Can you believe we’re approach­ing the end of 2021? As I do every year, I’m slowing down and taking the time to look back on all that’s happened in the last 12 months — although I’m utilizing a slightly different approach this year.

In addition to acknowledging the good and bad, the successes and failures, I’m also reflecting around the ordinary and the extraordinary.

The theme of moving from ordinary to extraordinary continues to be on my mind for the past many months. I’ve woken up thinking about it, and it’s be a regular topic of conversation at home and at work.

As we plan ahead for 2021 at Life Time, for instance, our team is taking stock of the items we’re doing that’s ordinary and what we’re doing that’s extraordinary. We’re challenging ourselves to think about how we can do more of the latter within the months ahead to better serve our members making their time in our community unforgettable.

There’s a reason I’m taking this approach. When we consider our lives, many of us have a tendency to think in short windows of your time — we think about what’s happened recently. In these cases, our memories are in their sharpest, and we can remember both mundane and important details.

But what happens when we try to recall the past Twenty to thirty years? What do we remember? For many people, the strongest memories are usually associated with extraordinary moments, experiences, places, and people. The things that leave lasting, meaningful impressions upon us. The ones that influence our choices and who we are.

The list of things I recall most clearly about my last three decades includes both personal and professional moments worth focusing on. They include things like the opening from the first Life Time in 1992, meeting my significant other, the births of my four children, losing loved ones, the recession of 2008, flying an airplane solo for the first time, and crossing the finish line of intense races like Leadville.

What I recall less clearly are many from the ordinary, day-to-day occurrences in between. That’s not to say they don’t hold significance. Actually, there are extraordinary things happening around us every day that many of us don’t notice, often because we’re accustomed to them or we’re too busy to concentrate.

By purposefully reviewing a shorter period of time (a month or year, for example), we’re better able to identify the ordinary moments which have led to extraordinary experiences. We are able to more easily notice what has energized us and concentrate our attention on our passions and priorities.

This review can help us decide where to devote our some time and skills so we can commit to creating more outstanding experiences and memories. These choices have an impact on not only our own lives but also the lives of those around us. Our actions have the possibility to influence others in remarkable ways — plus they become part of our legacy.

As for me, I intend to have a positive, memorable, and, hopefully, ­extraordinary effect on our planet and the people and other living creatures in it. I want to do my part to leave it a better place for our children and grandchildren.

So as you wrap up 2021 and prepare for the new year ahead, I encourage you to apply this ordinary/extraordinary filter for your own experiences while they’re fresh in your head. And as you set new goals — however small or big they may be — ask yourself a few questions: What makes them important? How do they support your personal growth? How do they affect the people you love and the world in general? And what would it take to move them from ordinary to extraordinary?

Consider this another opportunity to make a lasting impression — on yourself, on others, and on our world.