As the year quickly draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the past year, successes and failures. I take time to look back at what I hoped to accomplish and where the track of my life took me, both towards and away from that initial vision I had for myself and for the year. I think about the people I have lost and the things I have let go, and I think about new opportunities that presented themselves to me.

All of this is important because it allows me to form my plan for the coming year, and it allows me to have a full view of where I have been.  If I only reflect on the positive things, the things I feel good about, that I would call successes or accomplishments, I’m missing out on a lot of what is there for me to learn – and I’m more likely to make those same mistakes again. Additionally, some of the things that I’m not proud of or feel were negative or bad for me will become the opportunities of the future because I am taking the time to parse them out and find the underlying meaning that is there for me. This is how growth happens, always a little painful and unexpected, but necessary, and not always easy to see when we’re in the middle of it.

Overall, it was a good year, and at the same time, I am ready for the new year to arrive because it’s time for renewal and time to put to rest the things I no longer need to carry around with me.  I was talking about resolutions the other day, and this year I’ve decided I’m taking a simple approach. I want to have specific goals, but I want them to be things I can do a little bit on every day, or at least every couple of days. I want my resolutions to be about the way I want to live my life, not things that I accomplish and then forget.

I’m still working on what those will be, but so far, my goals are: peaceful, healthy, prosperous, and kind.  I want to be able to ask myself if this activity or this opportunity is really going to get me to my goals, my simple, life-long goals that I am working on this year. Is this going to promote peace, health, prosperity, and/or kindness in my life? I want to be able to answer “yes” to most, if not all, of the things I do.

As you look forward to 2016, I encourage you to think about your own resolutions in terms of things you can work on every day that will allow you to become the person you want to be, too.