I always close out a year with a run right before midnight and then a run right after midnight with a kiss for my forever girlfriend in between right at midnight if I can wake her up.

It seems like a crazy thing to do but it sure beats the way I used to ring in the New Year when I thought I had to have a drink in my hand, noisemakers or other wild ways to send out the old year and ring in the new year.

Running allows me to quietly process both the past and the future. With my last run of the old year, I reflect on what the past year has given me. My runs are usually at least two hours so there are lots of smiles, laughter, and even some tears. I allow myself to relive special moments no matter what emotion those thoughts bring because it gives me a way to close the gaps. It also allows me to do the next thing that I believe is equally important.

As I begin my first run of the New Year, I seriously just wipe my mind. I don’t carry through to the New Year any DNFs (Did Not Finish) races, projects or goals. I simply refuse to bring them forward into the New Year. I look at this as if my life is a giant whiteboard full of experiences, moments and emotions. With the New Year, I erase the entire whiteboard. Literally, there is nothing on that board now.

With one exception. I allow myself to begin letting expectations come in. Expectations to me are different than goals because they are broader and less defined.

Goals and Expectations

Acme Bridge, Acem WY

For example, my running goal for 2019 is quite simple. I want to run the year again, 2019 miles. I want to finish all my distance races this year (three 50ks and two 50 miles) as well as compete well at my first timed race (a 12 hour, run as many miles as you can race). I want to finish in the top 10 in my age group at all six of my planned races as well. Those are goals.

My expectations are somewhat different. I expect to run injury free this year which would be quite glorious. I also expect to remain ear infection free this year which will add to a healthy running year. Seeing as how this would be my first year not to suffer from ear infections and vertigo after my fourth ear surgery, this is a pretty high expectation.

I also have both goals and expectations for my writing. I fully expect to make $5000 on Medium this year. My goals to achieve that are to publish at least five articles weekly on Medium and to continue to improve my craft and learn more about how to make my articles more attractive and interactive. There are so many creative geniuses on Medium that I read voraciously hoping to be able to find their secret for writing so well.

The way I approach my end of year and beginning of year adventures can be summarized in one key part of the Bible. Philippians 3:12–14 “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race…”

On my end of the year, runs and beginning of the year runs, I concentrate on these words and literally file away the past. Not that I don’t want to remember it, I want to do. No, what I want to do is draw from both the successes and failures of my past and let them be a bridge to my future.

By allowing the past to be filed, I actually allow the future to come forth with all the meaning the future needs but remain focused on being who I was created to be. I do this in all areas of my life. I do this with my marriage, with my full-time job, with my writing, with my running and health, with my spiritual walk and with my interaction with the community in which I have been planted.

Happy New Year

Add in the benefit of some nice sweat equity, or in tonight’s case with the planned forecast to be around -20 when I start running what I call chill time and what I get is a great way of closing and opening the years.

I truly believe the greatest gift we can give those who surround us is a process that allows us to boldly go into each and every New Year with a focus and purpose based on being free from the past and eagerly looking forward to the future.

Happy New Year to all!

Over the last seven years I have lost over 80 pounds and gone from a sedentary lifestyle to now running ultra marathons. Along the way I have discovered my love for writing, for encouraging others and for living a lifestyle of constantly pushing myself beyond what I think my limits are. Visit Mike at MikeHornerUltra.com.
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Over the last seven years I have lost over 80 pounds and gone from a sedentary lifestyle to now running ultra marathons. Along the way I have discovered my love for writing, for encouraging others and for living a lifestyle of constantly pushing myself beyond what I think my limits are. Visit Mike at MikeHornerUltra.com.

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