My Highlights, Low Lights, Frustrations and Even a Few Good Times
You should do a 2017 recap. It's best to reflect on your past year before you start making plans for next year.
This will remind you that you did do a lot in the past year. It's a form of encouragement. It will point out areas where you need to focus. It may point out what you can eliminate to make your life easier or inspire you to work harder in a focused way on what matters most.
You could carve a little time for this over the next few weeks to a month. It seems to work for me.
To make this easier next year, start a written list of the years highlights and keep this handy. I have a page in my planner book for this. Plus I make note of highlights right on my calendar in my planner book. I don't want to make this a big tracking ordeal every year spending too much time on it. I just like knowing what I did.
I find tracking my life far more entertaining than worrying about others lives. I get kind of sick of trying to help other people. The people with lives that need a lot of help are not very inspiring because of how they play the victim and make excuses.
Maybe the lesson is to stop making excuses for why you can't do something. Don't worry about other people, mind your own business, shut up, get busy and go for it.
2017 Recap - Only Take Advice from People Who Are Good at Making Progress
Normally at the end of one year and the beginning of the next you will be inundated with stupid stories from last year that do nothing for your life. You need to sift through the garbage and concentrate on what helps you.
From Good Looking Loser
The Best of Good Looking Loser
Instead of wasting your time reading stories about what "They" want you to know, read good articles about how to really improve YOUR life.
Note that this was a recap from 2015 but the ideas work for every year.
2017 Recap - Frustrations
Last year wasn't all that good to me.
I started the year with high hopes, wanting to continue the fun I had in 2016. Early in the year I was looking forward to another best summer ever. So I was pushing myself in the gym, going all out, and having fun on winter weekends.
2017 Recap - My Major Problems
- I was sick enough in early January to stay home from work nearly 5 days. I cannot remember ever being that sick. I do have sick leave where I work, so I did not lose pay or vacation time. But being sick put me behind in work and weakened me overall.
- Early January was brutally cold in Wisconsin where I live. There is no way to spend any time outside. Going out is something that is just too difficult to do. Trying to be social is a lost cause in below zero weather. It's almost like people in northern climates only have 8 or 9 months of the year to enjoy.
- I hurt myself in the gym in February. I lost control of the bar while squatting and hurt my neck and upper back. This injury basically ruined my year. I was in constant pain, taking medication and could not really do anything I wanted to do. I could not drive very far. I could not walk very far. So traveling was out of the question.
- I spent a lot of time going to doctors and getting checked for various forms of nerve damage. The amount of time and extra costs was totally unexpected.
- The doctor could not relieve any of my pain and suggested neck surgery.
- I chose to try a Chiropractor first before resorting to spinal surgery. The cost was all out of pocket and very expensive. But it has been very effective. I have much better range of motion in my neck and the pain and numbness in my arm is almost totally gone.
- I saw the Chiropractor 3 times a week for 2 months with appointments right after work. I had to follow a traction and exercise program at home. The amount of time to do all this was staggering. It was like have a part-time job. I had to do it and I did, making for a nearly full recovery. But the time loss was extremely frustrating.
- I needed hernia surgery in September. It took over a month to recover. The health insurance co-pays are very large. Much better than my first hernia surgery when I had terrible health insurance, but still an extra costly burden. I knew I needed the surgery in August, so the entire month was shot because I could not really do anything without aggravating my condition.
- My truck needed new tires and a windshield and numerous other repairs. It runs like new again, but the cost was huge.
- My daughters SUV needed a lot of repairs and tires. Another huge cost.
- I made very little progress on my debts. I took out a big loan to pay off my truck and help handle all the bills.
So yeah, I got further behind in my finances with all the doctor, chiropractor and vehicle expenses. I had very little free time with all the doctoring. I could not travel and I could not hike because my arm was so numb. I could barely lift tiny weights. I did not even feel like going out that much.
The year was mostly about taking care of health issues and dealing with unexpected expenses. Not a lot of fun and adventure.
