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2017: The Year of Possibilities and Continued Growth

January 3, 2017 - Tiffany Larson
Personal and professional growth takes time. It doesn't happen in a day, a month, or year. For some it may even take their entire lives to fully accomplish the goals in which they have set for themselves. This is why I find “resolutions” to be a tricky concept. They work for some, but not so much for others. Many set out each new year setting resolutions; lose weight, quit unhealthy habits, save money, decrease debt, and more. I myself have created lists of resolutions the past. Each year I start off with good intentions; eager to accomplish those huge tasks, but by December I continuously found myself still in a rut, disappointed that I didn’ try harder, and overwhelmed with self-doubt for not being able to obtain such monstrous goals. In 2016 I opted to switch things up. I didn't make “resolutions.” Instead, I opted to set a a goal of “growth.”One word. Just one word that could mean so many things, with so many opportunities.

As November approached, I found myself starting to evaluate this growth, both personally and professionally. I started to celebrate wins, analyze obstacles, and plan for continued growth in 2017. I didn't go about this process alone either. In early November I had the opportunity to take part in an event in Des Moines. Spark! was a retreat where individuals were able to come together to look at core values, create meaningful purpose statements, and share stories of encouragement with other like-minded individuals. This was the second time I was able to put Dr. Christi Hegstad's professional leadership and life coaching skills to good use. A prior worskhop she offered in Webster City had participants looking at “bold goals”. Both occasions provided possibility for growth by taking a hard look at myself; diving into passions, strengths, causes, dreams, and how to go about our life living to our fullest potential. Evaluating and planning continued well into December, and over my much needed Winter Break. On New Year's Eve Day I found myself having a permanent grin, as I flipped through photos of the past year; pictures of events in the community, with family and friends, with co-workers and collaborative partners. I celebrated my “wins” of becoming more involved in community, volunteering, spending more time with family, increasing conversations and partnerships with youth, and raising awareness for the program I Coordinate. I grew stronger in my faith, engaged in professional development opportunities, and made sure to carve out time for self care. I felt at ease knowing that growth in 2016 was obtainable, and that 2017 opens the door to a whole new chapter of positive development.

So what is my theme for this year? Possibilities. Possibilities for continued growth, for self awareness, health and wellness, relationships, professional development, and whatever else I set my mind to. I am going to focus on what is working and what has been successful. I will set priorities in those areas, in an effort to boost all aspects of my life. My “Happy Journal” filled with 365 daily bullet prompts and Life Planner are purchased. My core values are set: family, community, growth, empowerment, and leadership. My ambition to make 2017 the best year yet has commenced. Although my purpose statement is not one hundred percent complete, I know that this year I am going to be braver, be present more, apologize less, inspire more, focus on what matters most, and be open to life experiences that help me grow to be my best authentic self. I am going to continue to spread kindness and possibility with others, and I am going to motivate others to do the same.

I now want to ask YOU, what are your plans for 2017? Whether it is setting resolutions or big bold goals, I encourage you to find your purpose and be optimistic about having the best year yet! Life is precious. I invite you to join me on this journey of possibilities and continued growth; at home, at work, in yourself, and in OUR community. Happy New Year!


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