For one reason or another, I often hear from people that 2016 was a year of triumphs and challenges. So as we gear up for the forthcoming year, it is only natural to review the previous year, and evaluate what it gave us, and what it took away from us. I firmly believe in the spirit of moving forward, staring into our futures, and taking thoughtful and logical action to grow, develop, and improve as human beings. I feel as though I accomplished a lot, both personally and professionally in 2016. For one, I married the love of my life. So moving forward, 2016 will always be the year I wedded my best friend and greatest supporter. In fact, as I write this blog, I am about to head home from our fabulous honeymoon. What a way to close out 2016.
But I still find myself thinking about the year to come. What are the steps we can all take to position ourselves for a prosperous and successful new year? I have begun to jot down a list, which I would like to share with you. Consider each of these, and maybe you will find that they can play an impactful role within your life in 2017:
Friendship. I look back at 2016 and realize that I built some of the best friendships of my life. I also recognize that there were opportunities to build better friendships as well. So as we enter 2017, I challenge you to do the same thing I plan to do: focus more time and energy on the practice of friendship. I plan to do three things moving forward to enhance the role that friendship plays in my life:
1. Work to be a better friend
2. Rekindle an old friendship
3. Make a new friend
While Eric and I were recently taking our marriage vows, we paused for a moment and looked around at our friends and family, realizing that we were surrounded by people that love us and that we love the most. It was an amazing moment; one that I will never forget. But most importantly, it offered meaningful perspective on the importance of family and friends in my life. I’m committed to embracing new friends and old friends alike in 2017, and challenge you to do the same.
Professional Goals. I cannot tell you how many times I hear that people are unhappy with their jobs. I’m blessed. I love what I do and cherish my work. If you don’t feel the same way, you deserve more. You deserve to feel enormously passionate about your chosen profession and job responsibilities. So if you are one of those people who truly loves what you do, allow 2017 to be a year of continued growth. Don’t just settle for being content. Rather, work to excel in your career and develop as a professional. If you are unhappy in your career, do something to change it. Whatever the case may be, let 2017 be a year where you actively take steps to improve some area of your professional life.
Balance. If you are anything like me, you might find it challenging to balance all the demands of life. Sometimes, you might feel as if all you do is work. Do you often cancel plans with your family? Do you have trouble doing something as simple as going to dinner with friends or enjoying an hour at the gym? If so, you have not conquered the challenge of living a balanced life.
For me, spending time with family is an absolute essential part of a balanced life – this is a lifetime priority, not one that will come and go with the passing of time. I am committed to making 2017 the year of balance. Join me in making a list of areas in your life that need more balance. If you find you aren’t scheduling enough of your time for your personal and professional priorities, take a step back and figure out how you can better manage your time. Work/life balance is a constant challenge for me. Most successful people need to course correct in order to achieve a truly balanced life.
T. S. Eliot said, “For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” 2017 has the potential to be a great year. Each of us has the potential to make 2017 better than 2016. In the year ahead, join me in creating balance, cultivating enriching friendships, and cherishing our family and careers.