Before Setting Goals: Acknowledge Accomplishments

Before Setting Goals: Acknowledge Accomplishments

The beginning of the year is always a great time to take stock of the past year and come up with some new goals, or re-emphasis of existing goals. Sometimes this process can feel like a pointless endeavor, because we can become some hung up on feeling that not all goals were accomplished, so why bother.

I have definitely felt this way from time to time. So I wanted to share a technique introduced to me by Jayne Johnson ( in her goal?s?workshop. But which many other leaders and teachers espouse and practice as well.

This is a simple technique. But let me say that the first time I did it, and then read my list allowed to someone else, I cried. I cried because for me, I never really stopped and celebrated the wins along the way. And I was overwhelmed by just how much I had accomplished in the previous year, which up until that point I had not given myself credit for.

This year I did this process with my boyfriend – and we both found it to be very freeing. As we began to feel less beat up about not accomplishing everything that was on our list – and realized we had accomplished quite a bit together and separately to be proud of. And afterward, we were both much more willing and receptive to reviewing and modifying upcoming goals for the year, with a renewed sense of ability to achieve.

So here it is:
Take a few pieces of paper and give yourself 5 minutes to write down everything you have accomplished in the past 12 months. Then, when you are done, share that list with a friend – read it out loud to them. If you don?t feel comfortable with this last step, then read it to yourself out loud in the mirror. But if at all possible, find a supportive friend and do this process together.

Sometimes when we get so focused on what we still have to accomplish, we can get hung up on the NOT. This processes helps us remember and recognize what has been accomplished, thereby renewing faith in the ability to accomplish more.

Let me know what you think. Do you do this or a similar practice every year? If you are doing it for the first time, what did you discover?

For more on goals see Why Set Goals?