Recently I had a birthday.  Despite having hit all the really exciting birthdays- every single one from birth to 15, the driver’s license, the right to vote, and legal drinking age- I still love birthdays.  I try to forget the fact that my next “big” birthday might involve images of gravestones and jokes about being over some hill and needing a walker (actually it had better not I’d like the theme to be “Fabulous”) and I instead embrace each birthday as a time for reflection and self-appreciation.  How have I reached or gotten closer to my goals? During this last birthday however, I felt off-track and was having some difficulty seeing the progress I have made towards the things I want to do.  

It is easy to set goals and even easier to fall off track, especially when you feel as if life has presented you with new challenges.  Sometimes I think I am on top of everything and suddenly I am presented with a curve ball.  This year on the verge to feeling sorry for myself, which I am getting too old for, I realized that it is when one is NOT making progress that there are no curve balls.  If I were not in the game, if I were not  in motion, if I were not taking action, then no new challenges would arise.  After this occurred to me I thought longer about where I was on my last birthday and slowly things began to come to me- achievements, positive changes, and accomplishments.  It dawned on me then that maybe I was not feeling instantly gratified and that was the source of my unrest.  Truly though, if the progress I make feels too slow or there are things I did not achieve, then I need to look back at why and take some lessons with me into my new year.  What do you know? Every year life gives us gifts: more lessons to apply to the rest of our lives.

What you do with the lessons is, of course, up to you.  I know now that when I feel off-track, when I feel like my activities do not aid in the achievement of my goals, I need to check my compass, figure out how to alter my course and look again for my north star.  Where do I want to be? What do I need to add to or subtract from my life to get there? Who am I in this process? Do I still want what I thought I want? It is never too late to evaluate and begin again, in fact every day on this earth is a chance to do that.  Material abounds on setting goals.  When you start to feel like you might not be reaching yours you can look to those ample resources and seek motivation and enthusiasm to help yourself get excited about your goals and in the game once again.  I have heard people say that you can not take one shower and expect to stay clean all year, so when keeping motivated the same applies.  Getting excited and motivated once is not enough.  One must find motivation and excitement on a daily basis to climb that mountain of dreams.

So, here’s to another year to up the ante, create bigger goals, meet more challenges, and jam-pack whatever I can accomplish into this year and the next, and the next... before the gag gifts start coming!


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    Jennifer Loebel