Don’t get me wrong, the New Year is a great time to write down your goals for the upcoming year and to plan what you might ideally like to happen based on those goals. But there’s some amount of pressure surrounding New Year’s resolution ideals that I don’t so much like to take part in.

I like to look at the New Year as more of a “Hey, I survived this last year, I created some really great work that made some people happy, I am healthy, and there is still iced coffee available for my sleepless nights.” Wasn’t all of that enough?

I say yes, it is. My year was long and filled with plenty of thrills, but it doesn’t stop there.

You see, we spend so much time looking forward that, inevitably, I think we forget to look back. And I mean that not in a dwelling, resentful way of looking back. I mean it in a, “You did that!” kind of way. In a way that reminds us of the dreams we achieved, and of the losses that taught us something. Last year I was sure I was going to achieve my life-long goal, and when the idealistic picture of what achieving that goal felt like didn’t match what I had imagined, I was forced to look at “success” in a different light. It was a bittersweet moment, but it was pivotal to my outlook on business and in determining what my true professional strengths are. Life gave me lemons and I designed and marketed a lemonade stand (figuratively I mean, get it? lol).

While I am sure you are writing down what you wish to do this year, I also invite you to write a good, long list of what you did last year that was amazing. And sometimes amazing doesn’t come in the form of huge accomplishments, sometimes it’s in the quiet discovery of something you find out about yourself that makes your life just a little better. Like when I put two and two together last year that I can no longer normally consume dairy. While disappointing at first (pizza just isn’t the same dairy-free), I learned that each week that went by without a stomach ache was better than the last. Well, at least more comfortable than the last.

So, this year I will do life all over again and hopefully add a few other “first time” experiences along the way. Hopefully you can join me along this ride of planned uncertaincy with great pride and optimism. Don’t forget pack some snacks (you’ll be thankful you did), and a backpack full of experiences from the past that will help guide you along the way.

And here we go!