My path of discovery

Noah & ValenThe emotions connected with the end of one year and the start of a next are intriguing to me. I can tell I am getting older because the years appear to be passing faster than they did when I was a child. I love that my start of 2016 began snuggled up on the couch with Noah, full of gratitude and wonder for what the new year will hold for us. When the clock turned midnight, I had an indescribable sensation; I was thrilled to be alive and well and celebrating the next chapter in our lives together.

I don’t recall setting a New Year’s resolution in years past. Instead of setting specific resolutions with a goal of accomplishing them, I look at each new year as a path of discovery, which will allow me to dig deeper, fine-tune myself and develop a clearer vision of who I am and what I want out of life. This year, my focus will be to continue to get mentally and physically stronger and understand the important balance of pushing myself, but not overdoing it.  I also want to strive to be more present and evolve my passion of helping others to a greater level. I enjoy setting personal growth goals without a specific endpoint, ones that advance over time.

In addition, I believe focusing on the things we have to look forward to helps to keep a positive outlook. Here are a few things I’m looking forward to this year:

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Wedding photoThat one-second moment when the year changes to the next is filled with such exuberance and hope. It gives me a sense of a fresh new start, a reboot and a second chance – a chance to be different, make things better, try new things, set ambitious goals. To me, the intriguing part of these emotions is how we only let ourselves feel them at such an intense level once a year and for such a brief period. What if we tried to maintain this sense of passion for life all year long? What if we felt this way every new day, rather than just every New Year’s Day? I think we should!

Happy New Year!!!

What resolutions and/or personal growth goals have you made for 2016? Please share what you’re looking forward to in this new year.


  1. Amy Dixon-Eggebroten

    I just need to lose a little weight to ward off type 2 diabetes, so I have been swimming in the indoor pool at the gym every other day since November! By doing this, I am keeping my body and mind as fit as possible in order to help my family and friends.

    • Valen Keefer

      Great job Amy! I admire your commitment to taking care of yourself and your loved ones! Being mentally strong is just as important as physical strength, they go hand-in-hand. Have fun in the pool! 🙂

  2. Wendy

    WOW.. what a great year you have ahead! I’m excited for you.
    I however did not make a New Year’s promise. Instead I decided to take it day by day. You are right time flies as you get older.
    I want to enjoy every minute of it and be able to take it in, without having a goal in mind.
    I will strive to be healthy as always.
    ~ you are my inspiration ♡

    • Valen Keefer

      Aww, thanks Wendy! I am looking forward to the celebrations to come in 2016 and also the unknowns…hopefully all good unknowns. 🙂 Your plan sounds perfect. Day by day is a great plan! Wishing you all the best as you continue to make the most of every day! Big hugs!

  3. dominique

    i wish you the very best to you and your family kitty too…may your health thrives to the best you can be! i hope i will be off dialysis soon with 3 possible donors now,,,and a part time job starting next week,,you forgot Mr.s bday haha

    • Valen Keefer

      Thank you so much Dominique! I wish you and your family the very best too. Thank you for including our dear MR KaliKat, you’re so sweet! So very happy you have 3 possible donors. I hope this year will be your transplant year. Good luck with your new job.
      Haha, we are not sure of Mr’s birthday. He showed up unexpectedly at our home on September 11, 2013. When we took him to the vet, they estimated he was two years old then. Wish I knew his exact birthday, but we celebrate his awesomeness every day! 😉

  4. Dwight Odland

    Valen, another great post! I agree that sometimes specific goals get in the way of being open to opportunities that pop up that fit your overall life plans – in your case to make a difference in improving people’s lives. I’m a planner, so I have to learn to give myself chances to respond to unique opportunities that arise too, like this conference in Amsterdam in June. I had already planned every one of my allocated vacation days for the year, so when this came up, I had to scramble my plans to make it work. I have to leave some time open for such things!
    Anyway, I, like many many others, celebrate your life and what you’ve been able to do given your circumstances. We look forward to your next projects. Have a great year.

  5. Victoria

    I loved this post, Valen 🙂 I am one of those weird people who love New Year’s and at least the concept of making resolutions if not actually working to realize the intent of those resolutions! Mind, body, and health are usually at the core of those resolutions. Here’s to a great 2016! I’ve been so busy these first ten days, I am looking forward to a more peaceful day to actually reflect on 2016.



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