The Howells Group Blog

Looking Back to Live Forward

2012 Karen Howells Collage New Years Lessons


“Life is best lived looking forward but best understood looking back”. – Soren Kierkegaard

Such a true and appropriate quote as we begin a fresh new year… Living with intention requires that we carry last year’s insights into the year. So here’s what 2012 taught me… what about you? What were your lessons learned that you’ll carry forward to create a brighter and meaningful new year? Please share!

1.Sometimes a budget matters; and sometimes it just doesn’t. Our 2012 kitch-en remodel came in on budget; though our only daughter’s wedding didn’t. The budget mattered with the kitchen and we’re enjoying it.  Ah – but the wedding!  The memories continue to fill our heart and soul; this fantastic weekend celebration of love and community we’ll never forget.  Hundreds of pictures will pass those memories down through generations. No one, including us, will care that the budget went over. Wisdom is knowing when things like budgets matter – and when the moments created in love clearly matter most.

2.   More is not better. Joyful moments in 2012 included creativity, relational connections, unexpected quiet moments. Not more engagements, meetings, people, pressure, achievement or  money. During our kitchen remodel we lived in the bottom floor of our home for about 3 months with a  rice cooker, microwave and electric skillet and about 1/10th of our kitchen stuff as the rest was packed. Simple was good and we gave a lot away as a result.

3.  If we pay attention,  we see God’s presence everywhereWhen I was paying attention, I saw God’s hand in so many ways. A healing conversation, an unexpected connection, the perfect comfort in a difficult time, paradigm shifting insights, and new clients from unexpected places. This year I commit to paying more attention daily to be present to what God is doing instead of distracted by what I think shouldbe happening!

4.   Learn and practice what makes you most alive. I know that’s not really a word – but I love the experience of true “aliveness”. Learning and creativity are life altering for me. Some people think I’m a little strange to be getting a Masters Degree in my 50’s. But Monday night classes from 6-10 pm are some of the most “alive” moments of 2012.

5.  Work and live from your truest place. I took a new assessment this year called the CVI Core Value Index. It measures your primary “energy”  and contribution. The results created some powerful insights about working from my most powerful and authentic strengths. I’m excited to help others as a coach and consultant experience this assessment to understand the contributions and challenges this create and best use.

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