Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Secret To Achieving More In The New Year


Have you wondered if this year, you have been running round in circles? 

Not really moving forward in your life metaphorically, spiritually, emotionally, professionally, academically, actually?

I ask myself these questions at the end of every year. They became particularly poignant during my husband's long illness and recovery. In this post I suggest a route forward.

This time last year, a few weeks after Jonny's brain surgery for trigeminal neuralgia and the beginnings of a complicated recovery, I was  reflecting  on how small our world had shrunk since Jonny's illness had returned in August of that year. 

This is what I wrote at the end of 2011 about taking a short car journey…….

We have not ventured far from our house on Titian Way, except to go to Johns Hopkins hospital, for months and months  and sometimes it feels like forever.

Time has stood still in our house and our plans have been reduced to the bare minimum to get through each day.  

As I was wallowing a little ( actually a lot) in these thoughts, and the fact that I seemed to drive in a circle from home to school drop off, to the grocery store and home again, I was sitting in my car  searching for an old  address in my GPS. As I scrolled through the address list, the most amazing thing happened.

Before my eyes rolled the last 90 addresses (who knew a GPS kept that many!) that we have needed directions for. As I glanced through them, destinations including Universal Studios in Florida and all kinds of stops we visited on our long drive to and from Harry Potter World in July 2011 caught my attention. Norman Rockwell’s house in The Berkshires and The Kennedy Center rolled passed, along with addresses to friends in DC, charity and school events, Benjy’s graduation in Feb 2011, different airport arrivals and numerous other memorable visits. 

Each address brought back a joyful moment and a reminder that 2011 had thankfully not JUST been about trigeminal neuralgia although it certainly felt that way at the time of writing……

And now as a new year is approaching, this excerpt has got me thinking....

What  if we each had a personal GPS that  listed all the positive decisions we have made in the last year. 

The friends, family and colleagues we have helped. ---->

The charities and causes we have supported.------------->

The children we have nurtured. -------------------------------->

The comfort we have brought.------------------------------------------>

The kind words we have said and the emotional and physical gifts we have thoughtfully chosen and willingly given? ---------------------->

What if we could tally these up and see that in parts of our lives we have made a difference. We have moved ourselves forward

We have become better friends, parents, partners, colleagues. 

Perhaps we have encouraged and helped someone else to grow?

That this roll call could then propel us into new directions, loftier goals, deeper friendships, kinder actions and  more authentic relationships? 

Wouldn't the knowledge that the small steps we have been taking, could get us closer to the destinations we dream about and that we have in fact been making progress (and not just going round in circles?) Wouldn't this information  give us the confidence to take 

                another step forward 
                                   and another? 

We just, each need to check our personal GPS to see how far we have come and to use that distance traveled to make a meaningful road map to enhance the next stage of our personal journey.

So go ahead. Review your GPS. List the positive things you have said and done and think about how you can build on those in the new year.. Feel good that you strived to make a difference and consider how you can continue and expand in these areas.

The path may not be straight but despite that, hopefully you will discover that you are  moving forward and that going in circles is reserved for the ring road round your home town, rather than a metaphor for your personal growth.

Wishing you all guidance from your inner GPS to find the most worthwhile route to achieve your goals and a very happy, healthy, rewarding and uplifting new year..

Please share this post -much appreciated.


(This has been adapted from a post I wrote in Sept 2012, just before Rosh Hashanah -The Jewish New Year)

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  1. I've moved forward in several ways and backward in some unfortunate ones. Its never a straight path, is it...

    1. That's true Corey. Good luck in 2013 with all your goals.

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