At this time of year most of us reflect on what went well and not as well as we like in the past year and commit to doing better. This reboot is needed even if we had a great year. Even if you had some challenges in the last year, I bet you can find a lot to be thankful for. Any event that gives you a new perspective is a great thing and the new year does that.
No matter what challenges I confronted in the last year, there was much more good to be thankful for. I have said it before and I will say it again, the people I have met over my life are what keep me going and give me hope for the future. So many of my clients are going through very difficult times. Yet they keep plugging away and do the right thing when the right thing is more often than not the path of most resistance. I have been so inspired over the years that people come through these challenges with positivity and hope in the face of watching a loved one decline, seeing their finances damaged by the cost of caring for a loved one or by their own healthcare issue. But it is not only clients. I see friends and family (and people I do not even know) who take adversity and keep moving forward without ill will or anger at the world. It helps me look at the big picture and be thankful for the people that I have in my life: my wife who always supports me, my children who give me happiness every day (even when they are being a royal pain), my wonderful employees without whom I could not serve my clients, my dear friends and the casual business associates who, once I meet them, become friends. All of these people have helped me be a better person, some because they set a great example, and some because they need my help and that need inspires me to work harder for them.
I have been lucky and I appreciate it. I still want to be a more involved father, a more patient husband and get more great clients than I did last year. I also want to learn some things I did not learn before, take day trips with my kids and continue to give more time to charitable causes. Yes, those are general goals (which, without specifics will not be achieved) and I will set action items over the next week. But the important thing is that a little better is still better and that we can take satisfaction that any move forward is positive.