As this year abruptly comes to a close, I felt a sense of urgency to encourage everyone to finish this year strong.

As we all know, we are in the last quarter of this great year.

At the onset of the year, each of us set goals and made promises we vowed to keep no matter what. Somewhere along the way, we all have wavered and went back on a few of those promises. In fact, many of us have given up completely on accomplishing anything this year.

Just the other day, I heard someone say, “I cannot wait until Jan. 1 to start anew.”

I am a firm believer in maximizing the moment. The question I have for each of us is, why wait?

There are three full months left in this year. Don’t let valuable opportunities pass you by. Don’t let your destiny lie dormant.

Too often, we wait for the right time to go after our dreams.

Too often, we wait until everything seems sunny in our lives.

The time is over for waiting. The time is now to finish strong. The time is now to accomplish our goals. The time is now for each of us to work toward becoming the people we so desperately desire to be.

The only way any of us can finish strong is through perseverance. I know this year has not been easy. Every day was not Sunday and neither will it be in the future.

We must rededicate ourselves to becoming better. We must become better thinkers and doers. The only people who succeed in life are those who never stop thinking and doing.

I am begging and pleading with each of you, who read this column, to never stop. Make this day the first day of the year. Hit the reset button. Don’t give up on your children. Don’t give up on your spouse. Don’t give up on your church. Don’t give up on your community.

Quitters never win and winners never quit. I know this is an old adage, but it holds great significance and truth. Going through the motions of life is an avenue of quitting. Accepting your situation and not even attempting to change it is an example of quitting.

The fact you are reading this is a testament to your greatness. The fact you are reading this should serve as a reminder that there is a special gift you possess that this world is in need of. There is a special gift you possess that your family is in need of. There is a special gift you possess that our community needs. There is a special gift you possess that your church needs. St. Helena, let’s finish this year strong.

Let’s finish stronger than we started. Let’s finish more determined. Let’s finish more disciplined. Let’s finish more dedicated. Let’s finish on top. We were not made to be average people, but instead great people who positively affect everyone and everything in our paths.

Contact Jasper Knighten at jasperknighten@yahoo.com.