What Have You Achieved This Year?

4 Ways to Celebrate Your Achievements & Refocus Your Attention  

Everyone loves a fresh start. The sun rises each day on a new set of possibilities. Mondays are a chance to crush your work goals for the week, and many of us usher the new year with a new resolve to improve our lives. As the year draws to a close, you might be tempted to panic over the resolutions and goals that have fallen by the wayside. Instead, take time to inventory the progress you have made and ways you can refocus your attention for the rest of the year.

1. Make a “Ta-Da List.”

Professional golfer Tom Watson famously said, “Sometimes thinking too much can destroy your momentum.” Thinking too much about the areas where we have yet to succeed stops us from realizing how far we have already come. Rather than focusing on all your unmet goals for the year (a “to-do” list), celebrate success as you make a list of all the things you were able to achieve (a “ta-da” list). The process of recognizing your accomplishments builds momentum to refocus your attention on your “to-do” list for the rest of the year.

2. Say, “Thank You”.

No person is an island, and goal-setting would not be possible without the people with which we surround ourselves. In the spirit of the season, now is a perfect time to thank the key players in your life who have helped you over the last year. What’s more, saying thanks doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Forgo the emails or gifts and instead write a hand-written note to influential people in your life. Tell them how their contributions have affected you this year and thank them for their time, effort or energy. Today’s digital age has made hand-written a novelty, but taking the time to write a lovely message also carries more weight than an email.

3. Conduct a Financial Inventory.

Small business owners find that the fourth quarter is key to achieving measurable financial success. (Check out our article on 6 tips to finish the year strong for small business owners.) We don’t often realize how important a fourth-quarter financial inventory can be in our personal lives. Taking stock of your assets, debts, investments, and tax situation can inform your goal setting for the next year. If you intend to ask for a raise, you will know how much to ask for. If you intend to make a dent in your debt, you will be able to make a reasonable and informed financial target. A personal financial inventory can also help you celebrate the success of your financial goals and help set expectations for your holiday season.

4. Simplify Your Goals

Often our ambition exceeds our reality as we go through the goal-setting process. In trying to do everything at once, we often lose sight of the one goal that is the most important. Take stock of the targets you set at the beginning of the year and carefully choose one that is the most important to your life, health, career, or relationships. Then, use laser focus to move the needle on that goal. Morten Hansen, author of “Great at Work” calls this process “Do less, then obsess.” He discovered that in setting fewer targets we are able to work more efficiently toward achieving them.

It may seem strange to take inventory of your year now, rather than waiting until the end. In doing so, it is possible to refocus your efforts on achieving your goals as you celebrate the success you have already achieved.