Thank you for taking the time to read this post and any other that I’ve shared each Monday morning this year.

Increasingly we come to the realization that for the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on holiday presents, the most valuable gift we have to offer is that of our time.

So I am truly grateful for the few minutes you take each week to read these short notes.

The end of each year is often a time for reflection, an attempt to reassess our priorities and make plans or set goals for the next year.

One helpful tidbit I picked up recently was from this video about creating a “proactive dashboard.” It is designed for businesses but I also think it bears some relevance to our personal lives. The simple idea behind it is this: While it may be helpful to set outcome based goals – in reality we have very little control over outcomes. We don’t have full control over whether we publish a new book, meet a sales goal or even lose ten pounds. What we do control are our outputs – in other words what we do with our own time. Are we writing everyday? How often do we reach out to people? What food do we buy and eat?

So as you think about what goals or resolutions you want to set for yourself, perhaps start with the question, “How would I like to spend my time in 2022?”

From those daily decisions, more good things will likely flow.

For example, last year I abandoned my morning newspaper ritual that often left me depressed and replaced it with reading 20-30 minutes from books that would make me think, smile or feel something worthwhile. The result was a profoundly better start to each day – and I ended up reading more books this year than I had ever before. I didn’t set a goal to read 30+ books. That would have created pressure. I didn’t make a resolution to be happier in the mornings either. That would be too abstract. I simply decided to begin my day doing something I valued and enjoyed.

One book I just began reading and am enjoying immensely is Ann Patchett’s latest collection of essays, “These Precious Days.” The title says it all.

Wishing you a Happy New Year and hope you make wonderful use of your precious time in 2022 and beyond.

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