“OMG! I didn’t do ANYTHING last year! I have a list a mile long of projects and plans and I didn’t do A SINGLE THING!!!”
Sound familiar? Or does it sound like someone near and dear to you?
A while back, Barbara had a similar tape running in her head when it came to the end of the year, and she had to write up her “accomplishments” for her performance review. A wise person struck up a conversation with her that went something like this:
Barbara: “I don’t think I came anywhere near accomplishing what I should have last year.”
WP: “Oh, really? Were you sober all year? Barbara: “Well, yes.”
WP: “And were you drug-free?”
Barbara: “Yes! Of course!”
WP: “And how about your kids? Were they sober and drug-free too?”
Barbara: (becoming suspicious about this line of questioning) “Yes.”
WP: “Are you in debt?”
WP: “Are you in good standing in your job?” Barbara: “I think so.”
WP: “And do you have friends and family that you are close to?”
WP: “Then what makes you think you haven’t accomplished enough? Stop a moment and think about the amount of effort it takes to live an entire year in the way you have just described.”
And thus began Barbara’s learning and teaching about the art of accomplishments accounting.
Every year, Barbara offers a free workshop to take a look at a better perspective on accomplishments. It’s coming soon and we will make sure you know about it ahead of time right here on our blog, on our Facebook page, and in our email subscription.
Once we started our wish practice, we realized the value of this “accomplishments accounting”. One great example is being able to write a list of your heart’s desires. That, in itself, is a huge accomplishment! We also realized how yearly accomplishments accounting contributes to our wish practice.
The key to this art of accomplishments accounting is to be comprehensive from the start. Include anything that might be an accomplishment, no matter how small or how loudly that voice in your head says, “That’s no big deal!” Write it down anyway. You’ll see why it matters.
Many of us already have a plan we created at the beginning of the year for what we hoped to accomplish. Some of these are created for work while others are created for everyday living, but it doesn’t matter! Include those plans and take into account how much you have accomplished in them throughout the year.
If you are stuck trying to remember what you did across all twelve months of the year, you can use one of our two favorite methods: the calendar method, the “Whole Life Grid” method (which is based on Susan Jeffers’ work in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway), or both!
The calendar method is as simple as looking back over your calendar for meetings, appointments, reminders, and other notes that are keys to accomplishments. The “Whole Life Grid” method uses a chart with nine (or more) aspects of life to jog your memories. Suggested aspects include relationships, work, contributions, creativity, finances, health, family, education, spirituality, or any category that resonates better with you.
Here’s an example.
Thinking about your relationships, did you maintain healthy friendships across the year? If so, that’s a huge accomplishment; especially in this socially fractured world in which we are living in at the moment.
For those with work requirements, this list is input into annual performance reporting. For everyone, being able to look back over a year of challenges and savor what we accomplished - which is usually more than we initially thought - supports our overall well-being and prepares us to launch into the future…or at least the upcoming year.
That is where we connect to our wish practice. Looking at our plans and our accomplishments gives us guidance into what we want more of in our lives, which then informs our wish list. In this blog post, we’ve only scratched the surface of accomplishments accounting and creating wish lists. There is also a gratitude practice, where we cherish and celebrate all that we have.
We hope you will join us at our upcoming workshops on gratitude, accomplishments and wishes. In the meantime, …
Peace and All Good,
Margie and Barbara
The Wish Mavens
The photo featured in this post was taken by (and is copyrighted by) Margaret A. Herrick.