We still have twelve days until Christmas, but already people are looking to New Year’s Day and the beginning of not just a new year but a new decade. Look back at the path you’ve taken and see how far you’ve come. Determine where you want to go and develop your plan to reach that goal. Write those resolutions down to make them real and keep them in front of you at all times. The drive to keep moving is never stronger than at the end of one year and the start of the next.
There’s nothing wrong with doing these things. It can be enlightening and encouraging to see where you were a year ago or ten years ago. I’ve been looking through old photo albums as I work to clean out my grandmother’s house since her passing last month. The differences in my children from years past until now are huge. Ten years ago my sons looked like little boys. Today they look like men. Often it’s the same when we look back at the journey of our life.
Ten years ago I knew I wanted to write. My mom and I attended our first writing conference together. I pitched a book idea to an agent just to get feedback. I had yet to publish my first devotion in a magazine. It would be years before I found and joined a local writer’s group. It would be even longer until I finished my first novel and queried agents and publishers. Holding my first published novel in my hands was still a dream. The second hadn’t even made it to the dream stage yet. And I never imagined being active on multiple social media platforms, learning marketing programs, blogging, or posting videos on YouTube. I still can’t believe I’m actually doing some of those things. But I am. I’ve come a long way personally and professionally in the last ten years. You probably have too.
Soon I will take stock of where I am and where I want to be in the coming year. I will set goals and come up with action plans to meet them. But for now, I want to do more than simply realize where I’ve come from and use it to move forward into the future. As I look at the past, I want to celebrate it, all of it, the good and the bad. The successes have encouraged me and moved me down this path to my dream. I need to remember them and celebrate them. My failures and frustrations have grown and shaped me into who I am today, as a person and as an author. Though I have no wish to go through them again, without them I would not be where I am or who I am. I need to celebrate them as well, even if that celebration is as simple as taking time to recount and record them.
Tomorrow will be soon enough to look to and plan for the future. Today, I want to enjoy how far I’ve come.
Heather Greer writes contemporary Christian fiction, devotions, and book reviews from her home in southern Illinois. Her series including Faith’s Journey, Grasping Hope, and (to release in 2020) Relentless Love are set in the towns she and her husband call home.
Heather loves connecting with readers through social media. She and two of her sister authors recently started a YouTube channel called Once Upon a Page. Each week they discuss reading and writing, answer reader questions, and offer readers new ways to interact with them. They would love to have you check them out. But if YouTube isn’t your thing, you can also find Heather here: