As the New Year approaches, it's always good to take a few minutes and review the current one, before moving forward. You can learn a lot by looking back. While we shouldn't cling to the past, there's something to be said for trying to figure out where you are and how you got there.
So how did you do this year? Did you start 2014 with some specific goals? Maybe you had some that continued over from the previous years? Did you stick with them, or did you fall short somewhere?
If you didn't make it, it doesn't automatically mean you set the bar too high. Maybe you just need to take more incremental steps to get there. It's fine to shoot for the moon, but you might have to reach orbit first.
I was looking at a picture of an Apollo rocket in my son's picture book. There was a lift-off rocket to clear the launch pad. Then a secondary booster rocket to reach and escape Earth orbit. Finally, there was a third stage for the trip to the moon, complete with orbiter and landing craft. They had a plan for each part of the journey.
Will all that, they still couldn't anticipate the problems they faced with Apollo 13. But even when it looked grim, they somehow found a way to think out of the box, and brought them back home.
Even so, we're going to have failures once in awhile. Sometimes big ones. With the Challenger and Columbia tragedies, our space program has pretty much gone off the rails. It doesn't mean we should keep trying, though.
Because nobody wins all the time. A great average in baseball means you still don't hit, 7 out of 10 times. Many successful people only got there after learning from their failures. For sometimes, it can go either way.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower had written an apology letter in which he took full responsibility for the failure of the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. As we all know, many soldiers gave their lives that day, but the mission was ultimately a big success.
Sometimes our idea is right, but our timing is wrong. Moses felt called to lead the children of Israel out of slavery. He saw an injustice but acted prematurely. I can identify with that. He then got chased out into the desert where he lived forty years before encountering the great "I Am."
By then, he didn't want any part of it. But he went back to Egypt and became a tremendous leader. Even though it still took forty more years of desert wandering, he finally got to see the Promised Land.
For one last example, look how old the Colonel was, before he founded KFC. The point is, you shouldn't necessarily give up on your dreams, just because you've had some setbacks or failures. You just might need to have the right timing, or a better plan.
If you know what you did wrong, that's good because now you don't have to repeat it. You might be able to make a few simple adjustments that could make all the difference next time.
If you know what you did right, that's important too, because you can keep repeating that behavior. Being intentional about these things will help ensure that you'll have continued success.
So if it's important to you, keep on trying. Keep moving forward. Keep looking for a way to see it through, even when the way leads through adversity. Very few worthwhile things come without a struggle.
Some people who keep on trying include our Week One Biggest Losers. First place went to Sara McCrocklin, who lost 6.2 lbs and 2.7% of her body weight. Sandy Sherer was second, losing 4.4 lbs and 2.2%. Crystal Kirby finished third, losing 5.2 lbs and 2.1%. Brian Bradley placed fourth, losing 5.0 lbs and 2.0%, and Amber Baldwin was fifth, losing 4.0 lbs and 1.2%.