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“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” – Winston Churchill

I’m a huge fan of Winston Churchill and this quote is right on this time of year. I always get giddy during the holiday season. I enjoy the giving and grateful feelings that arise during this time of year. I also enjoy the time to relax, reflect, and the process of reviewing the year and how to move forward in the new.

What did I accomplish this year? Did I hit the goals I set for myself? What could I do better? Where could I focus my efforts in the New Year?

As I review things there are a few high points. The first is this blog. I didn’t realize how great it would be to create and write a blog. It’s awesome to see people from all over the world reading my postings and responding to them. The technology of today truly has created a global dialogue where people of different countries, cultures, and languages can interact with each other, learn about one another, and exchange ideas. It truly is a great time to be alive. Who knows what the future will bring. My guess is that we’ll see new devices, new technological breakthroughs, and a whole lot more.

I’ve written quite a bit about goal setting, self-discipline, leading a balanced life, and most recently about finding and pursuing your passion or life’s work. It’s hard to pursue these things when you’re supporting a family, working 9 to 5, and all the rest, but it is possible. If you are truly passionate about something, you’ll make it happen. For me, this year was the first year of my early retirement. I’ve found out a few things about myself that are quite interesting.

Retirement really isn’t retirement to me. I still have goals, I still have things I want to do in this life, and I still have a drive for a consistent and productive day. The only difference is that I am now in almost 100% control of my day. It is quite liberating, but also requires that much more self-discipline. Have you ever heard that saying, “The more rope you’re given, the more rope you’ll have to hang yourself”? This is the potential for retirement. You can either set up a daily schedule, plot out your goals and pursue them, or surf the net all day and get ZERO accomplished. Time will go by and you’ll wake up one day saying, “Where the hell did the year go?”

This year was a year of adjustment for me. Adjusting myself to a reduced income. Adjusting myself to all the time I have. Adjusting to living home with the parents and getting used to interacting with my Dad who loses more of his memory daily.

This month I’ll be finishing two books I read this time of year as part of my reflection. The first is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. The second is Getting Things Done by David Allen. I thoroughly enjoy both books because they really get you thinking. They also provide some helpful frameworks for planning, setting goals, and pursuing excellence in all areas of a person’s life.

I’ll begin work on the first of many books this year. The first step was finding a local coffee shop I could go to for my writing. I found one! It is called the Exquisite Corpse and it is nice. It will be my haunt after I get done with my gym routine. I like writing in areas where there are other things going on. I don’t need absolute solitude to create. Right now, as I write this blog posting, I am listening to some music. Music is one of the keys to my writing.

The rest of this month, in and around the holidays, will be mapping out the first quarter of the year. What do I want to accomplish? What’s the goal for the entire year? Once I’ve got things mapped out it’s off to set up a daily schedule to accomplish the things I set out to do. I really look forward to the New Year.

Well, that’s it for today folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed my writings this year and hope to continue to improve this blog to gather more followers. It’s all about the content and I’m still refining mine.

Until next time…

Dave

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