« Back to Blog December 30, 2015 | Airship

Making Next Year Better

I’ve never felt worse and I’ve never felt better in 2015.

It’s New Year’s Eve and it’s that time of year when everyone starts reflecting on everything they have or haven’t done in the past 365 days. I’d be lying if I said I’d be sad to see 2015 go, but I also made some very big strides this year as well.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing and thinking about my past year and how I want 2016 to be different. What kinds of goals do I want to reach? What things do I need to learn more about? In a nutshell, what do I want and how can I work to get it?

I really value being open and honest when it comes to things like this. I want to share some big takeaways I got out of my end-of-the-year reflection and hopefully give you some things to think about for your coming year.

Life is about making tough calls

Sometimes the hardest thing I can do is to just say no. Whether that something is turning down a paying gig because it’s not a good fit, quitting your job, breaking up with your significant other, or just having to tell your friends that you’re too busy to hang out tonight.

I also have to say no to the hardest person of all. Myself. I have to say no to Netflix, to playing Xbox, and to other activities I really enjoy. I still make time all of those things, but only when I know I can afford to.

Your future life is built on all the things you are saying yes to now. Don’t keep saying yes just because it feels easier. Say yes to the things that make your life better and cut out the things that don’t. It will be hard, but nothing in life worth having is easy.

Money isn’t everything

I’ve made more than enough money to cover my bills since starting Airship full-time, but I’m definitely not as well off as when I was gainfully employed. Honestly, I’ve only made about half as much as if I’d stayed at my old job.

While I felt like I had no shortage of work opportunities for my first several weeks, the holidays through a pretty big wrench in a lot those plans. But I managed to survive the holidays both emotionally and financially and am looking forward to the work I now have lined up for the coming year.

Even though I can’t splurge like I used to, I haven’t become less happy as a result. Happiness is something you choose to find, and I find it in my friends, family, and my work. The freedom I have being my own boss is worth so much to me that I can hardly put a price tag on how good I feel.

Make yourself your highest priority

In August, I shared a post I saw about a Star Wars themed half-marathon taking place in Disney World in 2016. A great friend of mine saw it and told me she’d run with me if I signed up.

So I did.

Sometimes the best way to motivate yourself is to put your back against the wall. Now if I don’t go out for my runs or to the gym I won’t be able to run this race in April, and that isn’t an option. I’ve always found that if someone else is expecting something from me, the odds of it getting done increase dramatically.

Running has quickly grown into one of my favorite activities. (High-school Tommy would shocked.) I love getting outdoors and beating my last personal best. It’s not always fun, especially now that winter has finally arrived in Buffalo, but I like the kind of person I am when I get back from a run.

My health isn’t something I should take for granted. I’ve been overweight since I was 11 years-old and 2016 is going to be the year that ends. Take time each day to improve yourself. Whether that’s going for a run, reading a book, or practicing some new skill you want to learn. Act like the person you want to be and make it a reality.

Onward and Upward

My mantra for 2015 seems just as appropriate for 2016. I can’t look back at mistakes, missteps, and bad choices. It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday good or bad, the only thing that matters is what lies ahead.

I sincerely hope you have a fantastic 2016 and that you and I can continue to grow and reach our goals in this new year.

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