For a long time, I made projections and plans on what I wanted to have done by the end of the year. There were too many variables. So I stopped, rather than focus on my failures and telling myself I’d do better in the new year.
“I’m not into making resolutions for the new year,” I told the other six men in our study group. “Instead, I plan to celebrate what I’ve accomplished in my life.
“Each January, I start my new journal by skimming the old one,” I said, “and smile as I remember the good things I did. Doing that helps me appreciate God’s guidance and blessings—and I realize my life has been more fruitful than I thought.”
“It would be a short party for me,” Matt said. “I’ve never done anything.”
“You’re underestimating yourself.” Fred turned to Matt. “You’ve achieved a number of things. You’re the go-to guy when anyone needs electrical or mechanical help. You pick up an elderly couple and take them to church every week. You volunteer at the local food pantry. Once you told me that your company awarded you as the employee of the month an amazing 14 times in 20 years.” Fred went on down a list.
“Things anyone could do,” Matt mumbled.
“That’s not the point. You did them,” Gene said. “Last winter, you came over in the freezing cold to help me get my car started.”
Matt had assumed accomplishments meant life-changing achievements. “It can be anything important to you,” I pointed out. “Something you chose to do and finished. Rejoice in that.”
Before long the other men began sharing small-but-meaningful achievements.
“Hey, isn’t this better than setting unrealistic goals for the new year?” one of them asked.
Yes, I think it’s far better.