What I Learned in 2016

between 2016 and 2017I learned a lesson the hard way over Christmas this year.

It’s never fun learning lessons the hard way.

The hard way meaning, I reaped an unintended consequence from a seemingly inconsequential action.

I put wrapped chocolate into my children’s new white Christmas stockings and then turned the fireplace on over which they were hanging. (Oh yes I did!)

As anyone after the fact might predict, the chocolate melted and left a stain on the stockings. A stain, which will forever remind me to not put chocolate, even though wrapped, into anything that will be in proximity of fire unless the objective is melting said chocolate. Sigh.

Another year past.

As I sit in the balance between the year that is swiftly passing and the year that is quickly approaching, I’m pausing to take a moment to grasp hold of life’s lessons.

Thankfully I learned more than just the melting point of chocolate.

I learned what it’s like to have something I feared happen, and live through it as I prayed through it.

I learned that life rarely looks the way I planned, but always the way God planned. And that’s always better.

I learned that any sacrifice for what’s most important leads to a life with no regrets.

I learned that you can’t permanently mess up what God’s doing, but you can delay His blessing if you insist on trying to control and limit Him.

I learned that celebrating God’s goodness in the middle of crisis is the first step of faith.

I learned that God uses the unlikely to do the impossible. He’s done it all through history and still does it today, and if you let Him, He will do it with you.

I learned that saying yes to something that used to scare me has made me fear less and a better person.

I learned that young people are worth my investment of time and enrich my life in ways I couldn’t predict.

I learned that to connect with my kids, I need to just listen to them talk about anything, nothing or everything; just listen.

I learned that I might not make all my professional dreams come true, or I might, and either way – it’s okay because I’m making choices around my most deeply held values and highly prized priorities, and that’s what life is all about.

What did you learn this year?

Take some time for reflecting on your year. Here are a few questions to get you started.

  • Are you where you thought you would be 12 months ago?
  • What’s different than you expected?
  • What surprised you?
  • What challenged you?
  • What and who enriched your life?
  • Are you better or worse for the wear?
  • Did your heart grow or did it shrink?
  • Did you find opportunity in the unexpected?
  • Did you let go of what you thought life should be like and embrace what it is?
  • How did you limit yourself?
  • What did you do to enrich yourself?
  • What did you do to develop yourself personally and professionally?
  • What are you looking forward to?
  • What do you want to do differently next year?

Happy New Year and see you in 2017!

All the best ~ Kaylene


About Kaylene

Kaylene Mathews, MBA, equips and empowers individuals and groups to gain the clarity they need to achieve their personal and professional best through keynotes, coaching and training services. She authors a weekly blog, and a monthly newsletter. She is currently working on her second book. Her first book is available on Amazon.