Looking Ahead to the New Year

 

If you were to define the year ahead by just one word or one simple phrase, what would it be? Would it embody your hopes and dreams? Would it be a resolution? Would it be a simple statement about where you are in life right now and where you plan to be in the year ahead?


“Relationships, writing, momentum, crossroads, more success, pay it forward, longevity, and love on.” These are a few of the responses that came from my family members and close friends as we went around the table on Christmas Eve to answer this question posed to us by our friend and professional life coach. You see, it’s our Christmas Eve tradition to indulge in a decadent buffet dinner, drink copious amounts of wine, and then let the combination of food coma and truth serum bring out the true colors in each person around the table. We have had the same dinner party participants with the same tradition for the last five years and the life coach gets to pick the question for all to answer.

I am ridiculously optimistic and naively full of hope when it comes to life and love. I've had my fair share, and even beyond, of tragic romances as well as some tough luck in the past year. When I was asked to contemplate the year ahead, though, I couldn't help but immediately feel gratitude for all those that extended a hand to offer friendship, love, and support whenever I had a tough turn to navigate. And then feel moved to make the year ahead one in which I follow their lead by bringing light and joy into the lives of others. When it came to my turn at the holiday dinner table, my immediate response centered around paying it forward.

 

Hilary Swank gives a fantastically written speech in the movie, New Year's Eve, when all of New York City is looking at her with anxious doubt about the ball in Times Square being repaired in time for the countdown. She encourages the citizens to see this moment as a sign to pause, reflect on the past year, and reach inward to discover hope for the year ahead, so we are truly ready to embrace it. I offer you the same words of encouragement, albeit much less eloquently and without a star-studded cast, as we look to the year ahead.

What moments did you embrace in 2012? Which challenges did you shy away from for fear of failure or being hurt? Were there times that brought you closer to becoming the man or woman that you desire to be? How about times that made you realize that you are exactly where you are meant to be?

I agree with those that encourage us to not hold on to the past and use the year ahead to look forward. Our journey is the road map to describe how we became the person we are today, though. It’s a critical part of our story we should treasure even as we’re set to begin a new chapter.

Images courtesy of Mnn.com, Cinemaniacnetwork.wordpress.com

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