The third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year―it’s called Blue Monday. It’s dark, cold, and the New Year’s high has faded away. But on a gloomy day like this it’s important to remember all the great things we have in our life, and how it will eventually get warmer.  I was recently reminded just how important it is to celebrate, and how easily these celebration plans can burst.

I’ve had an incredible past year both personally and professionally. At Teneo we achieved not only our sales goal, but also our stretch sales goal! This is a huge accomplishment for our team, and we celebrated by spending our final day before Christmas holidays at our favourite spa and taking a trip to Quebec City. It was exactly what we needed after a full year of hard work. With great food, good company, and lots of laughter, our batteries were recharged and ready for a new year.

The achievement of this goal was also good news for my family. Our youngest daughter, Alexa, turned 18 this year, which means both my daughters are now legally adults. Lucky for me, they occasionally still like to hang out with their parents, which is why I promised a family trip if I reached my sales goal for the year. After this promise Alexa became my own personal sales cheerleader. Anytime she was home from university she’d come into my office and check the white board to see how close we were to reaching our lofty sales goal. When we surpassed our first goal and then exceeded even our stretch goal she was ecstatic. As a reward to myself and to my family we were set to go on a trip to Panama right after the Christmas holidays, but I was quickly reminded how quickly celebration plans can burst―literally. Unfortunately the day we were to leave for Panama I had to take Alexa to the hospital, as she was complaining of severe stomach pains. Not wanting to let down the rest of the family―and being an eternal optimist―I sent my husband ahead with the rest of the family on our scheduled flight and told them we’d catch a later flight. Unfortunately, we learned Alexa had appendicitis and that it had actually burst. She was rushed into surgery to remove it, but because it had already ruptured infection spread throughout her body and caused more problems. Needless to say we were not going to Panama, and the only place I would be visiting the next few weeks would be the hospital.

I’ve since spent the last 17 days and 100 hours in the hospital! This certainly wasn’t how I planned to spend my holidays, but it was a good reminder of what is important. It was also a firm reminder that life is full of setbacks―but success is determined by how you handle them.

Alexa handled them like a champ. She’s stayed positive through most of this horrible ordeal―even when I was having trouble staying optimistic. She was discharged from the hospital this past Saturday and we are so happy to have her home and on the mend, but after this I need a holiday. So we have decided to have a “Re-Do Holiday” in Florida over the girl’s reading week, and I cannot wait to celebrate.

Have you celebrated your 2016 goals yet? More importantly, how will you ensure you achieve your 2017 goals and stretch goals with plans to celebrate one year from now?!