Gratitude Overflow, I Surpassed a Goal
My next realization is that I surpassed one of my fitness goals for this year. Because I am gaining in age and I desire to age gracefully, staying active and setting fitness goals have become important to me. I started hiking this year and my goal was to go hiking at least once per month. I have completed 25 hikes for 2022. My longest trail which was my last for the year, took me 5 ½ hours. I noticed significant improvement in my strength, resilience and overall well-being.
I believe as the year progressed, I sometimes took the ability to engage in this type of activity for granted. But once again, as I reviewed the year from a position of gratitude, I became deeply appreciative of having been able to make this achievement.
I feel grateful for the people I met and the conversations we had. I feel grateful for my body; grateful for the blood which pulses through my veins, grateful for the breath I breathe. Grateful for nature, grateful for God’s wonderful creation; grateful for the waterfalls, the butterflies, the mountains, the trees, the beautiful rock formations, the rivers, the beaches and everything I encountered this year while hiking.
Gratitude and a Different Approach
Being able to evaluate ourselves, our lives, even our goals and progress over the course of the year, and to do so honestly and objectively is an important part of personal growth. Even more significant, is being able to do so from a place of gratitude instead of a place of self-pity and regret. I do realize that this is not always easy, but with practice it becomes easier, and that in itself is an indication of growth.
With that evaluation, should come new ideas and approaches for improvement. Sometimes we have to test different approaches to see what works best for us. With this in mind I have decided that I will not start 2023 with a long list of goals, or even with my ‘one thing’ goal. For 2023, I will set goals for each quarter of the year. I believe this will simplify things for me in all areas of my life, allow me to be more realistic in my goal setting and take some of the pressure off as it relates to reaching my goals. What about you? After your own self-evaluation and year-end review, what new ideas and approaches have been sparked in your mind? What would you do differently in 2023?
Wrapping Things Up…
It has occurred to me that depression and anxiety creep in when we focus more on our problems, mistakes, and failures, than we do on God, His goodness and all that is good in our lives and around us. Let us endeavour to focus more on the blessings God has given us, on the things that are good in our lives and even on celebrating the good news of others. In doing so, we find more and more things to be grateful for. Thus, avoiding depression and anxiety as well as maintaining a positive attitude and overall better wellbeing.
As you bring the curtain down on 2022, I pray you will do so with gratitude, and peace in your soul, knowing that you have given of your best. Yes, there may have been a few bumps in the road in 2022, but you made it to the end. I pray that you would look to 2023, with eager anticipation.
I take this opportunity to thank you my readers and eveyone who have supported me, my blog and my writing this past year. If you are new to my blog, thank you for stopping by, I hope you were encouraged and inspired.