Before you dash into 2019, take stock of what you accomplished in 2018. We are strengthened and motivated by recognizing what we have done, even if we did not achieve all our 2018 goals, and it will boost your confidence and clarify your skills too.
Literally listing “wins” in 2018 gives you insights into: what works, where your strengths might be, how you spend your time, who is supporting you, the types of organizations or people you work best with, the choices you make, and your resilience in the face of life’s trials and tribulations. It covers all aspects of your life too.
It will also highlight your priorities and your values, and remind you to be grateful for who you are and for having achieved all that you have, no matter what size your bank account is today.
This is about the small “wins” as well as the big ones. Sure, you want to list the big milestones such as having a new job, more compensation, having bought a house, published a book, or taken a global travel adventure. But not only those.
This is about celebrating all you have accomplished – and chances are you’ll discover things you completely forgot about, and that you did more than you have been giving yourself credit for.
Women in particular tend to have a hard time “owning” their work and their wins, often attributing them to “the team.” Own it. You did these things. The fact that others contributed is both obvious and irrelevant here.
Don’t edit or judge something as “not enough” of a win, or not having moved you towards one of your goals. Just blurt through the keyboard, on the iPad, or on a notepad. This should be stream of consciousness, free-flowing.
Here are 10 things to list to celebrate this year, and try to list how many of each:
- Professional wins, financial wins, personal wins, relationship wins. These are the small moments as well as the big ones that we’ll remember forever, or made us lose track of time.
- Blogs you wrote, podcast interviews you did, webinars/webcasts or videos you were in or produced, or media you were quoted or featured in. Maybe an op-ed you wrote. What were their themes?
- Chapters of a book, or book proposal, you wrote and literary agents or publishers you contacted about it.
- Speaking engagements you did (as a panelist, moderator, workshop leader, Emcee or keynote).
- Biggest breakthroughs or biggest projects: Maybe new clients you signed, a new job, a book you published, online course or Mastermind Group you launched, sales you made, or awards you won.
- Financial goals reached, a raise you received, income you didn’t expect, or a new revenue stream you created. These could be renting out a room via AirBnb for extra cashflow, or publishing an ebook that earned you extra spending money, as well as regular work-related income. Maybe you set up a savings account, IRA or investment account, put more funds into one you had, or paid off debt.
- Mentors or coaches you worked with who were helpful, maybe a Mastermind Group you were in, favorite people you spent time with, new friends you made who you enjoy, or other new relationships that nurture and support you. Who are you most thankful for having in your world at this time? Did someone from your past come back into your world in a positive way? (That happened to me this year.)
- A favorite trip you took, books you read, places you visited either down the street or across the miles that created a lasting memory and experience for you.
- Steps you took to take care of yourself, from exercising regularly, to running a marathon, doing a walk for charity, or eating more healthfully.
- Ways you contributed to the world, either through financial contributions (no matter how small), time you volunteered, or causes you spoke up for in some way.
It will all be unique to you. Let these questions trigger your own accomplishments and “wins,” whatever that means to you.
This is an exercise I’ve been doing for many years and suggest to my coaching clients. In addition to the insights you gain, “it will help you end the year with a positive, success-oriented mindset that will empower you,” as Jack Canfield says in his year-end review handout.
Parts of this list may be handy as you delineate your value for a promotion, raise, new job or new client prospect, too.
Importantly, this list will also show you what “success” and “wins” are to you. As the 16th century playwright Christopher Marlowe wrote, “Success is living life in your own way.”
This list can help you choose how to focus your time and attention in the new year as you formulate goals for 2019, too.
Congratulations! You accomplished a lot more this year than you thought!
Read this on Forbes.com, where it first appeared.