You'll Be Amazed How Long Your List Is!


As we move toward the end of the year, you will no doubt start to think about what you want to achieve next year.

But before you do, there are some important things to do. 

Pause for a moment

This has been one of the most extraordinary years of our lives with the world changing in an instant as Corona Virus swept the globe. We have had to change the way that we work, live, and interact with each other and the world. And many of us have experienced losses of one form or another. 

Whatever has gone on in the world and in each of our lives, we have all moved on since a year ago and one of the things we are generally not very good at is recognising our own achievements. 

Take some time this week to recognise what you have achieved this year, the progress you have made, the impact you have had and all the things you are grateful for. 

What is your positive story for the last year?

Not just at work, but in your personal life as well. Include all of the big things and small things. 

Before I show you how to have some fun with this, here are a few examples from my list. 

What will be on yours? 

  • Personal: Having not run any further than for a train for many years, a year ago I started running. I practiced and then ran 5k on Christmas day. It created a habit: I still run two or three times a week and have achieved a half marathon. 
  • Professional: I became President of the Career Development Institute, my professional body in the UK and have helped create two communities for Career Professionals
  • Connection/personal: I discovered a whole load of beautiful places locally during lock-down, including a part of the old Brighton Road hidden in woodland.
  • New things: I launched The Career Café free Facebook group to support people in their careers when lockdown started, broadcasting twice a week through the summer and still once a week. 
  • Big things: The Career Base Camp went live. This was a huge personal achievement and the first big project I've got over the line in my mission to make career coaching available and affordable for everyone. The doors open again soon so click here to find out more.
  • Collaboration: I've got a great team around me. No expedition is successful without a team. Ali and Sharon who make this blog and website look good were key in The Career Base Camp going live, they and others have supported the growth of my mission
  • Collaboration and connection: I have made new friends and enjoyed the continuing company of existing friends, especially through The CDI and co-hosting the Surrey Collaborators More PIE Club. 

As well as the major achievements, make sure that your list is comprehensive and includes all the things that you might otherwise dismiss as run-of the-mill or "just part of my job".

Things on my list are things like various DIY tasks, choosing just the right present to delight my wife on her birthday, all of the thank you emails and testimonials from clients who have got unstuck in their career and are now going to work with a smile on their face. 

How long is your list?

See how long you can make your list.

When I sat down to do my list over lunch one day I came up with three pages for me and one each for my children. They'll have more, but it will get them going. 

Include all the things you’ve done, what you’ve achieved, and who you are now compared to back then.

Are you more confident?

Are you doing something you never even dreamed would be possible?

What impact have you had and what are you grateful for? 

Have some fun with it

This is an exercise that can be fun to do with a group of colleagues or friends, or with your family.

A fun way to do this is to get together as a group and then go round in turn.

When it's your turn you have to say one thing, starting with one of the following:

This year I ...

  • ... am pleased that I ...
  • ... achieved...
  • ... am grateful for...
  • ... made a difference by...

Why is this reflection important? 

Positive reflection is crucial for a number of reasons

  • It bucks our natural tendency to focus on the negatives
  • it makes us feel good about ourselves and we recognise the journey we have made
  • It reminds us that we make a difference in the world and impact everyone we meet in some way
  • It gives us confidence that we can achieve even more in the future and motivates us for the coming year.
  • On the basis that what we focus on consistently we tend to create in our lives, we start to notice more of the positives which improves our wellbeing

Now, go and create your list for the last year.

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