The 2014 Experience

It’s that time of year for everyone to post their Year in Review or Flip-o-gram or whatever other social media gimmick that allows you to review the “most liked” or “double tapped” moments of the year. In one push of a button you can see how others engaged with your posts. Did they share it? Did they comment? The all important question seems to be, “How did others feel about your year?” –Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and I get the same dopamine rush that we all get when someone shows appreciation for whatever visual or philosophical thought I offered to the world. BUT, when it came time to think about my year, I didn’t want to get caught up in what y’all liked. I wanted to be reminded of what I loved and really what I learned from this year. If there’s something I know for sure, we are forever learners and life is the best teacher we’ll ever have in this world.

Over on Instagram @clarkkn, I’ve been posting my Top 10 moments of the year. The moments are not in any specific order. #kncin2014 will take you through the journey of my experiences and why I cherished them so much.

Reflection is a high impact practice and we all need to take time to engage in meaning making when it comes to our lives. It would do us all good to not just tumble through life without learning from all of its highs,lows, and in betweens.


Take some time to think back through your year and figure out what you want to carry into 2015 and what you’d like to leave behind. What are some best practices that helped you be successful? What are those decisions you made that you would not repeat? Who are those people that you want to develop or strengthen relationships with in 2015? Engage in goal-setting. NOT RESOLUTIONS! GOALS! Write them and create an action plan for success. When in doubt, make your goals S.M.A.R.T.

S= Specific–“I’d like to help create world peace.”–Nope. Dig Deeper! What do you specifically want to do?

M= Measurable– “I just want to do a lot of fun things.” –Nope. How will you know that you’re making progress or completed your goal?

A= Attainable–“I want to go to Mars.” –Nope. Unless, you’re one of those small group of people that will actually have this opportunity. –Dream big but think about your resources. Remember, you can’t be anything you want to be but you can be more of who you are.

R= Relevant–Is this goal valuable to you? To you organization? It has to matter. Make the things that matter happen in 2015.

T= Time-Bound –When is your deadline? “Someday.” –Nope. –March 31, 2015 at 10am–Perfect.

smart goals

Others subscribe to HARD Goals and would rather think in terms of the following:

H= Heartfelt

A= Animated

R= Required

D= Difficult

Check out more details here. This might be a great way to shake up your regular goal setting process. It might even work for you to take your goals through both processes.

All of those things that have been on your “to-do” list for multiple years–you know things like, learn a second language, take ballroom dance lessons, go on a missions trip, lose 15 lbs., and read the entire Harry Potter Series–have a sit down with yourself and make a firm decision as to whether that lingering thing is even really important to you. I love that Arianna Huffington in her book, “Thrive” brought us the concept that one can finish a project simply by taking it off the list. No shade shall be given, just cross it off and breathe it out.

Check out my Top 10 list on Instagram and then create your own. What did you learn and how did this year leave a mark on your life? What goals do you have in 2015?

Thanks for reading.

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