Making Plans For The New Year

Now that Christmas is over and the presents are unwrapped, I have begun to reflect on the year coming to an end and all the blessings we have received.

It won’t be long until the ornaments and decorations are put away, the tree is taken down and life gets back to normal. With the new year quickly approaching, not only do I want to reflect on the year coming to an end, I also want to take time to review goals and resolutions for the coming year.

For many of my friends, 2011 was not a good year. I have friends who lost their jobs, their homes, and even loved ones. There is no denying that they are ready for this year to come to a close and to start the new year off fresh.

But for me, 2011 was a great year. I reached a major milestone in a three-year work project, my little brother got married, and I was able to see my niece for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She is now two and half years old and really developing quite a personality.

As I reflect on 2011, I am grateful for the blessings bestowed upon my family. My wife and I are both healthy, both employed by good companies, and love each other dearly.

As I have talked to some of my friends who have been less fortunate this year, it has become evident that support from their families is the one constant that helps them get by.

Though jobs are difficult to find in this economy, for most, family is the one thing most important to each of us. With their love and support, we can weather most any storm.

I’ve been thinking about goals for the new year quite a bit in the last few months. While most of my goals are either financial or job related, one of the major goals I’ve set for 2012 is to live a healthier lifestyle and get back in shape.

I know for many of us, this is something we promise to do for ourselves every year--and usually somewhere about the middle of March, we slip back into our old routines.

I made this a goal a few years back, and while I reached my weight goal, I didn’t maintain my fitness goal and I, too, reverted to old habits that eventually eroded all the progress I had made.

This year will be different. I know that because I’m ready.

I don’t know how to describe that to anyone who has never found him or herself in that situation, but if you have ever made a life-changing decision, and stuck with it, then you know what I’m talking about.

When I was in high school, I ran cross-country. I loved the sport. Running along trails and footpaths really allowed me to experience nature, clear my head and focus on what was most important at the time.

I haven’t run any significant distance since I was in college. So, while I won’t be able to run any trails of any significant distance any time soon, that is another goal for me in 2012.

Last year, a co-worker ran her first half-marathon and found it to be such a great achievement that she wants to try another one. Someday, I would like to run one as well. Baby steps.

To me, there is nothing more gratifying than setting goals and achieving them. The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction is amazing. Even when I don’t meet my goals, knowing that I tried my hardest to reach it still feels good.

So as I look forward to the coming year, I will continue to count my blessings and pray that 2012 is a great year for all of us!

Have you made any goals for the coming new year that you would like to share? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please be responsible, safe and have a very Happy New Year!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on Twitter at @CDGLA or email: