It’s that time of year. That time when we draw one year to a close and prepare for a new one.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I get to December 10th and ask myself whether I accomplished anything at all in the entire year. I’m so focused on the here and now that I’ve forgotten what, oh, February of last year was really like. (I think it was cold. And I think I got my knee replaced…?) But real accomplishments? They are all distant, fuzzy memories at best.
Have you ever noticed that we tend to discount the things that come easiest to us? As if some measure of struggle is required to make anything we’ve done “worth it”.
Last week I did a little exercise with myself and I invite you to join me in this wee bit of homework – just 10 steps – because once I completed this process myself, I felt a lot more accomplished. And also rather awesome, in a total Ron Burgundy kinda way.
Step 1: Grab yourself some paper and a pencil. Or pen. Or colorful marker. Really, don’t get hung up on what you’re writing with. It’s a distraction. What was I saying? Oh, yeah…
Step 2: Optional beverage of your choice.
Step 3: Flip your calendar to January 1, 2018.
NOTE: “Flip” may be a euphemism for clicking on a back arrow until you get to January 2018. Access your calendar however you keep a calendar. And if you don’t keep a calendar, then you have no homework. Have a lovely day!
Step 4: Look at that first week of January, 2018. Anything interesting or unusual? Stuff you forgot? Stuff you forgot you accomplished? Write it down on your paper.
Step 5: Go through every week of the year and make notes.
Step 6: Look at your paper. You got more done than you thought you did, right? Go ahead, say it: “Wow! Look at me!”
Step 7: Replenish your beverage.
Step 8: Look again at your paper. Look at all those things you got done. Now, ask yourself a question:
“What do those accomplishments say about my goals for 2018?”
(I never said this homework was going to be an easy A, y’all.)
Step 9: If you set goals before 2018 started, compare your actual results to the goals you set out to achieve. How did you do? If you had no goals for 2018, it’s likely that some sneaked up on their own when you take a look at your accomplishments. Capture those, and be amazed at the ability of your subconscious to make things happen on your behalf.
Step 10: Now, knowing what you know about 2018, what do you want to do more of in 2019? What do you want to never do again? What do you want more than anything? What’s your dream? What would feel great to accomplish in the coming months? Write that down. Then make a promise to yourself to do one thing each week in 2019 to make that thing happen.
Bonus Question: If you fell short or didn’t accomplish what you wanted to accomplish in 2018, what’s one small action you can do today to at least get momentum going in your favor? Even an eensy-weensy step in the right direction still gets you headed in the right direction. And if you actually accomplished what you set out to do in 2018 (virtual pat on the back to you!), how could you amplify that thing for the coming year? Or build on it? Or solidify it?
Or maybe choose something wholly new? Think about the possibilities!
You have this one life, this one moment in time. Don’t wait. Don’t put off your hopes and dreams and fondest desires.
You have the power to make things happen. You’ve done it, and you’re going to do it.
And it’s going to be so gratifying when you get to December 10, 2019, do this exercise again, and say to yourself, “Wow! Look at me!” because you moved – maybe slowly, sure, but you moved – closer and closer to the thing you’ve always wanted to do.