Every Year when I put my Christmas decorations away and close up the boxes and bins, I always wonder what will be different roughly 47 weeks later when I open them up again. There are those changes we can predict fairly well like a child going off to college or changing jobs or selling a house. A lot of changes are planned. There are also many surprises both joyous and tragic that shape our lives in less than a year.
2016 was a bizarre year for all of us, to say the least. Great Britian voted to leave the European Union. Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize. The Cubs won the World Series. Fidel Castro died. We lost countless – some relatively young – celebrities too numerous to list here. Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated as a major party’s presidential candidate. And America elected as the next president, a man that only a year ago, was simply a joke. Possibly because the Russians interfered. We couldn’t have made this up!
Personally, 2016 wasn’t a bad year. I accomplished a lot of what I set out to do. What I wanted and needed to do. The surprises were positive. I secured a full-time job. I better defined who I want to be professionally, what I wanted my business to be. I not only became certified as running coach, I trained to become a Professional Co-Active Coach as well. In a year that my daughter celebrated her 16th Birthday, I finally found myself in a better place as the parent of a teenager (in large part because of my life coach). While I missed a Boston Qualifying time yet again, I still ran my second best marathon time ever in my 7th marathon…2 weeks before my 51st birthday (in part because of my running coach). And maybe most importantly (because I realize it can affect how I see the world), I allowed myself to love again. And be loved. And to be open to a new life.
I fulfilled my promise to myself to publish a blog each week. This is my 52nd post this year! It has been a journey. At times cathartic; at times a chronology of my professional growth (more on this evolution next week). My mother was right when she said “you only get out of life what you put into it.” New Year’s resolutions may not be as good as setting goals for personal and professional growth while allowing for some flexibility – be ready for all those surprises that often throw us off course or at the very least be open to a new, unexpected path! But planning is still essential.
I know 2016 wasn’t a good year for a lot of people. We all go into 2017 with hope. And we all have a responsibility to make it the best year we can for ourselves and those around us. We have the power! If not to change our lives, to change our perspectives, and ultimately the outcomes. And if you need some help with that, hire a coach!
In 2017, when I open those boxes and bins with the holiday decorations, I know I will be closer to being an empty-nester. My teenager is scheduled to get her driver’s license and begin her senior year in high school. I am scheduled to have completed the requirements to becoming a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. I am already registered for a few races and have booked a few trips. That much I can plan around. Everything else may be a surprise. Please join me in being hopeful, determined, flexible, courageous, empowered, and loved. Happy New Year!
Fort Lee, New Jersey. January 2015.