Writings and Photography by Cody Haar

Looking Back for a Better Perspective

Always avoid clichés, except on December 31.  “I can’t believe this year is already over!” Anybody else there? Of course you are, because each year seems to go by faster and faster.  Just like the last 85 years (more or less).

I’ve been encouraged recently by seeing so many articles, blogs, and podcasts speaking of slowing down. Or at the very least, living more intentionally. That has been my goal – to breathe – for the past couple years as I explored the merits of minimalism and as my family has taken concrete steps towards simplifying our lives and creating margin in everything from schedules to finances.  It has all been a breath of fresh air. I can’t say enough about how much it has helped me personally. (I’ll likely write more on this subject in the future.)

 

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A successful tree hunt.  Yes, the chainsaw was “necessary.”

So often this time of year we are looking ahead, setting goals for the upcoming year, and generally lamenting over how things are not where we want them to be.  Of course that is the case. We have not yet “arrived.” As long as we are still breathing, we are growing and changing and adapting and learning. I don’t mean to imply that it is bad to set goals or to look ahead.  It is probably not good to beat ourselves up too badly over where we are currently. And that’s where the review of past goals is so helpful in providing good perspective.

Last week I took an early morning before everyone woke up to review some of my goals for 2018.  It was a surprisingly worthwhile endeavor. As I looked over some of my goals for 2018, I realized that I was far more successful than I gave myself credit for.  When I initially wrote out these goals they were “goals” because they were things I wasn’t doing yet. Looking back I realized that many of these goals were easily achieved.  And I realized that some of my goals were just impossible.

Learning from the past will help me establish better goals for the future.  There are some goals from 2018 that I need to keep on the list. Some goals need to be re-written to allow a shot for success.  Some goals need to be abandoned altogether. Had I not reviewed the previous goals I might foolishly write down some goals that I’ve already accomplished.  And that would then consume time and energy, possibly even keep me from doing something even bigger and better than before.

So here is my first goal for 2019.  “Look back on occasion to do an honest assessment.  Celebrate success. And don’t get trip up over failures, whether that be poor execution or poor verbalization.”

May you find space to breathe in the coming days.  May you find True Peace. May you have right ambitions.  May you continue to learn and grow and create and achieve.


“Now, my son, may the Lord be with you and give you success as you follow his directions in building the Temple of the Lord your God.”     — 1 Chronicles 22:11 NLT

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