With a new year on the scene, many of us will be looking for ways to improve ourselves. We’ll be once again writing down our goals and doing our best to achieve them throughout our busy schedules and every day responsibilities. It is healthy to set obtainable new goals, and strive to reach them. It is healthy to learn or perfect a new skill and reach a higher level of performance. And hopefully, by the end of the year, we’ll have one, two, or a handful of resolutions that we can check off the list.
Personally, 2015 was filled with some memorable moments. And in the past year, I made a point to take descriptive snapshots in time. By my own definition, these are brief, meaningful moments where I stop any stream of thought I’m having and consciously tell myself, “I must never forget this moment.” Basically, I make a point to take a mental picture of that specific and valuable moment in time. I’ve learned those moments may never be replicated in the future -- and while they are so real and personal, they are just as fleeting.
While I definitley took a mental snapshot of the sunrise over the lake at the Redman Triathlon, or the finish line just yards before me on a near perfect day at the Williams Route 66 Marathon, these are not the most vivid, and not even the most memorable.
What truly makes an accomplishment unforgettable? It’s not exactly the act of checking them off the list, nor is it necessarily the moment we accomplish our goal, or even cross the finish line. It is indeed the journey surrounding these accomplishments that stays with us forever. It is the sights, sounds, and presence of the people that support us that shape a fond memory or accomplishment.
The echoes of my family screaming my name on the final lap of a triathlon speaks louder than any form of age group victory. And the sights and sounds of my little girl running happily alongside me during the 22nd mile of a marathon says much more than a shiny medal placed around my neck. Their presence, laughter and high fives stand out above any personal best or other accolade. These are the extraordinary moments that give value to months of hard work, and remind us that we truly are alive.
An accomplishment becomes priceless when we can remember the details of the journey; when we can vividly recall the sights and sounds just before the moment we could say to ourselves, “I did it.”
The new year represents another golden opportunity to accomplish more than ever before. But before we sit down to make our list of goals for 2016, let's be sure to celebrate the picture perfect memories of 2015.