I was taking a class this fall, which I really wanted to take, and that I really enjoyed, but when I handed in my last test I was nonetheless relieved. I sat back in my chair for a few minutes to unwind. Yes, I had enjoyed the class, and learned a lot, but it was a relief to have the “burden” of note-taking, reading, studying, etc., off my shoulders, and to turn my attention to the plans that I’d been putting on hold for that semester.
Now, the end of the year is also approaching, and I’m in the mood to consider what my next year should be. When something ends (the calendar year in this case) it’s only natural to think about what’s next on the agenda, but this creates a new problem for me. I have an abundance of options, but this reality is a gift in the hand of a problem — there’s too much to do!
I want too much. I want to travel, be a good photographer, explore my family genealogy, read the works of Dickens, know the history of the national parks, better understand art, learn about gorillas, be a good cook, exercise more, take a course on the history of Tudor England, grow spiritually, and, it seems, just about everything else, all that while keeping up my job and other necessary obligations.
But something has got to give. I simply don’t have time to do it all. The list has to be whittled down somehow. Priorities must be established, and the way that I’m doing that is like what I ask LifeMatters clients to think about when they are considering counseling. Before they do it, I ask them to think about where they want to be when they finish.
When 2016 comes to a close, where will I want to be? Of all the things on that list, which are most important and for which ones is there time? It would be easy to just go with the flow and fit things into my schedule, but will that get me where I want to go?
It’s doubtful. More thought and focus are needed, and to me that’s what December is for, the process of reviewing my values and commitments and coming up with a good plan before January arrives and the time comes to turn plan into action.
What about you? Think about it during the rest of December. What will your 2016 be for?