The future is here!! Happy New Year my friend!
2017 will soon be another chapter in the book of your life. The chapter of 2017 may be filled with exciting and happy events. It may also be one filled with sadness, loss and/or grief. Or — it may be a mixture of both – goodness and sadness.
I know some of your stories and some I see only from social media posts. I know some of you are reeling from sadness that came suddenly. And some of you are filled to the brim with good things – work and pleasure. It’s a mixed bag of life as I watch yours and you watch mine.
I know the midnight hour will signal the end of 2017 and the beginning of a new year. We’ve been here before. We’ve made resolutions. We set goals. We claimed “this will be my year!” We had the best intentions on day 1 and shortly into the new year — we forget all that we had promised to ourselves. In other words, we forget what was so important to us — important enough to write down what we wanted — and we just go about living without really LIVING. Living without living seems to be easier than intentional living, doesn’t it?
Sounds like I’m writing a bummer of a blog today and I hope you don’t see it that way. What I’m attempting to convey is this:
“December 31 is not the end and January 1 is not the beginning.
Every day holds the future!”
Every day you have the chance to start over. Every day you have the chance to rise up and change your life. Every day you have the opportunity to make a difference in the world. Every day you can be of help to someone who needs it. Every day you can change a relationship with one small act of love. And — yes — every day could be the ending of your life or the life of someone you love. That’s life and we don’t know what the future holds BUT we do know who holds the future and that is where we find our peace.
As an Executive Coach and a Corporate Counselor, I believe in setting goals and writing them down. I believe in putting up a flip chart and charting your goals for the year. I believe in strategically planning for your future. I believe we need to be realistic and plan for our future – even if our future never comes. Planning is a good thing and should be done!
However, 2018 may be your last year of life. That’s a reality. And — All that planning and goal setting will be left on sheets of paper or notes on our iPads. Those notes will be there for others to evaluate as they clean out your stuff and do away with the rest of your things that are no longer needed by you or them. And possibly those goal sheets will be thrown away and hauled to the dump where other goal sheets rot in the dirt of the earth.
Sounds morose doesn’t it? I guess it’s because I’m getting a little older every year (by the way – you are too) and I’ve realized that while goal setting is great and strategic planning is too (’cause I make a living at these two items!) there is something much more important than this yearly review of life.
What I’ve realized is this:
“Loving others is more important than anything else in life.”
Love is what Jesus preached throughout his ministry. He spoke of us toiling and running ourselves ragged instead of spending that time loving our fellowman and those closest to us. LOVE. The message of the baby Jesus who lived a short 33 years here on earth. He had goals to achieve and they were big. His goals meant teaching others, encouraging others, loving others, and ultimately sacrificing for others. That was His purpose in life and He fulfilled it – giving us the ability to live with Him in paradise forever. Can you imagine how it felt to be given a set of goals by God himself and then living out those goals. Those goals were not to make more money or climb the ladder of success. His ladder was a cross that He climbed on – willingly — and allowed himself to be put to death because HE LOVED YOU! WOW oh WOW!
You think your goals are tough? Try His!
My friends, as this day ends, maybe you should consider doing these two things:
- Goals: Write down your goals for 2018. Be serious about them. As our President said once, “If you are going to make goals, make them BIG!” Big means more than BIG for your life’s purpose. BIG to make a difference in the world. BIG to leave a legacy behind for others to benefit from. After you write them down, share them with someone who will hold you accountable to them. Hire a consultant (choose me!) to meet with you monthly and talk about your goals. Or reach out to your best friend and decide to do this together and meet monthly to check in and see how things are going. Remember, be serious this time. Time’s a wasting and every day could be your last.
- Love Letters: Write love letters to your loved ones. A love letter for each person who is important to you. They don’t have to be long but if you make them long – that’s okay too. Encourage them. Pat them on the back. Write down memories of special times together. Bless them with your words. Don’t worry about it being perfect. Just do it. I promise you — these love letters will be cherished and locked away to be read and re-read as the years come and go. They will NOT find their way to the trash heap along with your goals!
The future is here. Grab it as if this is the last day of your life. Don’t waste another moment in bitterness. Don’t be stubborn. Don’t forget to remember the goodness in others who may have disappointed you this year. Look at the past for a few moments and remember the good things and then look to 2018 with the filter of LOVE over your eyes and your heart. Go into this new year with vulnerability to love as Jesus loved you.
We don’t know what 2018 holds and remember – He holds the future. Grab hold of Him and the journey will be unbelievably incredible. I promise you.
Got to go. Goals to write down. Love letters to send. I’m not just preaching it – I’m doing it!
Happy New Year my friend!!
Alabama still has it going on! Enjoy.