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One of the habits I have adopted the last few years is to look back at my year and reflect upon a few questions:   What went well? What did not go well? and What changes will I make this year?  This year I want to take my reflection to the next level and deepen my reflection.  I am using an outline from Michael Hyatt.  

  1. If the last year were a movie of your life, what would the genre be? 
    •  If I was to write a movie of my life this past year it would be a drama.  So many wonderful yet challenging things happened this year. In January my wife and I finished our classes to become foster parents.  We finished our class on a Wednesday by Friday we had our first two foster kids in our home.   Over the course of the next six months we fostered 10 children.  As new kids came into our house we were driving around for parent visits, doctor visits, after school programs and whatever else came up during their stay with us.  I was one of the most difficult yet gratifying expereinces of my life, and there was plenty of drama.
  2. What were a few major themes that kept recurring? 
    • The first theme of the year was saying good-bye.  Throughout the year we said good-bye to kids who stayed with us through foster care.  We said good-bye to a congregation and community that we dearly loved as I changed Pastoral Calls.  We left Gardner, MA and moved to Newington, CT.  I left my call as Faith Lutheran Church in Gardner, MA and took a new call as Pastor Redveloper at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Kensington, CT.  I also said good-by to “stuff.”  We casually entered the minimalist life-style.  When we moved we evaluated all of our possessions and we got rid of three dumpsters full of items.  We said good-bye to unwanted and unneeded things that were weighing us down.
    • The second major theme in my life is to make changes in my lifestyle.  Throughout the yea I pushed myself beyond what I thought was possible.  I joined Kris Pavone’s fitness focused mastermind group.  This mastermind helped me change my mindset on my health and fitness.  I started to see myself as an athlete!  I started to believe that I could really make changes in my life where I could become healthy and fit.  I started working out five to six days a week, I kept track of what I was eating and throughout 2018 I lost more then 30 pounds!  
  3. What did you accomplish this past year that you are the most proud of?
    • The fist thing that I have accomplished this year that I am most proud of is my health and fitness journey.  I am very proud that I have lost weight this year and that my endurance level has gone to the next level.  I have done the stair master for almost 45 minutes.  When I started I could barely do two minutes!
    • The second things that I have accomplished this year is the completion of Financial Peace University.  Throughout the years we have accumulated debt through school loans and car payments and other things we have felt we “needed.” We are now dedicated in eliminating that debt in a very serous and real way.  We took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and have learned the steps we need to take to eliminate debt so we can live and give like no one else so we can live and give like no-one else.
  4. What disappointments or regrets did you experience this past year? 
    • I vividly remember January 1, 2018. I got up on January 1st and I made commitments to myself to get healthy, to complete a triathlon and to make 2018 a memorable year. I made a lot of progress but I did not accomplish my goals. I did not participate in a triathlon.
  5. What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year? 
    • There are two lessons that I learned this year. The first is “Don’t over-think the outcome; just do the next right thing.”
    • The second life-lesson I learned this year is “Being present with the people I love is the most important gift I can give.”

Overall 2018 was an amazing year. I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!