Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”
Here we are again, looking squarely at the end of another calendar year and looking up at the coming of a new year. Wow! Where did the time go? No really, where did the time go? Over the next few weeks, your organization and inbox are going to be filled with talk about goals for the new year and how to make 2013 the “best ever”. I always chuckle at these titles, as if each year is competing against other years to be “THE BEST YEAR”. I now present the award for best year ever to- (insert year here). Of course, I am definitely for setting goals and believe that writing down your goals and telling people your goals are critical steps in moving towards reaching them. Certainly in a few weeks I will be sending out a new article about goals to you as well. So before I set myself up to look like the biggest goal hypocrite ever, I will get to my intention of this article.
We often skip a step when we set goals. This step skipping can be harmful to our future success and to our overall health and energy for leadership. That all important missed step is taking time for appreciation. Without appreciation for what we have achieved and overcome, our lives can become like one long drum solo- exciting at times and enjoyable along the way but without pause or any true distinction of key moments. We must pause and pay attention to the details in order to notice what we are doing and to be able to learn from what we’ve done. This appreciation also includes acknowledging those that have helped and supported us along the way.
Over the next week, or even right now, take some time to reflect on your year. Take a piece of paper and write 2012 on the top of it. Then start filling the paper with all of the things that you’ve accomplished. What did you do? What did you overcome to do it? Who helped you along the way? Don’t censor!! Write everything! Pay attention to detail. We sometimes skip the details and dismiss them as unimportant. It can be the little things that make the biggest difference. Fill the page, or two or FIVE! No matter how small the achievement, write it down and notice all the work that you’ve done and gifts that you have received. It may be hard at first, but stick with it. It will get easier.
Now once you’ve completed this task, take the time to take in all that you’ve done and overcome. Note who helped you along the way. Thank them! Notice the strengths and talents that you called upon so you can summon them again. Then celebrate you! It’s been quite a year. I know from talking with so many of you that you’ve overcome some big challenges and accomplished amazing achievements. Take the time to own it. Take it in. Mark this time. THEN, you will see just where the time did go. Acknowledge it. Appreciate it. Celebrate it!
The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them. “
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
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Larysa Slobodian MA, L4 Leadership
This article is dedicated to my great mentor and dear friend Frank Sessa. Your lessons live on! Thank you for everything.