We’ve arrived at another intersection of old and new. A time where we say goodbye to one year while also welcoming another. The singing of “Auld Lang Syne” has been sung, well-wishes have been said, and new goals have been declared.
This is also a traditional time of reflection. Whether it’s looking back at the best movies watched, the total number of books read, the overall amount of rainfall measured or the number of acres acquired, we all have something to reflect on from the past year.
So many of these reflections tend to gravitate toward numbers as the form of official measurement. Understandably, it’s a fairly easy way to look at a specific period of time and determine the wins and losses; the things that worked and the things we learned from during a year.
On our farm, we take many numbers and create many charts and graphs to measure a variety of aspects from the year. From fuel prices, household expenditures, rainfall totals, market changes, sales, purchases and so much more. We can and do create visual measurements throughout the year, which allow us to reflect on a variety of areas.
To be honest, the visual measurements, while appreciated, sometimes only provide a small glimpse into the overall area being measured and reflected upon. Some of the things we reflect on might highlight one’s strengths or weaknesses or areas for improvement, while other reflections remind us that we have minimal control.
If anything, 2022 has reminded me that measurements and assessments don’t always tell a complete story when it comes to reflecting on one’s declared victories or admitted defeats at the end of a year.
Numbers might look good and the means of measurement at a given point might suggest an anticipated positive outcome. But if the rain doesn’t fall, or if it falls all at once, or a windstorm blows through, or hail hits, those numbers and outcomes change in an instant.
While I generally declare goals at the start of a new year, I have learned over time I won’t have a hard start and stop time with a straight line in between for the sake of measurement. If needed, adjustments will be made along the way based on routine reflections to help me get to where I want to be.
And yes, while we have arrived at another intersection of an old year and a new year, we must recognize that there’s traffic coming from multiple directions. In reality, it is how we react and adjust while mindfully reflecting throughout the year which will allow us the opportunity to continue to move forward, getting closer to our ultimate goals.