Looking Back, Looking Ahead

It’s better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.” Jackie Joyner-Kersee

I’ve started a blog post on another topic, but this time of year, I feel compelled to write about the New Year. In this blog, we try to be proactive. A new year is a great time to assess our lives and whether we want to change direction.

It is worth taking time to reflect on the past year. If you’re like me, you succeeded in some areas, but not all. I looked over last year’s resolutions and was dismayed at how few I’d actually achieved. In looking at my resolutions, almost all I had to do was to replace 2019 by 2020, and they would work for this year. At least, that was my first impression.

I took another look and realized that I’d succeeded more than I thought. For instance, some of my goals were that I’d walk or run every day. I’d write every day. I’d pray every day. But how realistic was that? I did these things most days. In my resolutions for 2020, I will say “most days” rather than “every day.”

I said I’d write two mystery stories in 2019. Well, I didn’t. But I did write a short fiction story that will be included in an anthology. That is still something to celebrate. I did “take fun vacations” as I’d planned and lived with “joie de vivre,” my guiding phrase for the year. And I did nurture my creativity.

Photo from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New-Year_Resolutions_list.jpg

If you achieved all your goals in 2019, I applaud you. That’s something to celebrate. Setting and achieving goals is important. If you didn’t achieve your goals, remember that life is about more than goals. We can assess the past year in a positive light anyway. What can you celebrate about last year? What were your wins? Did you gain in self-compassion or compassion for others? Did you enjoy the year? Did you grow in some way? Those might not have been your goals, but they are worth celebrating.

We can also think about the past year in terms of the lessons we learned. We don’t need to be mean to ourselves or berate ourselves, but it is good to be honest. For instance, I did very little writing on the mystery novel I wanted to write. Maybe it’s time I reconsider this goal. Is it still a high priority for me? If it is, why aren’t I working on it?

I see that I had too much anxiety throughout the year, especially around the holidays. I don’t want that to happen this year. That is why I’ve chosen the guiding word “tranquility” for 2020. This idea can affect much of my life. I can use the word tranquility to guide me when making decisions. I can make my home and work environment more serene. Physical exercise can help me relax. Being outdoors in nature helps relieve my anxiety, so if weather permits, I can exercise outdoors. And I can become more tranquil by nurturing my relationship with God.

I hope you enjoy a happy and healthy New Year in 2020. If you have goals for the year ahead, writing them down is a good start towards making them happen.

Have you taken a kind, but honest look at your past year? Do you have goals or a guiding word for the year ahead?

About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: http://www.WomenMakingStrides.com/ Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WomenMakingStrides1
This entry was posted in Goals, Holidays, Intentional Living, Proactive and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Looking Back, Looking Ahead

  1. nanciec13 says:

    Hi Susan—I also review the past year during the week between Christmas and New Years. I had hit and miss success but I’m okay with that. Every day I make a to do list—on the days I don’t make it past #1, I realize many other possibilities came my way. The same thing happens over the year. This year my goal is to begin divestment of “stuff”, attitudes, and habits that get in the way of healthy living. It is a broad goal but leaves the door open for the opportunities—spiritual and otherwise—to enter in. Blessings on your year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this! It prompts me to want to do a New Year blog post. I’ll try to do one in the next few days. This should be a “momentous” year for me, as I’ll move away from Charleston, SC, where I’ve live for half a century, to live in a long-term care facility near a daughter and her family in Tennessee.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shirley Jones says:

    Sue…I love getting your posts. This one hits home for me. 2019 was a very bad year as my oldest daughter Christy has struggled to find out what is wrong with her medically. She is going to Rush Hospital and working with a group of doctors. So far…she has a very RARE condition called IgA systemic vasculitis, seronegative RA and A1At deficiency. They gave her a cancer drug to see if that will help. She many only have 7 years to live. I have decided this year to get out of debt by July 2020 and will be moving into my own apartment at a Senior Home facility. The list may be for another year to wait for an opening. This will only be 30% of my gross. I also want to be more compassionate to people in my life. I started that today by donating over $100 dollars for cremation of my daughter Kiya’s dog…that died Sunday. She lost many hours from her job and does not know how she is going to live. Hoping what little I have in my life…will go to help others who are much worse off then me. Hugs to you Sue…and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Susan Ekins says:

    Shirley, I hope and pray that your daughter’s health improves. What a worry for all of you! Also wish you well in your commendable goal of getting debt-free by mid year. I think of you as young, so I’m surprised about the Senior Living facility, but my younger sister is living in an over-55 community. You have ALWAYS been generous to others–even when you were broke, you were generous with your time. Love and hugs to you.


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