Only a few moments of the year left; how did you do?

What did you see? Where did you go? Who did you meet?

How often have you stopped to consider the things you can celebrate and be thankful for, large or small?

Here is an idea: Open up your phone and jump onto Instagram, Facebook, or just your phone’s photo gallery. Scroll down. As you continue moving through the feed, take in all the moments you may have forgotten. All the accomplishments. All the memories. Did you think you would do as much as you did?

I put this into practice for the first time in 2014, which was a big year for me. Looking at my Instagram profile, I recounted the small events that created the big changes. The previous year, I was living in Texas, had a car that barely worked, and was considering a move to Colorado.

One year later, I had at least the following under my belt:

  • I hiked 11 of Colorado’s 14ers and 20+ peaks in the Rockies – and felt I was getting closer and closer to becoming a mountaineer!
  • I learned how to belay, climb and boulder.
  • I learned that I could drive in the snow!
  • I camped alone, more than once.
  • I traveled to Bali, Tokyo, and a handful of new states in the United States.
  • I moved twice (from Fort Worth, TX to Boulder, CO to Golden, CO).

Even if I didn’t hike all 54 of Colorado’s 14ers (like I originally wanted to), I still felt I had accomplished a great deal.

You, undoubtedly, did the same.

Can’t think of any big ticket items on your list? Consider the little things. For me, that year included:

  • learning how to pack a daypack without over-packing
  • learning how to filter water on the trail
  • learning how to pick the right gear
  • learning that I can handle over 4000 feet of elevation gain!

Or simply consider this: It’s the last week of the year; do you remember the first week? Reflect on who you were at that point, nearly at this same time last year. Next, think about who you have become, who you are now. Once you start jogging your memory a bit you’ll begin to see the progress you made over the course of this year.

Before jumping right into your goal-setting, take a moment to review your year. Think about those lessons and skills that this past year taught you and how you can move them into the new year. Ask yourself how you will be the best outdoor mom, sister, daughter, woman, partner to yourself (yes, you should be a great partner for yourself, too!) and others in the new year.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward.”

Take this last week of the year and connect the dots to the first week. Take time to reflect and be proud of yourself. Use it to propel you into the new year.

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