Looking back on 2015 I can honestly say I don't know where it's gone. It's like you wake up to a fresh new year, excited for what's to come and ready to take on the next 365 days with vigor, then all of a sudden, it's December and you're sitting here, like me, right now, wondering where the time went.
With January comes "new year resolutions", or in other words a poor excuse for a do-over... "okay so I slacked off this year so I may as well try again next year". It's the time where we dream big and set goals, complete with a strong sense of determination to meet those goals and make those dreams happen.
But by the time December rolls around, and boy does it come quick, we start gauging the success of our year based on what we set out to accomplish 12 short months ago.
Did you get that promotion? Did you go skydiving? Did you take that vacation you've been dreaming of? Did you lose ten pounds?
And if we didn't reach any of these goals, we get all pissed off, then lie to ourselves by saying we'll make it happen next year.
While there is a difference between new year's resolutions (goals) and a bucket list (dreams), both are developed the same way - by keeping a list of what we "have to do" this year, or in our lifetime.
But, what we're really doing is setting ourselves up for failure. Because with every goal set, there's always the chance that it may not happen. Sure, if you're determined enough and you set realistic goals then you'll probably have no problem reaching them, but if you don't (even for reasons beyond our control) we'll still beat ourselves up for it.
I'm a big fan of the bucket list and have an ever-growing one myself. But a video I saw recently, that you can watch here, has inspired me to look at things a bit differently. Instead of filling up an imaginary bucket with things you "have to do", start with an empty bucket and fill it up with moments throughout each day that made you happy. This, come December, will help you be grateful for what did happen instead of regretful for what didn't.
2015 went by in a flash because I was behind the desk for most of it. So, going into 2016 I have only one goal. To find balance. Balance between work and play. Continuing to work hard, but making necessary time for myself, friends and family, and appreciating life's moments no matter how big or how small. And even when stress hits, having a full bucket will remind us that every little sliver of life is entirely worthwhile.