I guess it’s important to reflect on your life every now and again. You can learn from mistakes made, feel good about accomplishments, and be thankful for the good (and the challenges) that happens in life… And what better time to do this, then at the end/beginning of the year.

The first time I heard the phrase “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger” was from the movie Trading Places, where Eddie Murphy’s character quotes German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. Those words have been paraphrased many times – “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. And every time I hear it, it rings true to me.

This year in particular has been challenging both personally and professionally. Sure, it was not all bad. But it wasn’t a walk in the park either. I’d like to say I’ve emerged stronger from the experience, but I think I’m still reeling, not quite ready to regroup and start over (although I know I should).

Is this all a test?

Towards the end of the year, my brother spent a few weeks with me and my family. He too was undergoing some changes in his life. But he had valuable advice for me. Even at my age (or maybe especially so), I could cruise through life and settle for “good enough”. I’ve always been grateful for all that I have, and I’m happy. And I’ve known for a long time, that good enough stifles the great. And I have to admit, life has been good to me (despite the bumps here and there).

If “good” is the enemy of “great”, then it stands to reason that “bad” situations are opportunities for greatness. This has certainly been true in many situations. Through adversity we can forge character and cultivate strength. And perhaps this “bad” year is merely an opportunity to make things, not only good, but great. Someone is telling me that you have to work for the important things in life, and I can’t be complacent by simply cruising through it.

So now that 2016 has drawn to a close, let’s make 2017 a great year. Let’s not let another year pass us by with nothing to show for it. Better to have unmet goals, than to have no goals at all. Time to pick myself up, and turn the situation around.

So what’s next?

Goals have become a little scary for me. I’ve obviously made goals for before. They are like promises to myself. And when I fail to reach a goal, it’s like I’ve broken a promise to myself. At first, a failed goal was simply that. But after years of trying and failing, you develop the “Why try at all?” mentality. And that’s the mental barrier we all have to overcome. Maybe start with some simpler goals that are easier to accomplish.

So for 2017, I’ve devised the following goals:

  • Read a book every 3 months (per my wife’s suggestion)
  • Lose 20 pounds (this is a hard one. Been trying to lose weight for several months now, maybe even years. But I can’t stop now)
  • Improve sleep hygiene – In bed by midnight (this will involve improving my overall work schedule, but will help my overall health)
  • Family activity every month (this can be something as simple as Family Swim at the ARC)
  • Transition from Project Manager to Head of Project Management

Let’s start with that and go from there. Wish me luck!