I look back on this past year, and all I can do is smile. I set my goals last year on December 25…and I am proud to say that I achieved over 70% of my bucket list. What did I learn from this process? Well, I learned that daily goals are much much more important than goals that you throw down onto a piece of paper and expect to achieve them over a year. Trust me, I love goal setting, but the importance of living in the present moment is much greater than looking one year in the future. It isn’t guaranteed. Not in the slightest. What also happens is you can fall back on tomorrow…the deadliest sin against your dreams.

My happiest times were those times I was purely in the moment with my greatest of friends. Many of them happened sitting on the roof with Greg or on the porch with Russell just talking. I will take those moments with me in the new year and the lessons I learned along the way.

This next year for me is going to be unbelievable. There are so many things coming, and I am so unbelievably excited about waking up each and every day and seeing what I can create. Through this past year, there were definitely times where I felt paralyzed, but I conquered one of my greatest fears: loved ones leaving. If I am proud of anything…it would be getting over this fear. Different people come and go and they will always mean certain things to you. But we must keep those memories close to our hearts or else we lose the lessons that we were taught by those individuals. The people who go were meant to go…those who stay, were meant to stay. Don’t ask questions past that.

Why? We ask why too often. Why did this happen? Why not this way? Why that way? Why even bother? The list of questions you can attach why to is endless. But the thing is, if you keep asking why and worrying about why something happened…then you focus too much on the past and not enough on this moment. If you also worry about something happening down the line…and why it might happen…you equally take yourself out of this moment. 99% of the time the things you worry about never happen…and 99.9% of the time the things you worry about that happened in the past never happen again. Just the way it works. So start accepting your condition as what it is and go do something about it.

The last thing I learned this year was to dream big. In August I decided to write a book, and we are a couple weeks away of this dream becoming a reality. I never thought I would get to this point…but now I am here…and I can’t tell you how happy I am. My grandmother looked at me last night and said it looked like I was glowing…and the fact that I was always smiling was incredible. But it is true for me…I am almost always smiling. Even when things really hit the fan…I look up to the sky and just laugh in disbelief. And this is the last point I have to make tonight. Tragedy is a blessing…because it either teaches you courage or draws it out from you. Moreover, it will teach you the most important lessons of your life.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Lets make this New Year incredible,

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project