In the waning days of November, I always look back over the year to take stock. Did I accomplish any of the items on my 2016 “goal” list? Was I more disciplined in my writing? Did I exercise as much as I hoped (or as much as I led my doctor to believe I did)? Did I visit as many schools as I wanted or needed to keep this roof over my head? Was I joyful and, as importantly, did I contribute to making other lives more joyful?
I succeeded on some counts, and failed on others. That’s life. But I won’t beat myself up over those things I failed to achieve. That’s the difference between resolutions and goals. Resolutions are fixed in the firmament, while goals are fluid, subject to change. Last December when I made up my goal list, which consisted of three things I thought I’d like to work toward, they were important to me then. As we dive into December, I now have a chance to look over that short list to determine which ones I achieved, which ones are still important enough to me to slide over to the 2017 list, and which ones to abandon. I achieved two of the three goals I’d worked on, which isn’t bad. The thing I didn’t accomplish is still important, so I’ll slide it over to my 2017 list.