A few years ago, on New Year’s Eve, I talked to this lady in a store and she told me that she was going to get wasted on the last day of the year, and it would be her way of saying goodbye to drugs and alcohol. Yeah, right! This sounds pretty familiar. People get drunk on New Year’s Eve only to wake up on the first day of the year with a hangover.
What a way to start!
There’s something about a new year that makes people hopeful. It brings about new beginnings and creates new opportunities. It gives us the chance to start anew and make things better. Yet, things just don’t get better overnight.
Everything that happens around us is the result of something that we put into it. Things just don’t happen. New Year’s resolutions will only work if we put an effort into making it happen. They will not simply happen.
Therefore, having a successful year this 2020 is the result of what you have sown towards it from the previous years.
Let’s start by making an honest inventory of the high and low points of 2019. I will use my personal life as an example, and set a pattern that you can follow to plot your course better for the New Year. I will mark each point with a high or low.
My January 2019 started with a bang! I had a new project brewing from the last quarter of 2018, and by the first month of the New Year, I had an appointment with the person I wanted to present this project to. My presentation was well received, and I was encouraged to pursue, and come back to him for the next phase.
By February, my project plan was upgraded to an even higher level. I knew nothing about this new phase and planned to do all my research during my trip to the Philippines in March.
I was able to spend quality time with my eldest son, something that brought a lot of closure to my past life. I met my wonderful daughter-in-law to be, and it was definitely an answered prayer. As a mother, nothing means more to me than for my sons to find the right woman for a wife. Watching her take care of my son, and the love they had for each other erased so many doubts in my mind as to the kind of mother I was.
Other than my son, I was also able to spend quality and quantity time with my mother, which made my leaving so difficult. It was another closure to my past … a past where I was so focused on success, but neglected the people who loved me the most.
As I reviewed all the ‘research materials’ I brought with me for my upgraded project, I realized that I can’t even move forward with it. There was a requirement that I was not qualified for.
I returned to America after a three-week trip, unsure of where to take my project next. I had to return to the drawing board, but was too tired to even do it.
In my attempt to reassess everything, I was led back to a book I read in 2001, a book that God used to change my life. This didn’t only get me back on track, but redirected me to a better path … the writing of my new book … my first book that combines personal and professional development, wrapped in principles I’ve learned over the years. It was a coming together of my learning experiences, as well as a streamlining of a lot of things I’ve been doing and wanted to do.
It was Mother’s Day in May and I got a voice message from my son who was in the Army basic training. His voice was breaking as he asked me to pray for his marriage. I wrote about this more extensively in another blog, “My Son is Home.”
The summer months from June to August were very well-spent with my husband. We rode his motorcycle all over town, enjoying views of the lakes, mountains, and the bay; and going for walks in places we’ve never been to. We also went on a trip to the ocean, which we used to do more regularly, but have not done in a while.
You see, our last trip to the ocean years ago was during our near-divorce experience. Papers were filed and we were already talking about how to move on with our lives separately. Our trip to the ocean, then, helped us to rethink our choices. When we returned from that trip, we decided to postpone the divorce, which eventually led to our coming back together.
That low point in our marriage actually turned into a high point because that crisis saved us and our marriage. I will go back to this thought in a while.
By August, my book was published, and I started working more towards the other side of my business: coaching and motivational speaking.
This same month, my Dad who is in the Philippines, was rushed to the hospital. It was a difficult time for me, being away from all of them.
This crisis brought our family closer together, and with much prayers and faith, my dad overcame.
My son finally decided to file for divorce, after realizing that he can’t save his marriage on his own.
This decision released him from so many fears, and the emotional burden he carried with him during the two-year marriage. It also drew him closer to God, who sustained him all throughout his ordeal, which coincided with his Army training.
My son visited us for Christmas, and it was the best time I’ve ever spent with him as an adult. I felt like God returned him to me, and didn’t realize how much I’ve missed him.
Highs and Lows
Now, let me go back to what I was saying earlier about my marriage.
My husband and I just celebrated our 12th year in November. ‘Who we have become’ is something I couldn’t fathom back when we were going through our divorce. We really thought that was the end of us. Yet, the very thing that was supposed to separate us was the thing that bonded us.
That near-divorce experience brought us back to the drawing board. It made us rethink a lot of things. It taught us how to respect each other for our respective callings and gifts, and reach a compromise when both our sides are correct and no one wants to give in.
Our near-divorce was the result of some wrong choices we’ve made in the past; yet, what we’ve learned from it and what we corrected brought forth the fruits that we reaped these recent years. I saw its full bloom in 2019. And this is only the beginning.
The point is … all our low points are the result of something we’ve sown into it; and we can convert these low points to high points.
My son’s marital trial is another example. That experience made him run to God, out of his helplessness. He came out as a much stronger and wiser person.
Every seed you sow into your life produces a fruit, whether good or bad, depending on what was sown. You can’t just have a good new year without sowing good seeds towards it.
Now, it’s your turn to create your own inventory of high and low points and follow the pattern I showed you. For every low point, think of some positive result it brought about; for every high point, think of the good seeds you’ve sown into making it happen.
Use those negative experiences and what you’ve learned from it as tools to have a better year. Look at the positive experiences as seeds you’ve already sown for this new year.
May you have a more successful year this 2020.
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