by Miss Winona Kayla Boettcher
Every New Year’s many of us come together and celebrate the ending of a year and the new beginning that lies ahead. I understand the excitement of a fresh start and the allure of the great unknown, but when did it become a book we shut in order to ignore all the amazing things we did the year before? I encourage you all to take a moment to reflect on the unique year that was 2019. Take a moment from your celebration and set goals for 2020. Make this tangible and concrete for yourself by going out and buying a thank-you card or by making one. On the first flap of the card, write all the things you are thankful for that happened during the previous year. It can be anything from a good grade in school all the way up to a new job! Remember that all the events from the previous year helped to shape you into the person you are today! There may have been amazing days and some awful ones, but all of them have a hidden gift of either teaching you something you needed to learn or helping you to appreciate something you’d taken for granted.
Once you’ve finished reflecting on the past year, it’s time to look into the future! On the remaining flap of the card, write goals as well as hopes for the year. It can be grades you hope to get, social opportunities you want to take, getting into the gym, or even improving your overall mental health. Goals are kind of like check points on our way to accomplishing our purpose for our time here. Living life without goals is a bit like putting money into the bank without having a bank account. Not only are you wasting that money, but you’re missing out on the return that you could get having it sit and grow!
After writing your goals and making them concrete it’s time to seal the letter in an envelope and address it to yourself, dated a year from now. At the end of 2020 open your letter and see everything you’ve accomplished. Use it as a mirror to reflect on your year and appreciate each goal you’ve reached, those few that you’ve missed, which goals have changed, and most importantly how much you’ve grown in pursuit of those goals. The new year doesn’t need to be the closing of one book and opening of another, but it should be a continuation of your story on your own terms.