2016 was–by many accounts–the worst year in modern history. Many famous people died. Politics took an alarming turn. The structure of our society and the beliefs we all share don’t seem to be as shared or as certain as we may have thought. People are hurting, and that pain is becoming public in unexpected ways.
But those negatives are external. Let’s talk about you. You have had an amazing year. You learned new things. You overcame giant obstacles. You succeeded in ways you did not expect. You made a positive difference—for your friends, your family, your coworkers. You are better today than you were 12 months ago, and those around you have noticed.
These are your Roses.
But it wasn’t all roses, was it? In addition to those ups, there were some downs. Things didn’t go quite the way you planned. You made a few mistakes. Luck was not your friend in all situations.
These were your Thorns.
This week, spend some time reviewing your archived emails, your saved papers, your records. Ask others what impact they noticed because you were involved. Spend time remembering the good and the bad that has transpired. Think about your Roses and your Thorns for 2016. I would even encourage you to write them down.
What did you learn this year? What did you learn from your Roses and Thorns? What could you do better? What might you work on in 2017? Anything you should avoid? What do you want to continue?
These ideas for the future—these are your Buds. These are ideas that haven’t grown to be roses yet. They are the start of something new, the hope for something better.
This week, reflect on your Roses and Thorns of 2016. Consider the Buds that you might want to foster in 2017. Share these ideas with a trusted friend, and start making plans.
Let’s finally say goodbye to 2016. Together, let’s seek to make 2017 the best year in modern history. We can do it. You can do it.