You made it! And if you find yourself doubting that or being tough on yourself because you feel like you fell short in certain areas or aren’t measuring up to people around you then let me be the first to say, don’t. Too often, we approach our personal and professional development as a process of identifying everything we feel we’ve done wrong. This year, I challenge you to focus on your victories instead of your shortcomings – the experiences, big and small, that propel you forward, teach you valuable lessons and ultimately shape you into the person you’re becoming. So as you prepare for the new year, give yourself a pat on the back for making progress against any of these major milestones:
1. You took control of your career
You grew tired of passively allowing things to happen to you and took an active role in shaping your career. You verbalized your career aspirations to your manager and created action plans for reaching your next career milestone. You documented your accomplishments at work and leveraged them to request a raise or promotion. You began operating in the mentality of your next role by dressing and acting the part. You didn’t wait until a performance review to ask for feedback and removed yourself from situations with no growth mobility; that’s worth celebrating.
2. You invested in yourself
You prioritized your growth and development. You took a class, enrolled in school, attended a webinar, read books, participated in a training, learned a new skill, shadowed a professional you admire, researched new job opportunities and industries and approached learning as an integral part of your everyday life. You know more today than you did yesterday; that’s worth celebrating.
3. You expanded your network
You stepped outside your comfort zone and made new connections. You asked for an informational interview, set up lunch or coffee, sent an email, exchanged business cards, attended a networking event, volunteer activity or conference. You joined new organizations and deepened relationships you already have by following up with existing contacts. You made connections that you’ll continue to maintain; that’s worth celebrating.
4. You managed your finances
You stopped dodging the debts of your past and began getting your financial house in order. You created a plan for tackling and prioritizing your debt, you contributed to your savings, investment and retirement accounts and learned how to say no to impulse spending. You looked up your credit scores and worked on lowering your credit card utilization. You created a budget and exerted discipline when it came to your finances; that’s worth celebrating.
5. You prioritized your health and wellness
You took care of your mental, physical and spiritual wellness by adopting a healthier lifestyle. You created boundaries around work and personal time and treated yourself with more love, kindness and attentiveness this year. You sought professional help when necessary and nourished your mind, took breaks and permitted yourself time to be still and reflect on the past in order to move forward positively in the future; that’s worth celebrating.
6. You took a risk
Uninterested in remaining complacent or playing it safe – you took a chance on something new this year. It may have worked out, you may have failed miserably but you took a chance and ventured into the unknown; that’s worth celebrating.
7. You embarked on a new adventure
You traveled to a new destination, explored a different culture and immersed yourself in a new environment resulting in an expanded world view. You regularly found ways to inject fresh energy to your work and diverse perspectives to your projects and continue to embrace your curiosity to learn new things; that’s worth celebrating.
8. You started something
Ideas come a dime a dozen, but you took an idea and actually made it happen. You conquered self-doubt, fear and those internal an external voices that belittled your ideas and went for it anyway. You may not have completely brought the idea to fruition yet, you might still have a long way to go, but you took the first step and started; that’s worth celebrating.
9. You got rid of the junk
You said goodbye to jobs, friendships, relationships and habits that were holding you back from reaching your full potential. You got rid of the clutter that was distracting you from your purpose. You literally tidied up the spaces around you and created environments that are peaceful and conducive to getting work done. You unfollowed social media accounts and public figures that were polluting your thoughts and replaced them with uplifting and motivating accounts. You realized that every single person in your circle is either contributing to your mission or distracting you from it and acted accordingly; that’s worth celebrating.
10. You learned from your mistakes
You forgave yourself for your mistakes and recognized that every experience is a lesson learned. You chose to rise above your setbacks and didn’t quit when things didn’t happen the way you wanted them to. You built upon your experiences instead of allowing them to break you down. When you did break down, you allowed yourself time and space to do so, but got back up. You’ve learned that you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react; that’s worth celebrating.
This New Year, resolve to continue improving and expanding upon your achievements of years past. After all, you’re not starting from scratch and are already well on your way to another incredible year. Happy New Year!