The great thing about being connected to a bunch of clients and students is that I notice patterns. It seems like every week has a theme. This week's theme is making note of accomplishments so you can feel good about what you have done. I wrote about this in my newsletter several years ago. Here's the article, with a challenge to take time to record your progress so you can build confidence.
Imagine getting a glass of water and as you fill it, water leaks out of holes in the glass. How much more effort would it take to quench your thirst and fill your belly than if you had a glass that is intact?
A similar leakage happens when we do not take the time to fill our own well with acknowledgment of our progress. As we make our way toward completion of our goals, whether it is writing a book, building a web site, or raising a healthy child, we may forget to pause along the way and refresh ourselves with acknowledgments.
What difference does this kind of pause make in our success? More than you would imagine. Most of us are accustomed to being hard on ourselves, noticing how we could have done more. By stopping to reflect on what we have done, we are better able to absorb the learning of our work. We see what we are capable of and are thus ready for the next step. If we do not do this regularly, we risk having a constant thirst for more. We burn ourselves out because we can get caught in a cycle of never getting there. The pause in the journey is encouraging, empowering and fuels us for more.
Acknowledging my clients for what they do and who they are is one of the best parts of my job. I get to see people's intention gel into action. When I recognize them for what they did and who they were being as they did it, they often are surprised to hear it and would not have noticed the accomplishment by themselves.
I invite clients to practice acknowledgment by keeping a log of weekly actions. As the week progresses, or at the end of the week, they take time to write down what they accomplished. I do this myself and have been amazed at how helpful this simple tool can be. When we go for large goals, it is vital that we note the landscape along the way. Often people do this by looking at their weekly to do list and noticing what they have checked off. But I find that doing a separate list, with a title like "What I accomplished this week" carries more weight than a to do list that you will then throw away.
I cannot stress enough how important this small action can be to your success. Try it for a few weeks and notice the impact.
Challenge: Stop today and notice what you have accomplished during the last week. Write down the steps you have taken, no matter how small. When you have your list complete, look at the big picture. What qualities or skills did you use to accomplish these tasks? What reward will you give yourself for coming this far?