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December 29, 2013

Reward yourself for everything you HAVE achieved this year!

After all the retail hype, TV advertising, munching multiple mince pies….Christmas is over for another year.  I know that for many Christmas is a tricky time, often an ordeal to be got through rather than enjoyed.  I do however hope that over the festive period (which we’re still in), you find a little time to relax, to call your own, time to recharge your batteries and re-group for the year ahead. The week between Christmas and New Year can be great for “down time”, and as many of us set our New Year Resolutions – which I prefer to call “goals”, it’s the perfect time to not only plan for the coming year – both personally and professionally – but also to reflect and congratulate yourself for what you have achieved THIS year!

So often we beat ourselves up about what we haven’t done, should have done, still have to do.  How often have you stopped to acknowledge what you HAVE done?

Before Christmas I started to coach a new client – well, a new but old client if that makes sense.  I worked with her earlier in the year and she returned for further re-grouping and focus.  A great place for us to start was to review the very considerable progress she had made in the intervening period – my coaching notes from our earlier work together enabled me to remind my client of her exact goals 8 months earlier and reflect back to her her own words from that time – her values, beliefs, motivation, hopes, fears, strengths and so on. I could then quite easily point out to her just how much she had moved forwards, grown as a person, tackled issues she had not thought able to tackle 8 months ago.  Progress can be tangible, objective, but equally it can often be more subtle, hidden, and can take someone like a life coach to unearth them and bring them to that person’s attention.  When one can’t see the wood for the trees this progress is overlooked, brushed over, our judgement can become clouded, over critical – and it’s so important to acknowledge all progress!  Why does this happen?  Why do we let it happen?!

Our progress, our actions taken can be overlooked I think because it’s such a fast paced world we live in – we’re always rushing, looking forwards to what still needs to be done, or looking for problems which may stymy us before they have even appeared on the horizon.   The wealth of experience we build up over the years, Life, can lead to cynicism, tainting our view not only of the world we live in, but also of ourselves.

Ask yourself this, would you talk to your partner, your children, your friends, the way you talk to yourself?  Would you remind them, over and over again, of all that they HAVEN’T done, rather than gee them up for what they HAVE achieved?  I think not!  And it’s no different when you talk to yourself.  OK, so you may not have done or completed everything on your list,  but there may well be good reasons for that – perhaps a goal wasn’t as important as you thought it was, or a new priority came along.  If you continue to kick yourself in the teeth, firstly – who needs enemies – and secondly – why bother to try and move forwards at all?  And you will only have yourself to blame, harsh as that may sound!

Why is it so important to reward oneself for each step achieved along the way – even if there is still much to be done?

  • It gives one a “phew, I’ve been more productive than I thought I’d been”
  • a “well done me” (always good to be one’s own chief cheer leader)
  • a can do attitude
  • increases confidence, self esteem, self respect
  • increased focus, direction
  • increased sense of control over one’s own destiny
  • greater flexibility and ability to deal with change
  • reduced stress
  • increased energy
  • increases motivation, desire to succeed, reinforces forward momentum
  • increased desire to set -and achieve – new goals!

What’s not to like?!

So, as we edge forwards to 2014, I urge you to acknowledge and reward yourself for what you have achieved during 2013 – the obvious and the more hidden achievements – and use this to your advantage as you plan for the year ahead……

“Don’t wait until everything is just right.  It will never be perfect.  There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.  So what.  Get started now.  With each step you take you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self confident, and more and more successful” (Mark Victor Hansen).

Wishing you and yours a peaceful, fulfilling, productive and prosperous 2014, full of opportunities ripe for the taking….



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