Practice? We’re talking about Practice?

I am bidding 2022 adieu with mixed emotions.

Some moments throughout the year brought me great joy, happiness, and achievement. Others presented me with difficult days, hard decisions, and deep personal sadness. On top of it all, the year seemed to fly by at an unusually fast pace with not enough time or energy spent reflecting on what I am sure are important lessons to be learned from the highs, lows, and the moments in-between.

The excitement of the new year creates an urgency in me to wrap up all those year-end loose ends and start planning for the opportunities that await 2023. I worry that I may be spending more time focused on “what’s next” at the expense of giving my best efforts and my best self to the matters that are right in front of me at a given moment.

Several years ago, I adopted the practice of selecting a word to focus on for the year ahead. The idea is to find ways to apply this word to all facets of one’s life from how you care for yourself to how you treat others to how you prioritize what is important. I find this practice helpful in bridging my year-end reflections and learnings with a desire to focus on the future.

Improvement is my word for 2023.

The dictionary describes improvement as, “a thing that makes something better.” Not the most inspiring word of the year, is it? Maybe understanding improvement the way martial artist Bruce Lee did will inspire you more. He once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Through the years, with a few amazing exceptions, I have come to believe that real happiness, sustainable success, good health, strong relationships, or anything else worth having is rarely achieved quickly or by chance. Most success comes from the constant refinement of the strengths and talents we possess while putting in the extra work to improve in our areas of weakness. It is through sustained, incremental improvements that we increase our chances of achieving great things.

So, I am all in on Improvement in 2023, as a person, husband, dad, sibling, friend, believer, listener, thinker, planner, doer, advisor, donor, business-owner, and more.

The Armstrong McGuire team, individually and collectively, is also deeply committed to continuous improvement in our work so that we can better help our clients strengthen what they do in their communities. As we move into 2023, we are excited to announce another major improvement in our firm’s operations by welcoming Sara Littlejohn to our team as our new Administrative Coordinator. Sara comes to us with strong credentials in nonprofit work in both operational support and development work. She brings a commitment to our team’s values and to a level of professionalism that will make us stronger. Learn more about Sara and join us in welcoming her to the Armstrong McGuire family!

2023, here we come!

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