Looking Back To Move Forward.
As we turn toward 2017, we have yet another opportunity to make our lives better. Sure, we have this chance all the time, but the New Year always seems to bring this into sharper focus.
Sometimes it helps to think about what went right, and what went wrong in 2016. If it’s been working, great! Keep on doing it. Do it more; maybe do it better. But if it isn’t working, perhaps it’s time to admit it.
My martial arts and business mentor, Chief Master Phil Minton, taught me we can only improve when we’re honest about things. Even successes can be made better. And when something isn’t working, we have to figure out why, so we can make the needed adjustments.
It’s not always easy, because it’s hard to admit mistakes, or poor decisions. But if we can have a moment of clarity and just be honest with ourselves, it can open the door for growth and change, wherever we might be.
When we look back, we might see it wasn’t a big deal, at least at first. It might have been a series of little things that “crept up” on us. We may have gotten a little busy, or just a little lazy.
Perhaps we let some better habits go (just that once), and then we did it again. Before we knew it, we lost our discipline. That’s when the real choice was made. We could surrender to the wrong, or fight to make it right. We still have that choice, even now.
Once we know our need, we can make a plan. It’s the decision to change that gets us started, but it’s the plan that takes us there. We’ve also got to actually follow the plan, and stick to it.
One of my favorite quotes is from Dave Ramsey, who says: “Adults devise a plan and follow it. Children do what feels good.” His point is, even as adults, we often act like children.
We do what feels good at the moment, rather than keeping the goal in mind. Most of the times I’ve struggled, I’ve lost sight of the big picture. I’ve lost sight of the plan.
As we move into the New Year, and start thinking about new goals, let’s take a moment to look back. Let’s be thankful for our successes, and pray for wisdom about the future.
Next time, we’ll look at goal setting. To all who I’ve had the privilege of knowing this past year, thank you for your trust and support. May you have a happy and transformative New Year!
Master Tom Dolan