The year in review

What did your 2018 look like and what are you hoping for in 2019? That’s something I think most people think about this time of year. Trent actually does a review of his favorite interviews of the year on Loos Tales to wrap up the last week of programming.

We usually spend our family travel time making a list of the highlights of the year so we can add them to our annual family newsletter (that didn’t even happen last year because Christmas came and went before we got it done).

About eight years ago I found a neat little form online that you could print out and have your kids fill in at the end of the year. It was a survey of their favorite foods, TV shows, books, toys and hobbies. By having them fill it out themselves, you could have a record of their handwriting at that age as well as their favorite “kid stuff.” Trent and I would fill out the form too just so it was a family activity—usually one we all did on our own and then came together to share our answers, laugh and reminisce.

We’ve been doing a form like that every year and obviously the form has matured as our girls have grown up. “Struggles for the year” replaced “favorite toy” and the “greatest achievements” went from “learning to ride my horse bareback” to “passing organic chemistry.”

The forms also include a look forward into the new year and include a few questions about things we want to do, see or achieve. This form is a simplified version of that intended just to help us take what we’ve done in the past year and see what we feel like we can get done in the coming year. Depending on the mood of the holiday and the level of stress or relaxation we are feeling, the level of optimism for the future goals can certainly vary but nonetheless it gets us thinking ahead. From goals like “starting varsity as a freshman” to “getting accepted into that coveted internship,” it certainly never hurts to shoot for the stars.

The most enjoyable part of this activity is looking back through all the forms we’ve filled out in the years past to see what’s changed and what has stayed the same—yes, I am still hoping to get that kitchen remodeling project done but I’m not taking it off the list! It’s funny to listen to the girls read their old reviews and laugh at what they hoped and wished for. I’m thinking the mermaid tail was truly just a temporary Disney motivation. So whether the goals are achieved, missed by a mile (perhaps due to an unplanned knee surgery) or no longer even a consideration, it’s certainly fun to take a look back at where we’ve been in comparison to where we are now.

As the new year rolls in, we typically look at it with hope and optimism, much like we look forward to Christmas, the true season of hope. While we certainly can’t do it on our own, our goals and the work to achieve them are squarely upon us as opposed to the hope we put in birth of our Savior for Christmas. We know that to achieve those dreams and aspirations, we’ve got to get busy. Many people make New Year’s resolutions, others sit down and map out a strategy to achieve their goals for the coming year. Regardless of how you take on this opportunity for a fresh slate that has been given to us, we all need to make the most of it.

One recent trend is to forgo the long list of things you need to change about yourself by making resolutions and instead just choose one word. The theory behind it is that you list the traits you would like to see in yourself or the things you would like to do and from that list you boil it down to a single word that you use as motivation and inspiration for the year. Clearly this is easier than remembering a long list of things you need to improve upon and you can adapt it to work, personal life, relationships and everything you do. You can post it around your house, on the dash of your car, on the screensaver on your phone. You get the picture. Use words like “inspire,” “confidence,” “grateful,” and “lead.” You get the picture. Find a word that speaks to you and commit your year to that motivation. Sounds like something we will have to try.

As you look back through the highlights and struggles of 2018 and look forward with hope and optimism to 2019, whether you choose a resolution or a word, remember to celebrate and enjoy the things that really matter most—the family and friends that make your days and years complete. Happy New Year from the Loos family. Best wishes for health, hope and happiness from our family to yours.

Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at [email protected].