It’s Confession Time

Let me be up front; I didn’t reach my goals for this year. Yes, I had some big goals. Yes, I had some big setbacks that would make excellent excuses. But, here’s the thing: I don’t need excuses.

I have something better: perspective. And a little bit of science. 

Maybe you are like me and your year doesn’t look so good in retrospect. Maybe you have a friend like mine who, over the past year, started a second business, wrote a book and climbed Mt Everest with Facebook pictures to prove it.

Seriously! Kind of takes the shine off my third place bowling trophy.

I’m kidding. I didn’t even do that. My signal achievement of the year seems to be that I didn’t lose any more hair. Because I didn’t have any. Apparently, my sense of humor didn’t improve either. 

Before this devolves any further, let’s get to this list. Because, I obviously need it.

7 Reasons Your Year Was 10X Better Than You Thought:

1. Your brain is 10X more focused on the negative than the positive

Recent brain science suggests our mind is wired for survival. That means it is far more sensitive to negative things it perceives as dangerous. Ten times more sensitive!

Which is good. Safety first.

But when that negative searchlight gets turned back on ourselves then all perspective is lost. Around this time of year, your brain starts beating you up for things you imagined you might do. The positive wishful thinking you did last year gets converted into a weaponized list of extreme failures!

Not so good!

But, knowing this, you can refocus on the good bits. It might take a minute to adjust because your brain has been set to kill all year long. That means you’ve probably forgotten your good days. And the bad days probably weren’t so bad.

Negative phaser beam power – Off. Now that we can see the good stuff . . .

2. If you can read this, you made it!

Seriously, there were no guarantees. Science also reveals that people who think about the possibility of death are happier with life. Funny, huh?

Historically, most people are dead. You’re not. Congratulations! Which brings us to our next point.

3. It could have been worse

Don’t believe Facebook, even if my friend Mark the Mountain Man actually exists. Somebody had a worse year than you did. Maybe they were on Twitter. 

While you’re at it, don’t compare your life to TV. Or movies. Or video games. Or YouTube. Or pop stars. It’s all made up and the points don’t matter. Plus makeup, lighting, and editing.

They all really look like me. I tell myself.

It’s not about wishing something bad on someone else. You can’t actually do that. It’s about keeping perspective, being grateful for what you have and realizing that perfection isn’t possible. And understanding that . . .

4. Life is in the little things

These giant goals we set for ourselves obscure what life is really about. People won’t remember you for your awards. They will remember the things you said. The things you did. The loads you helped carry.

Life happens in the small moments. That’s the place to make life count. Don’t dismiss them as insignificant.

5. Your big dreams led to progress

Instead of focusing on the superhero goals you missed, think of the things you never would have accomplished without those crazy goals.

Attempting big goals forces you out of your comfort zone into the unknown. You created habits and discipline to deal with your fears. You were an explorer on a great adventure.

Striving for goals is better than reaching them.

6. You learned a lot

Okay, it was mostly from making embarrassing mistakes but still, lessons learned. In the coming year, you won’t make those same mistakes.

You’ll make different mistakes.

Again, with the humor. I’m trying, okay? One of these days I’ll make it to funny. Until then, here’s number . . .

7. There Was A Lot Of Love

Possibly more than your negative brain imagined. Spend some time counting up the people you love. And those who love you.

Whether you deserved it or not.

This is the big one for me. It matters so much more than goals and plans. Efficiency doesn’t come into play here, or talent, or intelligence. The people who love you aren’t keeping score. Love pretty much evens the playing field.

Maybe you helped someone in their moment of need. Maybe someone helped you. That happened a lot to me this year.

If you were loved this year then it was a good year. And you are blessed.

If you don’t feel loved, then take a good, deep breath. Contemplate the process that began 93,000,000 miles away as sunlight and ended in just the right amount of oxygen for you to take that breath.

Someone loved you.

I could preach a sermon here. Christmas songs still ring in our ears. Forgiveness covers resolutions, too. Hope inspires tomorrow.

May your coming year be spent in the peace that comes from God’s love, filled with His Spirit of unending life.

There you have it! 7 reasons your year was 10X better than it appears in the rearview mirror. But the first reason added 10X to the other 6, so we can’t stop there . . .

# 8 – A Bonus! This means the year ahead will be 10X better than you imagine it can be.

So, stop beating yourself up about what you didn’t do and what you have to do. Celebrate a year of life! Dedicate yourself to making the most of the coming one. Then you have a shot at actually having a . . . 

Happy New Year!

P.S. – Feel free to share your major accomplishments, goals, lessons or year-end reflections below. If we have done anything helpful in your life this year, we would cherish the encouragement if you’d like to share. Blessings!

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