Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Reflections

It is that time of year when we look back and say, "Wow, last year stunk! Next year will be so much better. Come on the New Year~" We are ever the eternal optimists. Already people are asking: "What are your New Years resolutions or goals?" I haven't made any New Years resolutions in years, not since I figured out that resolutions don't really work for me.
I do like to take the time to reflect on the last twelve months. The first thing I do is find the good things, the sweet things, the fun things that happened, no matter how small. Make a list. 2010 might have been your worst year ever, but there were things that were good about it if you look. The smile of a new baby, the hug from a friend, sunshine on a crystal ice cycle are all good things. Some of the things I cherished about this year: A visit from my parents and son, taking my daughter off to college, discovering a new writing craft book that helped me in a big way, going to a writer's conference and sharing my experience in persevering as a writer, then there were the times I had coffee with friends, the writer's group afternoons, a new book out, celebrating friends with new books out.
Once I make this list, I make a short list of things I've learned, mistakes made that I want to remember not to do again, people I forgot to call, letters I forgot to send, and then I address this list right now, today. I give out a hug. I call a friend. I send a note. So that when I start my New Year, I can start it with my head up and hope in my heart.
Will 2011 be a better year or a stinky year? There is so much about life we can't control such as unemployment, taxes, politics, bad bosses, overdue bills that you simply can't pay, health issues. These are the things that make a year stinky. But they are things we can't really control. What we can control is how we feel about them and how we act. Right now, today, I can decide to find at least one thing that makes me smile. I can decide to try a new thing that can help at work. I can eat one healthy meal. I can walk around my block. I can take five minutes to write a paragraph on the novel of my dreams. I can take one small step that will brighten my future and make 2011 a better year and I'm going to put it on my list so I remember what I did that was good. :D
How about you? Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you set goals? What traditions do you follow this time of year? I'd love to know. Cheers~


Judy Croome said...

Like you I make a list. I have three columns: things I've completed, things I still need to work on and things I;ve just started which still have a long way to go. I put everything down - from helping the neighbour to finishing a manuscript - and I'm often amazed at how much I've actually achieved!

May 2011 be a great year for everyone!

Judy (South Africa)

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Judy, (((hugs))) yay for accomplishing good things. May your new year be extra special. Cheers~

Jessica Nelson said...

I don't make resolutions but I usually have an idea of what I'd like to accompish. Your post is so funny compared to mine! LOL I didn't concentrate on the positive. Whoops. ;-)

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for stopping by. I think there is room for both positive and negative ways of looking at things. The key is to not go too far one way or the other. Don't you think? Cheers!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I don't make resolutions either. I'm reflective by nature and I do take the time to think about what has been good and what I've accomplished--what's yet to be accomplished.

When I hit a bad patch I do write down what has been good. It's a way of counting my blessings and putting things into perspective.

Happy New year to you, Nan!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Sia,

Thanks for stopping by, Happy New Year!!