Looking forward

January 4, 2023

By Jeff Becraft


I was talking to a friend the other day and I commented, “There were so many things I wanted to accomplish in 2022 and here it is at the end of the year and there are several of them I never even got done.”

I made some progress on some of them and then all kinds of family health crises and losses (several close members of our family and friends passed away this year) and unexpected being out of town, that a lot of things got put on the back burner. (But I can’t blame circumstances or people for being behind on my plans.)

There are times that I will think about it and it will be very discouraging. I will think to myself, “I said I was going to do this this year and here it is 12 months later and it is not even done.”

When I made the original statement to my friend, he was undaunted. He simply said, “Go enjoy your Christmas with your family and we will get together in 2023.” The daunted-ness was something I was putting on myself.

Several years ago I sent out a Friday email about the “Saturday night syndrome” (which probably should be sent out again sometime) that instead of being weighed down by what didn’t happen during the day (something that I would sometimes allow myself to feel on a Saturday night), focus instead on what did get accomplished.

Certainly there is a time and place for evaluating why something wasn’t achieved and making adjustments – but that will be for an email in the near future.

Just this week, I was running through some photos on my phone and was greatly encouraged and stirred over some of the highlights that have happened recently (like seeing our granddaughter’s first-ever Christmas program she was in).

So as this year begins to clock out, I am going to take a Sunday afternoon and spend some time writing down some of the highlights of this past year and to start off with at least 10 things I am thankful for. It is something I would recommend to anyone.

There is no point letting a “Saturday night syndrome” turn into a “end of the year syndrome.” There is a reason why a rear-view mirror is smaller than a windshield – you glance in the rear-view mirror to see where you have been, but you look through the windshield to see where you are going.


Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].