It’d be a bit of an understatement for me to say that I’m looking forward to what 2012 has in store, mostly because I’ve had such an amazing 2011. I know I’ve said this about years past—and I tend to be a pretty overenthusiastic person in general—but as I look back on 2011, it’s really easy to say that it has objectively been the best year of my life thus far.
Too many great things came out of this year to point to all of them easily, but here are my top five:
- I married the most amazing woman I’ve ever met—and incidentally, the best friend I’ve ever had—surrounded by all of my closest friends from all stages of my life, on the most incredibly beautiful day in Seattle. This could easily be all five and still make my feelings about this year true.
- I rediscovered my childhood passion for starting my own company and immediately began working on a really exciting new project with my fantastic wife.
- I made it through 40 weeks of Mandarin classes and can now comfortably say that I have a very, very, very basic understanding of extremely common Chinese words and sentences.
- I learned how to play the guitar.
I’m especially excited about this list because these aren’t just a bunch of good things that have happened to me—although those are also great. Each of the items on this list is an example of a time when I’ve been actively responsible—and in the case of #1, unbelievably lucky and blessed—for pushing myself toward being the person I desire to be.
I know next year is going to be great, because I spent this year laying the groundwork for even bigger things to come. And as I look back on this year, I feel nothing but thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given to get me to where I am and to set me up for where I’m going.
I don’t plan on making any resolutions for 2012. I stopped setting them a while ago. When I did make resolutions, they had a tendency to become excuses for me to be disappointed in myself over the I didn’t do rather getting happy about the things I did and excited for what’s yet to come. Imagine if I’d followed up the list I provided above with another list of all the things I wish I’d done this year but didn’t: Exercise more, eat healthier, read more books, etc.
These are tactics, and when looking back on a whole year living, it’s easier and far more productive to think about the big picture: Do you have friends and family who you love and who love you back? Are you doing something that fulfills you? Do you feel as energetic about life as you did last year? I bid goodbye to 2011 feeling so grateful that I can answer a big yes to all of these questions and knowing that the road ahead is bright.
Here’s to a great 2011 and an even better 2012.