New Year is very close. Well, you may watch this video after New Year, but it doesn’t change the message. The end of the year is just an excellent opportunity to reflect on the past year. And I totally encourage you to do that.
This entire year felt like extensive devastation, with many setbacks, losses, and other terrible things. No doubt we want to forget it as a bad dream. Nevertheless, this year may seem uneventful, unproductive in the shade of all these things.
I felt this way. And honestly, by the end of the year, I was terrified to write down past year’s achievements, successes, and other things. Because what could have been possible done anyway? But then I started reflecting upon the year, and I came up with many points.
Turned out that even such a terrible year could be productive in the end.
But it’s not the most crucial part. Essential to notice that I would not even know that this year turned to be not only productive but more successful than any year before for me if I hadn’t decided to spend some time writing down all the successes.
Why do we demote it?
You see, there are a few reasons why we demote some accomplishments.
- We tend to forget things. And it’s totally okay. As we are literally inundated with all the bad stuff every day, it’s hard to keep up on some more minor but yet significant-good other parts we achieve. We hear about COVID every day, but you don’t repeat yourself day after day that you got a raise at work. Or that you were able to gain some new skill. Our focus tends to slip away, and it does it pretty rapidly should you just stop reminding it. Bad things get reminded every day on social networks, news, etc. Your gym successes don’t get reminded at all.
- We just start taking that for granted. You pushed 90 kg at the gym half a year ago, and now you just grow and keep it up. You may not even think of it anymore because it’s just there. But it’s still a lot of hard work you put into this. Or you got a new job and worked there for a few long months, and you like this job. Yet you don’t think of it as an accomplishment. Just a taken-for-granted part of your life. Like it always has been there.
- Humans, by nature, tend to dwell on failures more than compliments. Because our ancestors were more likely to survive being negative worrywarts. We keep being biased and find it more difficult, or sometimes we even forget to compliment ourselves.
So, do you feel that this year was as bad? Did you try to reflect on the positive sides and your achievements?
What I do
I prefer to allocate some time, for example, an hour, and just sit and compose a list of all the successes, achievements, things that brought me lots of good emotions and joy, essential steps in life, etc.
Off the top of your head, you probably think that it wasn’t that much. But actually, when you start writing, you will see that it’s bigger than that. And that is a vital part of that. We may not realize the scale and number of things and events during the year if we don’t reflect on that.
Let me share a few examples of what can be included in the list.
- For example, I noted that I started investing and growing my investment portfolio. And it’s a pretty big thing for me, yet I put a lot of work in there.
- I got into street photography and took some courses, read literature bout a camera and many pieces of equipment, and spent hours for that weekly.
- I spent so much time improving my home workplace, boosting my productivity, and bringing me good emotions as I work there.
- I started collecting my home books library.
Some things are smaller.
- I took 10 amazing portraits.
- I made a few videos for social networks.
- I cycled around 200 km (which isn’t the best result, but 200 more than 0).
- I drew 5 complete pictures.
Our year consists of some big and not less important but small accomplishments. Yet small ones often we miss while they make us – us, as we are today.
So, why it’s important.
- First of all, it encourages you for the future. Even in an unfortunate course of events, we still can have good things. We still can achieve. We can set goals. If such a year brought you good things along, why the next one should be any worse?
- Second. When you track your accomplishments, you write down what you did, not what you didn’t. It boosts your overall motivation Because you realize that you are more successful than you thought an hour ago. Let it make you proud of yourself as you give yourself more credit.
- Third. Research shows that getting meaningful affirmation and praise, whether it’s external or initiated by us, not only boosts performance, motivation, which alone is already a great advantage, but also it can improve the brain’s ability to remember and repeat new skills. In other words, recognition helps you to learn.
- And finally. Some minor setbacks can have a negative impact more significant than triumphs of wins. However, as you keep a list of your achievements, it can affirm the strengths and valuable experience next time you go through a rough experience. It’s a reminder that we stay strong even in the light of challenging events.
So, as I said now, as we enter a new year, it is an excellent time to recognize your achievements and give yourself the credit you deserve.
To help you with that, here are a few tips that can help you.
- Find a quiet place, isolate yourself a little from the world for half of the hour or an hour and keep recalling the year’s achievements.
- Don’t question if others would affirm it, judge it, or whatever. Just write anything that you think made you better, made you happier, glad, productive. Anything along these lines.
- Don’t exclude small things. They are still there and shape who you are.
- Try to come up with as many items as you can during this time. You will be surprised how many things you will come up with.
- Think of that list sometime later, and you may come up with even more things to add to the list.
- Do that every year. Or more often. And over some time, you will have a great set of achievements. And you will see how your wins get more prominent and how eventful your life is.
That was pretty much everything I wanted to share.
I hope this video can motivate you and encourage you to recognize how great you are.
I hope you have a very productive and amazing next year.