Looking Back and Pressing Forward

December sunrise


Dear friends,

Another year winds down.

Perhaps 2017 was really tough for you. Or maybe the year feels pretty positive overall, or perhaps it’s a mix of blessings and hardships.  Isn’t it somehow freeing to have the promise of a fresh, clean slate ahead?

For me, this annual transition from ending to beginning is a time of reviewing the year and jotting some plans for 2018 in my journal. Would you like to join me?

2017 In Review

If you take a few quiet moments to look back, what are the stellar moments and events and accomplishments you feel good about?

Perhaps you finished a project, or took a family vacation, or made financial progress, or helped someone else.

Maybe your biggest accomplishment was nurturing your marriage, or raising your children and helping them grow, day in and day out, without a lot of fanfare. That’s huge! I hope you write that on your list.

What happened this year that makes you feel most grateful? What were some of the unexpected highlights?

This annual reckoning may provoke feelings of disappointment, too, of things not done or dreams that didn’t pan out.

But try not to despair too much about setting big goals that you didn’t quite reach. A good forward-looking list will be robust. It will push and challenge you! I encourage you to think BIG during the next exercise.

Looking Ahead to 2018

What would you love to do during this bright, new year? Here are some questions you may wish to consider:

  1. What are your hopes for your spiritual life in the coming year?
  2. What health issues would you like to address? How much would you like to weigh?
  3. What would you love to do with your spouse or significant other?
  4. What would you like to do with your family?
  5. Who would you like to help? What cause especially tugs at your heart?
  6. What would you love to do with your close friends?
  7. What would you like to do to relax?
  8. What are some of your professional goals?
  9. Where would you like your finances to be by the end of the year?
  10. What improvements would you like to make to your home?
  11. What is one new habit you’d like to develop?
  12. What’s a new skill you’d like to learn next year?
  13. What new thing would you like to try?


If you’re feeling brave, I invite you to share some of your insights on the Comments section of this post. I would love to hear about your thoughts and plans.

As this year winds down, may you have peace knowing that you’re exactly where you’re meant to be right now.

I’m so very grateful to share the journey with all of you.


The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. If your plans for 2018 include getting your finances in order, I hope you’ll join us for the free January Money Diet. Sign up is officially open!

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

5 comments to Looking Back and Pressing Forward

  • Yolanda

    I have fed the homeless with an amazing group of women. I look forward to doing more in 2018! My son will be leaving for Air Force basic training, in January, I’m happy to see this next step in his life. I’m also looking forward to the January money diet. I have a couple projects to finish up.

  • Debbie Shields

    I have been simplifying my house,getting rid of the clutter and reevaluating my goals. I also joined your January money diet…. Looking forward to it!

  • My 2018 plans include paying off my last student loan, cleaning out the scary garage, writing a novel, and becoming more spiritually at peace. Thanks for the prompts!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>