Yes, I’m one of those folks who look forward every year to renewing goals, refreshing our dreams and aspirations, while looking back over last year’s successes, trials and tribulations. No, I don’t necessarily believe that New Year’s resolutions have to start in January; however, it’s always a good feeling to reflect on the past year, turn the page to the next chapter of our life and start a clean page, if you will.
It was this time 2 years ago this month that my wife and I were preparing our annual ”2016 Family Goals” lecture, where we would review and discuss with our six children our family goals and dreams for the new year. This is the part in the story where you now can insert plenty of the children’s eyes rolling back in their heads paired with lots of yawning because the kids just love to set goals and dreams at their ages. (Not!) However, this time, unbeknownst to our children, one of our primary goals for 2016 was to take all six of our children to Florida to surprise my parents, who would be celebrating their 50th anniversary, over the 2016-2017 New Year holidays. This Florida trip would also take a small, casual detour trip to a little-known theme park called Walt Disney World. For a family of 8, this required us to start our planning in January of 2016 even though we wouldn’t reveal the secret to the children until Christmas morning of 2016 and the trip wouldn’t begin until the day after.
As you might imagine, it is close to impossible to impress upon the children the importance of goal setting, much less teaching them how to prepare and plan for them. Now, if I could have fast forwarded the year during my Dad’s speech, taking their blindfolds off for a moment, having them stand on the beach looking out over the ocean and/or pretending they were standing on Main Street in front of Cinderella’s Castle, they would’ve likely seen the bigger picture and certainly the importance of what and why goals were necessary to set.
One of my favorite authors is Dr. Stephen Covey, who has published a book called “First Things First”. In this book, Dr. Covey talks about “The Law of the Farm”. I believe this analogy is applicable in our everyday life. He asks if you can imagine a farmer “forgetting to plant in the spring, flaking out all summer and hitting it hard in the fall, ripping up the soil, throwing in the seeds, watering, cultivating and expecting to get a bountiful harvest overnight?” Now, most of us aren’t farmers and we don’t farm fields each day; however, planning and preparing for each year is a necessity if we are to be successful in our personal and professional lives.
As we (Accessible Systems, me, you, case managers, therapists, state representatives) walk into 2018 together as a team, it is important to reflect on 2017 and the many families we served together. It took ALL of us to complete those home modifications and the blessings those modifications provided those families.
I look forward to the new opportunities to serve our Medicaid clients and I’m honored to be a part of this team and excited to see all that 2018 has waiting for us and our clients!
Happy New Year!
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) 9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.