Reflect and Plan – What’s Important in 2017?

by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, ABIHM

happy_new_year-genericHappy New Year everyone!

This time of year always brings a mixed bag of thoughts and emotions. What fun and memorable things did I do in 2016? Did I reach my goals (any of them?) If not, did I take steps in the right direction? Did I make a difference (to myself and to others?) What could I have done better…or I wish I had not done at all…?  On New Year’s Day, I set aside time to reflect on each of these by writing it all down. It becomes a chronology of my life…and helps me set the tone for the year ahead.

January is also a personal reflective time for another reason. January 15 will mark three years since my dear, sweet husband, Kevin Carey, was suddenly called Home. Three years. In many ways, the time has been a blur. For those how know me, outwardly, all seems to be just fine. Back to normal. I wish it were so.  I don’t remember muwhat-Teeganch of 2014, and 2015 was equally as difficult. It really has only been near the end of this year, 2016, that I feel like I’m starting to step out of the fog. My new Japanese chin puppy, Teegan, has brought me more joy in the last two months that I have felt since Kevin’s passing.

Everyone keeps asking me how I came up with that name….I got lucky: he came with it! But I looked it up:  Teegan is a Cornish unisex name meaning “special thing”  (Cornish is a ancient Celtic dialect). So, now I can say with certainty, “Teegan is Celtic for special thing” – because he really is. How can you not love that adorable little face? 

What of the year ahead? On a macro level, the winds have change have certainly occurred for our country. Regardless of your political position, the one thing we know for sure: Things Will Change. On a personal level, we all make resolutions hoping to make 2017 ‘the best yet’. Lose weight. Exercise more. Pay down/pay off debt. Travel more. Spend more time with family. Meditate ten minutes per day.

Adreamstime_xs_69415167nd we all know that even with the best of intentions, our resolve fails long before the first spring flowers push their nose through the dirt to inhale the sunshine.

I have signed up for two online blogging and writing courses. This morning, the email from Chris Brogan really got my attention. His article “My 3 Words for 2017” was a good read. The links to his three words from the previous years were inspiring. What words could be used as a compass, to constantly keep me on task, to get me to where I want to be by the end of 2017?

A few of the words Chris used in the past were: Believe. Flow. Practice. Armies. Needles. Fabric. He has specific, personal definitions for these words to use as his guides.

After some journaling, writing and contemplation, I have identified My Three Words for 2017.

  1. Discipline – Focus. Time block. I’ve made a plan, now I need to stick to the Plan. I tend to put too much on my plate, spread myself too thin. This year, I will keep my Plan handy for review.  One of my favorite books this year was, “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. I took extensive notes. I need to work the program. Finish what I start. Complete my Daily Checklist. Stay the course.
  2. Happy – if it doesn’t bring me joy, I won’t do it…or I will stop doing it. I will push myself to seek out people, places and activities that make me happy and put a smile on my face. If something – or someone – does not make me happy, joyful or content, time for it to change.
  3. Move – everything is energy. Stagnant energy clogs up the system. Move physically, as in exercise, stretching, walking. Move my mind with new information. Move my emotions to a new place through gratitude. Move things out that no longer belong…move things in that do. Make a decision because it’s easier to steer a drifting boat than one that is tied to the dock.

I will put those three words on Post-it notes everywhere – on my computer, in my car, on my bathroom mirror, on my phone, on my alarm clock. Benjamin Franklin said it takes 21 days to make a habit. New research says it takes 66 days before a new activity becomes a habit. I started today.

What will be your Three Words? Start today. Do. It. Now.

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