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The New Year usually brings on a time of planning out goals and targets for the year ahead. We look at the New Year and see where we want to be in the next 12 months, profit-wise or skill-wise.

I’ve decided not to go that route this year. I discovered something towards the end of 2023—a year that I had plotted out strategies for growth—that while I was trying to hit targeted goals, the most significant gold mine was not in cash flow; it was the people around me. My family, my new friends and old acquaintances. The real value of 2023 was in deepening or starting relationships.

I began writing regularly with my wife, and we filmed a teaser for our feature film, Great Once. Both were firsts for us and have fulfilled over 20 years of dreaming.

I’ve had the chance to work with my son, Caleb, and see his illustration skills blossom and grow.

I met Erik Wilson at Mortal Skate Shop in Tucson. He took a chance and bought my boards. We are selling them there, and it’s a dream.

I met Dax at SK8 Magazine, put an ad in his mag, and am seeing good things come out of it.

I met Drew Helsue and Steve Beard, pastors at Mountain View Presbyterian, and through them, I am learning how to walk out my faith restfully and peacefully.

Profits will come and go. Sales will rise and fall. But relationships sustain us through all the trials and successes.

This last year, I did things I had planned and never imagined. I am glad to have accomplished those things.

So, instead of planning and scheming this year, I will learn how to walk out this journey with others. I want to walk deeper with people. I want to hear them more. I want to see them for who they are and not what they might bring to my life and business.

I want to walk deeper and slower with Jesus. I don’t want to live an anxious and fear-driven life anymore. I want to learn to work at his pace and let Him supply all my needs. If you have a different faith, I get it. But having tried other ways to live, I can tell you Jesus is the only way. I’m not here to jam it down your throat, but I can’t live without Him—and I don’t want to try anymore.

Does this mean I don’t have business plans? I do, but they are secondary. They are simple. They are set and will happen as I walk out this year with other people with ideas that might differ from mine and with Jesus, who might want to go down a different path than me.

I’m good with that. 2024 will be a year of relationships. So bring it on. Bring on the ups and downs of business politics and societal issues. It will be easier to go through because I will have a better connection with heaven and people than ever before.

Christopher F. Dalton

Christopher F. Dalton is a writer, author, illustrator, small business owner, but more than that he is a follower of Christ, a husband, a father of three stellar sons, and friend in need. He and his wife run Huck&Dorothy, an entertainment company.