Are you the person who looks at this time of the year and thinks of all the things you didn’t do, or do you focus on a new year beginning and consider all that can be done? The answer most likely varies as much as the pessimist/optimist query. Whichever answer you give likely says something about your personality.
As someone who likes to keep goals in front of me, I fall a bit in both. I assess what didn’t get done and try to decide if I was deficient or circumstances made it impossible. I also like to look ahead and dream about what can be accomplished. Fortunately, I have had good leadership mentors who have helped me keep some balance. Even with balance and faithful voices in my life, I find times when I cannot stop looking backwards. This is true more in my personal life at times than my professional. Could I have done more? Should I have made different choices in certain matters? How much impact did my shortcomings have?
I think everyone suffers to some extent in this area. As we approach a New Year I am hopeful that I can look ahead a lot more than I look backwards. I find some encouragement from the Apostle Paul who says in Philippians 3 “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
I know that the past can be a monster for some. I want to encourage you to go into the new year with an attitude like Paul’s. You cannot change the past. You absolutely can have impact on the future. That impact can be one you never regret when you set your sights on the goal of being what Jesus wants you to be. It amazes me that something this profound can be done with a simple decision. What kind of year will you have? What will your impact be? I pray that it is a lasting one that brings glory to God.