The Measuring Stick: Honestly Breaking Down 2014

This morning I received an email newsletter from Jeff Goins, a writer I follow through social media.  The email included three questions of self-evaluation for 2014.  Now, I know you’ll see plenty of resources offering opinions on setting goals and reflection of the past year.  As you sift through, consider these three questions as the most valuable you’ll find.

Have I settled? Where did I fail? Did I measure the right things?

I spent the day thinking about my answers and it wasn’t an easy process.


Photo Credit: Auntie P via Compfight cc

Have I settled?

No. I’ve stayed restless.  Every day, living unsettled is my inspiration to launch this outreach, write this book, and make a difference in this community.  My story is just getting started and, in my early 30’s, that is an intimidating thought.

My life this far was a journey of refinement to get here and I truly feel that we, as a family, are close to finally breaking out of our struggles.  So no, I haven’t settled, and I don’t plan on it.

Where did I fail?

1/ I failed Val by checking out emotionally way too much.  I sent my anxiety, worry, and frustrations inside.  I let my shortcomings as a husband shut down my emotions and that is one thing I plan on fixing in 2015.

2/ I failed my sons by not putting in the extra efforts when I was too tired or distracted.  This too, I plan on changing in 2015.

3/ I failed my writing by stalling on the nights I should be attacking and squeezing every word onto the page. My work, and craft, will pick up in 2015.

Did I measure the right things?

This is the hard one, if you take a second and think about it. I don’t believe I measured the right thing. I believe we inherit our measuring sticks in our childhood.  We grow with an instinct to put ourselves up against others.  Watch toddlers playing together when a favorite toy is involved.  You’ll see value being assigned fairly quickly.

I spent too long comparing myself and worrying about the other stories out there that differed from my own. 2015 will be the year of a new focus, a goal to write to make a difference for the highest calling.

I want it to count, for every day to change someone’s life.  If one post, one sentence or thought provides a glimmer of hope, then I’ll consider it a success.  We are called to great things and must start by measuring the right places.

A great place to start is with service.  Who can you help today? For 2015, my goal is to never miss a chance to make a difference in the life of my family, my kids, and my community.

Let the journey begin.

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” Matthew 25:23