As the end of the year approaches, I'm finding myself taking stock of the past 10 years and reflecting on the decade that was.
It has been a huge period of change for me, with moving back to my hometown, expanding my business, completing a graduate diploma and beginning a Juris Doctor, expanding our family and moving house three times.
We welcomed a puppy to the household, bought a car, said goodbye to friends and loved ones who passed away and attended weddings.
This past decade has been a huge learning curve for me and despite the roller coaster that it has been, it's been an incredible journey.
I think this New Year's self-reflection is almost coded into our DNA as I see so many people across social media and friendship networks sharing similar reflections on the year that's past.
But it's not just reflection, we judge our year - was it better or worse than last year? What have we achieved? How have we failed? How have others failed us? How much weight have we gained or lost? Are we happier?
I read an article recently that made a really good point about this coded approach to self-reflection on an annual clock.
The author pondered the habit of seeing our lives in a series of sprints instead of a marathon. It's like we have 12 months, 365 earth rotations, one astral orbit, to improve our lives, to be better, stronger, thinner, more successful, and if we fail, we get to start all over again.
January 1 is a fresh start, a clean slate. It presents an opportunity to right all the wrongs from our past and make the changes that we have always wanted to see in ourselves and our lives.
The dawn of a new year - and this year, as the sun rises on a new decade - we can begin anew. No pressure.
There is nothing wrong with needing a new beginning, nor is there anything wrong with finding solace in giving ourselves permission to drop the baggage from 2019 and walk into the blistering sun of the new year with fresh resolve to make it a good one.
But if we are constantly sprinting from January to December, we will tire ourselves out before the marathon of life is run.
We have our own individual yardsticks to life - we cannot compare our pathway to that of others for we have all walked different roads to get to where we are.
It is a statistical improbability that everything will go right for us all the time. We are going to make mistakes, blow up relationships, screw up at work, back the car into a pole. We are going to feel sad, feel angry, feel frustrated. Hell, we are going to stub our toe and break a nail. Maybe even an arm.
But we will also feel moments of joy, pride, excitement, happiness. We will do things right, build relationships, achieve things at work and mostly avoid the poles in the car parks.
One of the greatest challenges of this year is to avoid judging yourself in comparison to others. It's hard to do, I get it. But what we see on the outside of the lives of others rarely aligns perfectly with the experience of living it.
We all experience joy and heartache, mistakes and triumphs, in various contexts. We have our own individual yardsticks to life - we cannot compare our pathway to that of others for we have all walked different roads to get to where we are.
One person's triumph could be another person's meh, but to that one person, it could mean the world.
New Year's resolutions are often born from the spark of hope that the following year will fill the gaps that the previous year has left. But the reason why almost 80% of us fail to achieve our New Year's goals is because deep down, we want the outcome without the work.
If you do decide that you want to be proactive about making changes for 2020, along with the goal, write a plan and make the change day by day - this too is a marathon and not a sprint.
Many of us need the reminder to stop and take stock, and for that, New Year's is a timely signpost in the road.
But we should be careful not to judge ourselves too harshly if we've had an ordinary year and remember that we are more than the sum of 365 earthly rotational sprints - we are all marathon runners.
Zoë Wundenberg is a careers consultant and un/employment advocateat impressability.com.au