2019-12-02

Review your year 1/4: Successes

Is it just me or has 2019 been a blur of change and activity for you, too? Big political movements on a global scale, anniversaries, elections, celebrations and sorrows. And then on a personal level, the little things that have impacted you at work and at home.

Let’s take a moment to reflect.

Over the next four weeks I’m going to be writing about how you can look back, take stock, draw learnings from your year and look ahead to 2020. 

Let’s get started with your successes.

There are many ways to define success, but what I mean here are the achievements which have given you the greatest satisfaction and made you most proud. There are probably more than you think.

Start with a brain dump on a blank sheet of paper, just writing down all the things that come to mind; small and large, meaningful or seemingly insignificant. Things that changed you, challenged you, moved you or helped you grow. Things you did that impacted others in a positive way, triggered an improvement or helped start something new.

To jog your memory, take a look at your calendar entries from the beginning of the year. Did you visit any conferences or plan any events? Were there any trips you particularly enjoyed? Do you recall any moments where you stepped out of your comfort zone to make yourself more visible, confront an issue or help someone else? Perhaps there were times when you surprised yourself by being bolder and braver than you usually are. Or maybe times when you conceded or compromised for the greater good. List them all.

Also refer back to the notes you made when planning for 2019. Most companies have a planning cycle in which management, team and individual objectives are defined. What were your specific objectives for the year? Did you meet these objectives or deliver something else of value? Which ones stand out for you?

Get feedback, too from people close to you. Friends, family or close colleagues may remember other details that you’ve forgotten. Or maybe they can tell you about situations you were not aware of; moments where you were particularly supportive or influential. Add their input to your list.

You will now hopefully have at least one page full of memorable highlights from 2019. Now pick the 3-5 examples which stand out most for you.

With each highlight on a separate page reflect on why this particular moment is so important to you. What was the achievement? Who was positively impacted? What does this say about you, your values, your knowledge and your skills? How did you feel at the time? And how does remembering and thinking about it make you feel now? 

Write down your thoughts or reflect in meditation.

Immerse yourself in that moment, that feeling. Remember how awesome you felt at the time and hold that sense of awesomeness within you like a life breath. Brush aside any self-doubt and just focus on feeling the blessings of your success. 

Remember what you were, reflect on who you are now and draw inspiration from who you are becoming.

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. 

John Wooden, influential US basketball player and coach in the 1930s-70s

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