By Sonya D. Lavett
November is already here and, like many, I am amazed at the speed at which 2016 is quickly passing us by. Like trying to hold sand, important moments, memories and triumphs are often times overlooked in an effort to quickly make the next deadline or appointment. With so much to do, it is challenging to find time to take a breath and reflect.
With our packed schedules, by not taking a moment to celebrate even the smallest of achievements, we are missing out on so much. Namely, a feeling of fulfillment at what all has transpired throughout the year.
I often tell our students that if you wrote down everything that you had to do in a day or week, it would not seem possible on paper. Yet, you do this every single day. You work hard at your job, take care of your family, volunteer your time and skills to your communities and still make time to study and pursue your educational endeavors. You even take time to reach out through social media and show up at events and encourage one another along the way. I am forever amazed at your spirit of giving.
This is what CSU is about; we help one another.
I will bet if you look back and begin writing down all that you accomplished in the past eleven months, you will be shocked and amazed at all that you managed to do. With Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, it may be beneficial to take a few moments out of your abundant schedule and look back on what all was accomplished in 2016.
- Not to create more work for you, but develop an accomplishment list. This is not a to-do list; it is a compilation of your greatest moments and even some of the smaller things that may only matter to you. Putting professional and personal accomplishments all together, there is no need to come up with everything in one sitting. Think of this as a living list that you will continue adding to for the remainder of the year.
- Next, celebrate what you have managed to do this year. Sometimes it is important to go beyond just checking a task off of your ever-growing to-do list. Actually take five minutes (or more) and relish in the joy of being able to complete something. Then, pat yourself on the back for seeing that project or task through to the end.
- Since past behavior is a pretty good indicator of future behavior, acknowledging what you have managed to achieve in 2016 will help motivate you for 2017 and beyond. What are you still working toward and what do you hope to accomplish or change in the future? Seeing where you have been and what you have been able to achieve will provide you with empowerment. You now have a visual of what you may not have thought possible before. Here is your evidence that you are capable of progressing through even the most unsurmountable obstacles.
- Disappointments are inevitable and part of life. These are the things that can overrun our thoughts and get in the way of our happiness. In those moments where doubt and worry preoccupy your day, check out your accomplishments and take note of the larger picture. You are constantly striving toward a better you.
- Sometimes it is not necessarily about completing something tangible, such as an important proposal at work or completing a DIY project at home, although those items are certainly worthy of pride. For instance, what have you learned this year? If nothing else, are you more self-aware than you were last year or even a month ago? Did you have a breakthrough regarding a thought process or learn to break a bad habit? These behaviors are sometimes taken for granted because they are more of a process and less of a definitive end point; yet, these achievements are the very things that make us stronger, wiser and healthier. You may not have perfected it yet, but the very fact that you are working toward becoming a better you is definitely worth celebrating.
There are days when we give to everyone but ourselves. It can be a challenge to find the time to honor the dedication we have put forth toward something meaningful because we are so busy trying to meet our goals and take care of the necessities. It is easy to lose focus on the journey while we laser in on the outcome. This practice of noting your accomplishments, writing them down, and keeping them in a visible place will be a wonderful gift to yourself. Your living list will serve as a reminder of how wonderful you are, how hard you work and how much you have actually grown throughout the year.
Be sure to keep that in your line of sight as we approach 2017 and keep up the great work!