It’s 2017. What have you done so far? Five years from now, when you look back on 2017, what will you remember? What have you accomplished this year that will change or improve the course of your life? Did you graduate? Did you earn your first $1 million? Did you meet someone new?
There are many things that I will remember from 2017. We took our kids to Mazatlan, Mexico… We got to see the total solar eclipse… We visited Glacier National Park for the first time, and it took our breath away.
The accomplishment that I am most proud of is reading more books in 2017 than I ever have read in a year. I determined late 2016 that I wanted to spend at least as much time reading books as I do watching Netflix. It was difficult at first, but I found myself choosing more frequently to spend an evening reading with my wife rather than automatically turning on the television. Did I meet the goal of reading as much as I watch television? Unfortunately no, but I have been close. I was able to cut the amount of television I watch in half, and I have read 19 books this year. I usually only get through four or five. I have learned that when you find a really great goal it will begin to change your life and make a difference as you start working on it… you don’t have to wait until you complete it to see results.
Does this sound like the type of article you would normally read in late December, or early January? Why post this now?
Consider this… there are 4 months left in 2017. There are so many things that you can accomplish within 4 months if you dedicate your time and effort to it now! There may be some limits on what is practical to complete within the year, but there is no limit to the things that you could start! A Master’s Degree is out of reach for 2017 unless you are already almost finished… but signing up for a program is something you could still accomplish. Writing a book before the end of the year might not be a possibility… but starting a book certainly is! If you find that four months is not sufficient to accomplish your goals, this year can still be remembered as the year that you begin one of your most significant achievements.
Here are some examples:
1 – About this time last year, I decided that I would start writing a novel before the end of 2016. I found a topic, began thinking of my story, and I wrote the first chapter before the year was over. It might not seem like much, but I was able to finally start on a goal that I have put off for one reason or another for quite some time. After working on the story throughout this year, now I have a very achievable goal of completing it before the end of 2017. Four more months to go. (Now I can begin the equally challenging task of finding someone to read it.)2 – I have wanted to visit Japan for a long time. There has not been time (or money) to make this trip a reality in 2017, and it is not realistic before the end of the year. Instead, decided to start learning Japanese. With the help of online resources, podcasts, and audio books from our local library I have learned many basic phrases and some simple conversations. I listen to the audio courses every day on the way to and from work. I am excited to learn more, and find opportunities to practice speaking with people… hopefully in Japan! I will remember 2017 as the year that I started learning Japanese!
Take some time today to think about what you have done this year. Try to identify what else you want to accomplish before the end of the year, and write it down. For anything on your to-do list that will take longer than four months to complete, make a goal to at least get started before the end of the year.
The important thing is to consider what you CAN do, instead of what you CAN’T. Be brave, be dedicated, be excited!
2017 is your year!