December’s end is a time for remembering the year that is almost over. Everywhere you look, you see articles listing the top events of the year. Some titles I’ve seen recently include “Top 10 Cat Videos of 2016,” “Top 11 Worst Donald Trump Hair Days of 2016,” and “Top 12 Videos of Cats Wearing Donald Trump Wigs of 2016.”
In addition to looking back on important events like these that occurred in the world around us, most folks also take some time to reflect on the events in their own lives over the course of the year. And if you are one of the brave souls who made resolutions for the year, it’s time to revisit them.
Often the most difficult part of revisiting your new year’s resolutions may be the simple act of remembering what they were. After all, it’s been a whole year since you made them. That is definitely the case with me this year. The last time I gave my resolutions any serious thought was probably the end of January. Then, as we all do, I got caught up in the hustle and bustle of Groundhog Day, and my resolutions went the way of a hibernating woodchuck. Fortunately, I wrote them down, or I would be in big trouble and have nothing to revisit! Hopefully you did better than me and at least thought about your resolutions till St. Patrick’s Day!
So, with our 2016 resolutions before us, let’s revisit. If you think of resolutions like tests at school, there are two types: ones that are pass/fail, and ones that receive a letter grade. Let’s say you made a resolution to run a marathon in 2016. Well, either you ran a marathon at some point during the year, or you didn’t, so that’s a pass/fail resolution (although there may be good reasons why you failed to run a marathon, like a groundhog biting you on the knee at the marathon’s starting line).
For the other type of resolution, let’s say you resolved to be a more patient driver, and not let your blood boil every time someone cuts you off in traffic. Now, unless you’re Mother Theresa, this type of resolution gets a letter grade, because the rest of us are never patient all the time. But don’t be too hard on yourself. The main goal of resolutions is improvement, not perfection. I bet even Mother Theresa would honk her horn a few times a year if she had to commute to work in Los Angeles.
Perhaps it’s silly to think about giving actual grades to our new year’s resolutions. But I do believe that if it was worth making the resolutions in the first place, then it’s worth spending some time at the end of the year thinking about how we did. Measuring growth can be one of the best ways of making sure that growth occurs.
Thank you for reading. All the best to you as you look back on the year gone by, and look forward to the one just around the bend. Happy New Year!