The picture above shows my daughter happily playing on her grandfather’s Christmas present. It also shows her brother keeping watch (for the moment, tenderly)… Fortunately, our holiday break had more moments like this rather than the usual chaos.
Several years ago I stopped making new years resolutions. Frankly, I couldn’t take the guilt anymore of always feeling like I was … upside-down. I felt like I was chasing a check mark rather than personal improvement. Instead, I evaluate myself on four basic criteria. Here’s my report for 2017:
- Performance – How did I do on the nuts and bolts of my various responsibilities? 2017 was another great year for our business – the best yet. Also, I believe I finished the year as an improved husband, father, and friend. The path through the year wasn’t perfect (see #3 below), but I’m confident my personal performance was satisfactory/good and ended the year on the right trajectory.
- Innovation – Am I learning and increasing my effectiveness? Am I improving? My honest feeling is that I responded to various challenges with an open mind, worked towards creative solutions, and generally tried to learn and improve. Solid B or B+ here.
- External Influence – Do I look outward rather than inward? This was a difficult year for me on this front, and I’m not totally sure why. Overall, I spent most of the year pretty self-centered; especially in the face of some personal/family challenges. I was often so focused on myself that I forgot the needs of others. To my family and friends, I’m sorry. I deserve a D here, and probably a “gentleman’s D” at that. Significant effort is required from me on this point immediately.
- Joy – Am I happy? While not immune from the occasional melancholy, 2017 was a significantly better year than the previous one on this item. I picked up golf (again), and found ways to generally be more cheerful. Significant improved here. An A for effort and probably a B+/A- overall.
For me, the biggest challenge is the combination of #3 and #4. However, I refuse to believe that they are mutually exclusive.
Overall, a good year. On to 2018.