As 2017 comes to a close, you may be thinking about all that you want to achieve in 2018. You may have started writing a list of resolutions or, better yet, a list of goals. That instinct is a good one. Writing out your goals is an important first step toward a better you. Written goals provide a roadmap for change, for growth, and for all the steps that it will take to get there.
But before you start writing that list of goals, don’t forget to take a moment to celebrate you.
What did you accomplish this year? What were the goals you knocked off your list? What did you get done that wasn’t even on your list? How did you surprise yourself? How did you build a better world for the people around you on either a personal or community level?
Celebrating your successes is just as important as setting goals. Celebrating successes gives you the boost that you need to keep moving forward. If you always feel like you have more to accomplish, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you’ll never quite get there. But when you look back, you can start to recognize how far you’ve already come.
Grab a piece of paper or a journal and a pen. Start writing. And don’t be worried if you can’t think of any big accomplishments right away. Let yourself start with the little accomplishments. Maybe you impressed everyone on your team with that presentation last week. Maybe you started to learn Spanish. Maybe you taught your daughter how to ride a bike. These are all accomplishments that you should acknowledge – put them on your list.
At the end of your list, you may find that you didn’t accomplish as much as you wanted to last year. That’s fine. It means you have big goals. It also means that you’ll need to renew your focus and set actionable goals for the year to come.
You might also find that you accomplished much more than you realized in your personal and/or professional life. In either case, revel in your successes. Be proud of yourself.
Then take that energy and excitement, and channel it into your list of goals for next year. By knowing where you are and how far you’ve come, you’ll be motivated and prepared to face the road to come.