2017: A Personal Recap

Jan 22, 2018 | Posted by Michelle


Did you know that, according to Statistic Brain, of all the people who firmly resolve to make some serious changes in their life starting precisely at 00:00:00 on January 1, less than ten percent feel like they succeeded in their quest at the end of the year? I sure didn’t. But it doesn’t surprise me, knowing human nature and much more specifically, my own nature. I am goal oriented. I create to-do lists and checklists for all sorts of things such as tasks I need to complete at work and even the method of how I want to clean my house. The same goes for my New Year’s resolutions, too. Though, if we are all completely honest, writing down goals on a piece of paper doesn’t guarantee that they are going to be done, does it? But, reflecting on this past year—the goals accomplished, the ones forgotten about, and the ones with postponed completion dates—I have discovered something about myself, and I would bet you a dollar this would go for you, too. My completed goals were tangible and objective, while the ones I feel were most neglected were less so.

Most notably, one of my 2017 goals was to dedicate more time to reading—a sound, solid, and satisfying goal, I thought when I came up with it. Little did I know how incomplete this goal was at the time. I say incomplete, and rightly so, because this goal, standing on its own two feet with no further explanation or criteria, was neither tangible nor objective. What defines “more,” and how would I know when I reached this goal? Quite simply, I wouldn’t, unless I asked myself specific questions and narrowed it down to the most important and relevant points. It wasn’t until I was approximately halfway through the year when I experienced the sad realization that I was on a dark path to failing to achieve my goal with no end in sight, and if I didn’t plan my route and turn on some headlights, I would find myself at a dead end. That was it. Narrowing down my general statement of “more reading,” I decided to specifically choose books that I wanted to complete by the end of the year. Immediately, a daunting, unspecific goal turned into a doable and challenging task.

Errare humanum est, or as another way of putting it, no one is perfect, and while I figured out the secret for this task, I still found myself with ambiguous goals that didn’t really mean anything. For example, I’m a photographer by night, and for 2017 I planned on increasing my social media presence and outreach, but I left the goal just like that with no further clarifying details. This turned out to be as helpful as a table with no legs. Unfortunately, as a result I neglected my goal, which naturally left me feeling unsuccessful in achieving it.

The wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “I didn't fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong,” are serving as my motto for 2018. Last year, I discovered what works and what doesn’t. This year, my booklist will hopefully have two titles added for every title that is read, and my photography goals will become specific, tangible, and objective. So I encourage you, while you are still mistakenly writing “2017,” to evaluate your own resolutions to ensure they are clear and concrete, so that together we can be included in that exclusive ten percent evaluation and look back at this year with more success than the previous one.


Michelle Robinson started out working in Production and as a marketing assistant, but now enjoys working with the Customer Service Department. Having been homeschooled her whole life, Michelle had the opportunity to compete in a homeschool speech and debate league. Because she is a Latin scholar, Michelle has been asked to teach that subject to the local homeschooling community. Michelle is passionate about photography, her friends, and her faith.

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