Look Forward, Not Backwards.

It is truly inevitable that as one year comes to an end, another year begins. For some, the next few days are focused on thinking “2016 was the worst year ever” or “I can’t wait until next year.” It seems the majority of thoughts are on the bad things that have happened, downloadthe heartache that we experienced and the loss we’ve faced. But for me, I’m a “glass is always full” kind of person. Why focus on the bad when it was a year of greats, and not just for me, but for those I’ve surrounded myself with.

2016 was a year of change, just as every year is in some way. I took a leap of faith, quit my job, moved my life across the country (again), and continued to live the life I’ve dreamt of for oh so long. When you seek out opportunities to pursue the dreams that you’ve had for yourself, you tend to shift your focus onto the greats in life rather than the pitfalls of your year. You must find the strength to focus on the excitement in your life, the memories you’ve made and the traditions that keep you going.

One of my favorite traditions has been a tradition for the past 10 years. I have welcomed in the New Year with two of my best friends by my side. Not only have they been my support system through the multiple years of challenges and changes, but they have been my family. Not only do we celebrate over a dinner together and family around the table, but we laugh, we smile and sometimes even shed a tear or two all through the year. The best thing about these two friends is that none of us dwell on the past. Instead we focus on the future, the dreams and adventures that await and the challenges we can all overcome. These two friends have been part of my year end and year beginning traditions for more than a decade and I simply can’t imagine a tradition more worthwhile.

All too often as we see one thing, one event, one holiday or one year coming to an end, the tendency is to focus on the loss or the ending. Today, I challenge you to two things. 1. Think of everything GREAT that happened this year. It might be 10 things, 25 things or even 50 things. Start with yourself, extend those thoughts to your family, your friends, your support system and even beyond.

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Everyday, write down one great thing that happens. Open them up on New Years Eve and you’ll realize it was a year of “greats” and not just loss and heartache.

And 2. Start 2017 off on a positive note.  Two years ago when I knew I needed to shift my mindset, I started off the year by writing down a positive thought every single day. Today, I challenge you to do the same. Literally write down, every single day, something great that happened. You must truly believe that although every day may not be good, there is something good in every day so stop looking backwards and start looking forward.

15 GREAT things that happened in 2016

  1. I quit a job that wasn’t fulfilling my life’s’ dream.
  2. I paid off my credit card debt.
  3. I accepted a position that has challenged me personally and professionally.
  4. I have the opportunity to work alongside an amazing leader in NYS agriculture every single day.
  5. I made a difference and taught other people about the industry I live and love.
  6. I have been given the chance to catch up with old college friends.
  7. I was able to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and holidays alongside my greatest friends that have become family.
  8. I’ve seen my friends kids grow up way too fast!
  9. Numerous friends have told me they are expecting little ones in the 2017!
  10. One of my closest friends I made in St. Louis asked the one he loves a life-changing question.
  11. I’ve dreamed big….with no limits.
  12. I’ve experienced heartache which means I care.
  13. I’ve witnessed friends making their dreams come true.
  14. I started writing more often – personally, not just for work.
  15. I took a vacation to my 2nd home of St. Louis to spend time with some lifelong friends.images

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