This is a time of year when many of us are choosing to both review the previous year and look forward to the future. It is important to look back, because it is in the looking back that we can see our growth and progress. We remember where we came from, and evaluate whether the course we have set is the course we want to remain on.
The last two years of marriage my husband and I have made some pretty big accomplishments in every area. We have met some major financial goals, we have become parents, we have grown as people and spouses. We have also set some major long-term goals that are going to take us years to accomplish. We're dreaming big, but we're also taking each one of those small steps to make those dreams more than just a castle in the sky.
Looking back, however, isn't the first thing that comes to mind in a new year. Looking forward is what is most natural. We want to consider what changes to make in the new year, set goals, chooe a new direction--or simply make slight course adjustments. That is what has been on my mind.
This coming year is going to be a big year for our family. In the last year we've set our course, but this coming year will be when we begin taking measurable steps toward making those goals reality. Not all the steps are going to be fun or convenient, but we have to move forward anyway. We have set a good foundation so far--now it is time to build on it.
A word that keeps coming up is Excelsior. It is a Latin word that means "higher." Excelsior means that we are ever striving to move forward, to improve on the past. We are setting the bar ever higher. It is making a conscious choice to not rest on the laurels of yesterday, but to make new accomplishments today. Recently a sister asked me what my goal was for the coming year--I told her it was Excelsior. In every area of my life I wish to become a better, more rounded person. Last year was not a bad year--but this year I want to improve.
What kind of a parent do I want to be?
What kind of a wife do I want to be?
What kind of woman?
What kind of Christian?
By the grace of God, a better one.
In the next few days I hope to share some more specific goals I have for the coming year, but first I wanted to share the overarching theme. While specific steps are necessary, if I can look back on 2013 and say I improved on 2012, I will have accomplished my goal--even if the steps I take to get there end up being a bit different than the ones planned.