2016’s Last Gift to Yourself

by on December 28, 2016

2016’s Last Gift to Yourself

Gifts with red ribbons isolated on whiteWe are reaching the end of another year. Soon we will begin 2017, and I can assure you that you will see numerous articles and blog posts about setting your goals for the coming year. Calendar changes, such as year changes, bring out such sentiment. And, while setting goals is a worthwhile activity, many often don’t take the time to do a step that is as equally important as looking forward and setting new targets at which to aim. That is assessing what has transpired recently in one’s life, whether it be for the last couple of weeks or the past several months, or even over the preceding 12 months. While the calendar is indicating we are entering “a new frontier,” the reality is time is moving forward from one day to the next and much of what has been transpiring in your life is making its way into the new year with you whether you want it to or not.

So, what has happened to you during the past year? What new people came into your life? Have you taken the time to build relationships with them? Or were those encounters a quick passing where you determined there was not much to be gained by knowing this person and so you moved on. Were you as much a giver as a receiver in 2016? It often does not take a lot to be a giver. Being a giver does not mean that you necessarily had to provide someone something of monetary value. Perhaps it was something as simple as being a listening ear. Or, maybe you realized your new acquaintance would benefit from meeting someone else that you know, as they share a lot in common and can benefit from knowing each other. Or perhaps you learned of a seminar coming up, or read an article of interest that your new acquaintance (or for that matter someone who has been a part of your life for many years) would enjoy and benefit from. It really does not take a lot to be a giver, once it becomes a way of life for you.

When you think about the events in your life over the last year, which ones come to mind first? Are they the ones you look at with joy, contentment and satisfaction, or do the ones that drained your energy come to mind first? If it is the ones that have a negative spin to them, what is leading that to happen? Are you so focused on the outcome of the event, you have swept aside any of the lessons that it taught you or favorable things it provided. As such, are you ready to carry those positive aspects of what may have not been an overall favorable experience into the New Year?

What are you presently doing in your life to gain support from others? Do you get out regularly and interact with others? Or do you confine yourself to your home and either feel sorry for yourself, or hide behind your computer screen and not experience life, but have it “delivered” to you through the opinions of others? The more I observe, the more I read, the more I interact with others, it is without question that those who enjoy their lives the most take the time to get out among others. And, again, it does not take much. It can be a coffee with a friend, taking a walk through a downtown area, or going to your local library and attending a class or a seminar. Going out does not have to be an expensive proposition. However, it does require that you take the initiative to do so.

No matter your religious beliefs, you likely have just come through a “season of giving” this past month. In the remaining few days of 2016 give yourself the following gift. Take the time to think through the enjoyable experiences of your life. Identify, some of the top ones. Take some time so see what they have in common. What were your interactions with others during those experiences? Which of your skills and talents did they use? Write down your findings throughout the process, (as you both identify the experiences, and identify what made them so special). They are providing you keys to the types of experiences and feelings you want to be present in your life as you enter 2017.

And, most of all, don’t obsess about the “things” or “lack of things” in your life. Look to focus on the “experiences” or “lack of experiences,” and work to make them more enriching in the coming year. Most of us will have goals to which we aspire, and items we may want to improve in our lives. If we look to move toward them from a platform of “enjoying the journey” it will help us in accepting the ups and downs which will likely occur as we go through the process of obtaining them.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dee N. Tran January 31, 2017 at 8:51 am

Dear Tony,

I can sense your heartfelt thoughts as you write this post to share with us! It is beautiful. I will take my time over the next few days to review the events that have happened in 2016—whether positive or negative, and the lessons I learned. In the last 2 months, I was forced to dig deep to rediscover myself and really know who I am. What is the meaning and purpose of life? How do I find meaning in my life? What is the meaning of the “life well lived”? I certainly don’t want to have any regrets as I lay on my deathbed in the future. You truly have a beautiful soul. Please keep writing and share your experiences with us. I will keep you in mind if anyone needs a life/career coach. You are amazing, gifted and unique in your own way. And I am so glad I have reconnected with you.
Dee Tran


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