Have You Made a Difference This Year?

We have come to the end of 2008 and soon we will enter 2009. Now is a good time for you to reflect on how your life is going. How have your year been? Did it meet your expectation? Have you made a difference this year?
Have you made a difference this year?To answer this question, simply look at yourself one year ago. How was your career and finance? How was you spiritually? How was your health? How was your relationships? It’s better if you have numbers that clearly show you how you were (after all, measuring your life is a good life management practice). For instance, what was your income, expenses, net worth, or weight?
Next, compare your situation back then with your current situation. Is there any difference? Or have you let this year pass by without any significant growth on your part?
Another way to see whether or not you have made a difference this year is to look at your habits. What bad habits did you eliminate this year? What good habits did you form?
One more question to ask yourself is: what lessons did you learn this year? Perhaps you had some failures, but if those failures taught you valuable lessons then it was time well spent.
In my case, I’m not entirely satisfied with how I did. I did grow in some aspects of my life, but the growth wasn’t as good as it should be. In hindsight, I was distracted here and there. On the other hand, I’m glad because I learned some good lessons that will help me for years to come.
It’s amazing to see how fast time goes by. Don’t waste your time next year. Make it a year of difference.
Happy New Year!
Photo by Per Ola Wiberg


  1. All great questions, Donald. It’s also good not to be too hard on yourself if this year was one more of rest and regrouping if the previous year was especially hectic or strong. We can’t always be on the go, go, go! But, times of reflection and redirection, if necessary, are also very important. The thing is to not beat yourself up about anything. Even a step backwards can propel us two steps forward if we look on all of our life experiences as opportunities for eventual growth. Happy new year to you, too!

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  3. Shanel,
    Thanks for the suggestion! Yes, sometimes we push ourselves too hard (at least I do 🙂 ). Recovery periods are important to refresh ourselves.

  4. Attitude will affect our altitude. Keep spreading those great thoughts and writings. We will become great when we find something to inspire us.

  5. I think it’s important to ask these questions and reflect on the previous year. But as Shanel mentions, however, it’s not helpful to beat up on yourself either. If we look hard we can all find things we would have done differently, but it’s more useful to use our experiences to plan our future.
    Thanks for bringing these questions to our attention.

  6. Self discipline goes hand in hand with personal growth. It is very important to become disciplined if you want to improve yourself.
    Only self discipline can break bad habits and push you towards achieving your goals.
    I have mastered self discipline and life keeps getting better and better.
    It is not easy, though. You may get those annoying ‘old self’ voices telling you to delay activities, sleep longer or avoid certain tasks, but once you listen to them, you go back where you started.
    To be in control of you life you firstly need to be in control of your mind:)

  7. These are all tough questions to ponder but are essential in order for us to have progress in our lives. Yes, I agree that we don’t need to be hard on ourselves too. I guess everything should be in good balance. Also, what is important is we pick up the positive things and learnings we had for 2008 and use them in 2009.
    Cheers guys!

  8. I agree that maintaining balance is key. We shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves, but we also need self discipline to improve our lives.
    Thanks for sharing everyone!

  9. Don’t waste your time…?
    What is it with today’s people all ‘franticly’ wanting to ‘be busy’ all the time, people loading themselfes up with a zillion things
    to do?
    ‘Personally I think it’s litterally
    the ‘Dis-Ease’ of our time’

    Don’t think it’s something that makes people HAPPY, and I wonder how productive people get when they become so stressed and ‘Loaded up’ that they can’t think clearly. Like somebody standing in a burning building trying to franticly and forcefully push a door open, while it opens by pulling.
    It’s my experience that I got the best ideas for my ‘Blogspot(s)’
    and the most inspiration and motivation while being totally ‘Eased’ and Happy lying on the Beach this summer doing some swimming and close to nothing!
    I think that we are hugely misleaded by the media, to use a funny example; usually if on television you see a Lion, you usually see him running after his diner. Giving an entirely wrong idea about what a Lion usually does. As far as I understand about 80% of the Lions time is spend pretty ‘Eased’ lying in the sun for hours pretty much
    doing nothing!!!
    ‘If I made a difference this year?’
    You tell me, I don’t know…,
    Because I don’t know if it’s a real trend, nevertheless I created a few ‘Blogspots’ online, (you can find them via my ‘Main Blogspot’ at http://hpshappy.blogspot.com and currently I see a pretty huge increase in the amount of
    daily visitors!
    All the Best,
    To your Happy Inspiration,

  10. Amongst many other things, I got into blogging this year… it seems like a very interesting community where many people can learn about and monitor the evolution of philosophy, ideas can travel to mass audiences at the speed of light and everyone becomes a teacher. I’m enjoying it, and interested to see how it goes.
    And I started some free language vocab flash cards that will hopefully help people to learn more easily.

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  13. I agree with Simona, self-discipline comes first. The I would go with Tim Ferriss and eliminate all the unimportant tasks, delegate and finally automate the rest.
    This has given me much more peace of mind and time for myself to visualize and continue manifesting great things.

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