But I am feeling good now and am starting to get my strength back. So I am trying to make a positive out of a negative. Maybe I had to injure myself to take care of this old neck injury more completely.
I knew I had another hernia that needed repair. What is the sense of waiting?
2017 Recap - Family and Friends
It is important to focus on yourself. But part of having a good life for yourself is helping the people closet to you to have a good life too. You won't be happy if these people need your help and guidance and you don't provide it.
If everyone would just concentrate on themselves and just a few people close to them the world would be a far better place. Most of the world's problems are caused by most people who have hopelessly given up and a few people at the top coercing the masses to do things that are not good for them.
The only thing you can totally control is your own life. And the only real difference you can make in others people's lives are the ones you truly love and can commit to helping over a long period of time.
For My Daughter, I
- Had a number of repairs done on her car.
- Provide her car insurance.
- Pay for her gym membership.
- Provide her cell phone and cell phone plan.
- Constantly check up on her to make sure she is doing fine.
- Take her out for coffee once a month so we can talk and I can help her with her next months plans.
- Rent a nice 2 bedroom place that we share. She has the master bedroom. The place is very close to the college she is attending.
- Let her pay for some of her expenses (groceries, gas, clothing, personal needs, fun, some car repairs and school expenses) so she is fully engaged working part-time and learning how to manage her money.
For My Son, I
- Try to provide him some guidance.
- Take him out for coffee once a month so we can talk and I can help her with her next months plans.
- Help him financially by paying for his car insurance and cell phone. Feed him when he is with me.
- Check up on him, try to make sure he is fine.
- Especially recommend that he not spend much time with his mother. Her mental illness is not good for anyone, even her own son.
For My Brother, I
For My Mom, I
- Helped him move his daughter's (my niece) stuff from one house to another.
- Helped him do some roofing work on his ex-wife's house. He still caters to the unending whim's of his ex-wife. He has not learned to get his ex-wife firmly out of his life like I have. And he suffers for it.
- Call her multiple times a week to make sure she is fine.
- Visit with her. Go out to eat. Socialize and see nice things.
2017 Recap - Career
- I just kept doing what needed to be done all year. I would call it a success.
- Many days of career training to maintain my Professional Engineer License.
- I work hard at it cheerfully and with the intent of making myself indispensable.
- I am involved with a number of critical areas in my organization and really enjoy it.
2017 Recap - Good Times
2017 Recap - 2017 was a tough year for me, but it was not all bad. This is me at a friends party. I had a great time
- Watched a lot of movies. Especially after my hernia surgery. I had bought a big screen TV and now have cable, so the quality of my TV entertainment has skyrocketed.
- Spend 4 weekends at a friends house on the water. Golfing, boating, relaxing, good eating and drinking.
- Golfed a few times
- Met some interesting girls and had some of that type of fun.
- Went to an old friends house for a great party.
- And the biggest positive was moving to a much better place in a much better location. This new apartment has a great layout, great storage, is very bright, with many amenities. Best of all it is super convenient to many of the the things I enjoy. I am developing more and more free time.
Future Planning and Conclusion from my 2017 Recap
The biggest 2017 recap for me is that you cannot always get things to go your way in the short term. One year is not enough time to do everything on your list.
But I think that I needed to handle all the issues and problems so they don't hold me back in the future. I choose to think positively about my problems and are using those problems to plan my future.
I already have most of my 2018 plans, goals and themes in place based on avoiding the problems from my 2017 recap and creating a far better life for myself.
I have 4 categories to work on
- Set up my new home exactly as I want it
- Work on my finances so I am more prosperous
- Work on my health, fitness and body
- Create the ideal lifestyle for me
I have a number of short term goals, actions, things to get listed in each of those 4 categories.
So there are numerous small actions or things to do or buy or get within those 4 areas.
Spend some time working on your 2017 recap now at the beginning of 2018. It will help you to refocus on your life and priorities.
A Happier Man
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