“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul…”

-G.K. Chesterton

The last day of the year always hits hard for me. It’s a whirlwind of emotion – excitement that the year is over, nostalgia for the good moments that I’ve experienced, anxiety about the future, a bit of loneliness, gratitude for the wonderful life I have…and the list goes on. I don’t know when this particular holiday became such an important thing for me, but it has been my favorite for a long while.

The concept of being able to start fresh, with a clean slate, appeals to me. Having set many goals for myself and having failed at achieving many of them, I like the idea of having a fixed moment when I can reset and feel like I’m being given a chance to start over. I know that many people would disagree and say that I don’t need to wait until NYE to make this happen, that I can, in fact, start over with every new sunrise. I agree, but NYE offers a specific calendar moment that stands out and happens to be a day  when the world slows down just a bit to pause and celebrate and reflect – and that’s what I love about it. I’m surrounded (well, virtually at least) by people who are taking some time to think through the year, to “close out the books” (a phrase I heard recently on The Good Life Project podcast), and to set intentions for the upcoming year. There’s a much bigger movement taking place around the world at this time and I love being a part of it.

Here are some of my NYE reflections…

Things I’ve learned/thought through in 2017:

  • Traveling to a new place brings me so much joy – I need to do it more often
  • Joy is super important and I need to find it in every day
  • It’s very difficult to stick with a new habit, until you make it a priority above and beyond everything else in your life (which I haven’t quite learned how to do yet)
  • I am an introvert. I need time alone, away from people, to just be by myself.
  • Most of the life lessons I’ve learned have come from books I’ve read. I need to keep reading.
  • Being married is wonderful and difficult and it will take our lifetimes for us to keep getting to know one another and keep growing together. I’m looking forward to it.
  • I am more than my career. I have other skills, can learn new things and need to keep pushing myself so I don’t get too comfortable.
  • I like challenging myself to be better and to try new things.
  • I am a good teacher and a good coach.
  • Faith does not, and cannot, develop linearly. It has its ups and downs.
  • 30 is when you realize you’re not as young as you used to be

Things I need to keep learning/re-learning/reflecting on/working on:

  • How to love myself and make me a priority (in order to have enough left over to give my all to everything else)
  • How to build new habits in my every day life, specifically focused on my health
  • How to find new skills to learn and build on, to keep pushing my mind to expand and grow
  • What I really want my life to be like, where I want to contribute and how to make all of that happen
  • Ways to show my appreciation to my wonderful life partner
  • Ways to keep long distance friendships strong
  • Finding little things every day to be grateful for – I know they’re there***
  • I need to find my “strong back, soft front, wild heart” (Brené Brown) and take pride in who I am and what I can do

And so, I close out my books. It’s been a wild year, with many beautiful moments and many dark ones, but it’s time to move forward.

Instead of resolutions for 2018, I’ve set goals for myself as a teacher, as a coach and as a human. I’ve printed them out in a pretty chart and placed them strategically at home and at work so I will see them regularly and remember them. I’m ready to go.

And instead of focusing specifically on my work (as I did in last year’s posts), I’ve chosen to write holistically about my experience as a human this year. Maybe it’s not interesting at all, but maybe there’s something in my experience that strikes a chord with you – share your thoughts!


***The other day, I had a sudden craving to participate in a year of gratitude in 2018. My intention is to post a tweet about at least 1 thing I’m grateful for each day of the year. I hope I am able to live up to my intention and I hope you’ll join me in my journey on Twitter. Follow me: @nhusainhabib. 


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