My ups of 2015 include:
- The birth of my fourth grandchild
- The health of my family
- Family times together
- The release of my book
- The Cardinals winning 100 games
- A month in Italy
- The growth of this blog
- Meeting many wonderful people because of my book
My downs of 2015 include:
- My son serving his second tour in Afghanistan
- The realization that books are tough to market
- Not exercising like I used to
- The Cardinals losing to the Cubs in the playoffs
What I notice is the ups and downs often have little to do with anything we have done. It’s just life. We can, however, make our ups higher and more frequent while our downs can be shallower and less frequent by just thinking ahead and properly planning.
Of course, my ups and downs list don’t reveal all my secrets. There have been a couple of other downs that I have or will conquer. What isn’t a secret is that any up or down is magnified significantly when your family is involved. Something to think about when tough choices are necessary is, “How will this impact my family?”
This isn’t a question you ask about every decision. Sometimes the family has to take an occasional back seat. But long term decisions should always seriously consider the impact on your marriage, your happiness, and especially your kids.
So when you think about your New Year’s resolutions, go ahead and pretend that you will work out three times a week, eat less, read more books, volunteer for charities, get organized, or travel to Europe. But how about every year having a ‘long term’ resolution? For example:
- Where do you want to be in five years?
- What can you do to prepare your children for their next stage in life?
- What are your retirement plans?
- What will happiness look like if everything worked out like you want?
Short term plans frequently get in the way of having long term plans. My greatest successes come from long term planning. I would never have become a pilot or have written a book without long term planning. Striving for those things created a vacuum behind me dragging with it a military career, a good living, friends, and personal satisfaction.
But while we plan and look ahead, we are living now the life we hopefully devised in the past. So notice it! Notice the chubby cheeks of a baby, which disappear so quickly. Notice your son’s triple down the right field line. Be so happy that he is even on the field. Take photos of birthdays and graduations because they become more precious with time. If you allow the good things of now to sink in, you won’t regret missing them in the future.
I guess I just talked myself into my New Year’s resolution and my ‘long term’ resolution.
- Short term (New Year’s) resolution: “Work out three times a week, eat less, read more books, volunteer for charities, get organized, and travel.”
- Long-term resolution: “Do all I can each moment to never look back with regret.”
Resolutions aren’t easy! That’s why they are resolutions.
Happy New Year!