At the end of an old year and the beginning of a new, I sit down with my calendar and review the events from the past year. I also get out my written list of goals and evaluate how well I did at reaching those goals.
When the new year begins, the days are short and cold—and often dreary—and the nights are long and dark, but the truth is that the winter solstice has already passed and the shortest, darkest day of the year is already behind me. Even though it is absolute winter, the days are actually getting longer.
Reviewing the events and goals of the previous year reminds me that I actually did experience and achieve many good things in my life, which helps me believe that I can do the same in the coming year. I write a list of goals I would like to work on and a list of adventures and experiences I would like to have in the new year.
It takes a few months before the gradually lengthening days of the new year result in glorious springtime—bright and clear sunlight, emerald-greening grass, quickening willow trees, and blooming daffodils. Spring seems to arrive suddenly, but it has actually been coming since the new year.
In like manner, when spring arrives, I start to see and enjoy the results of the slow, steady, and incremental work I’ve done on my goals in the months since the dark, wintry days of the new year.