Hang on there, tiger.
Before you jump ahead to plan what you’re going to do with a fabulous new year, how about taking some time to review how you did this last year?
When it comes to our goals, we generally spend most of our time noticing how far we still are from our target.
In contrast, we spend very little time measuring how far we’ve already come. (And even less time celebrating!)
Yet taking time to notice your progress can have a huge impact on your future success.
It’s going to make you feel good. It’s going animate you. It’s going to keep you going.
Think of a time when you’ve met someone who recently lost a huge amount of weight. “I lost 60 pounds!” they exclaim. They’re so shocked-amazed-overjoyed by their accomplishment, they just can’t keep it to themselves. They’ve undergone a transformation. They’ve done something they seriously doubted they could ever do.
We’re taught that modesty is a virtue. We’re taught that we shouldn’t go strutting around feeling good about ourselves.
Yet when it comes to celebrating personal goals, I think modesty is overrated.
Personally, I love hearing about people’s wins in life, big and small. I love hearing how they reached goals they never thought they could reach. I love hearing how they’ve made a daily effort. They inspire me.
Suppose someone said this to you: “This year I had a goal to do X. It was really hard, but I kept at it all year." Then they go on to tell you what they were able to accomplish.
Instead of finding this off-putting, I bet you’d find it pretty engaging.
So for the next few weeks, I give you permission to unabashedly celebrate your accomplishments of the last year.
Take a look at your year. If you keep a list of goals, pull them out and actually write down how you did against all of them. Pull out your calendar or journal and go through month by month.
Notice the changes you made in your life and in yourself to make progress on your goals. What improvements did you make with these or anything else? What really worked for you? What did you knock out of the park? What was hard but you managed chip away at it anyway?
Give yourself credit for your progress. Pat yourself on the back. Tell yourself you did a good job. Enjoy the warm feeling of knowing you did a good job. Thank yourself for your efforts.
Then share what you’re proud of this year with the trusted people in your life. Tell them about your goal – and what you did to make progress toward it. Ask them what they worked on this year. Congratulate them.
See what kind of conversation opens up.
A "Year in Review" exercise can help you to:
- Take stock of what you did.
- Get to know yourself better: what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Boost your motivation.
- Talk about your goals with others and get support from them, whether through simple acknowledgement, an encouraging word, commiseration, or an offer of direct help.
Try it out. Get started by leaving me a comment here. Let me know two things:
1. What was one of your biggest goals this year?
2. What is one way you made progress on it?
Thanks for reading and being in touch with me this year. Wishing you much love, peace, friendship, and good health this holiday season.