“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” Thomas J. Peters
January is the month for new year resolutions. We’re constantly bombarded with messages about self-improvement and new year disciplines. By mid-month many of us are already demoralized and hoping no one remembers our bold new year promises.
If we really want to make some changes where’s a better place to start? How about first taking an inventory of your achievements? Taking stock of successes is an important counter balance to focusing on what’s missing in your work and life.
And don’t just consider your obvious successes. Think about areas where you made progress by taking smaller steps toward a larger goal. The lessons you learned when things didn’t turn out the way you planned. How you managed to show up and be gracious while getting through difficult times.
Why is this so important? Because if we do take an inventory of achievements and take stock of successes we are more likely to make the change. The truth is most of us need more encouragement than criticism to successfully make that change.
Most of us need success reminders – especially when we are facing a new challenge. It’s easy to lose perspective as we experience the inevitable ups and downs of making change real. To be successful with our resolutions we must find ways to stay motivated and hold the course before the benefits of our new choices show up.
Our success inventory is evidence of our capacity to change. Reviewing and acknowledging our achievements offers us proof that we are indeed growing and learning. It can inspire us to have some faith in ourselves and keep going. It can also take away our excuses for staying stuck.
The crossover into a new year is a natural place to pause and celebrate success and what’s been achieved so far. Recognizing where we are already successful can build our confidence to make more change. The purpose of doing a success inventory is to support you to achieve more of what you want.
Take some time to reflect upon the questions below.Think about all areas of your life – not just your professional life. Acknowledge where you are succeeding. Recognize your strengths. Celebrate what you’d like more of in your work and life in 2016.
- Thinking about last year, what are you most proud of?
- What were your biggest successes in the personal area of your life and the professional area of your life in 2015?
- What “smaller,” less obvious things are you proud of achieving?
- What have you accomplished that has surprised you?
- Where did you not achieve what you set out to accomplish? What smaller steps have you made towards larger aims, that you need to recognize yourself for?
- Where did you miss the mark or make a mistake that needs recognizing? What did you learn and what are you proud of in how you handled it?
- Entering a new year, what do you need to stop blaming yourself for?
- Who do you need to thank for their contribution to your successes in the past year?
- As you crossover into a new year, what can you not deny you are really good at? How can you lead with your strengths to get more of what you want in 2016?