How to end your year on a high

So, how was it for you?

What was your 2010 like? No doubt there was some good stuff and some not so good. How will you remember the last 365 days? I think most of us remember the bad all too well and forget all too easily the successes and good times we created.

The problem is that even significant achievements can be forgotten a few months down the line. This is because the human psyche is built to adjust to any new situation after a period of time. So if we finally get clear on the work we want to do, or we get our office tidy, or we build a website to promote our business, a few months later we barely remember what is was like beforehand when we were confused, surrounded by clutter or had no online presence at all.

End your year on a high instead with a celebration of everything you’ve achieved – with an End of Year Show & Tell.

How to create an End of Year Show & Tell

  1. Enlist a group of willing and supportive friends or colleagues to join in the Show & Tell. (Forward them this post to explain)
  2. Each of you should start thinking about what you’ve achieved over the year and make a list. Cast your net wide to find achievements – it’s not just about the fact that you won a contract or earned a certain amount, it’s also the holiday you organised, the new filing system you created in your office, or the new dish you learned to cook.
    You might also include the new behaviours and habits like stopping for proper lunch breaks, or learning to say no to extra work when you’re already busy. And it’s also new beliefs like realising that you can do work you enjoy¬†and make a living.
  3. Collect a piece of evidence to represent each achievement – a screen grab of your new website, a printout of a spreadsheet of earnings, a photo of your new tidy office, a product or report you created, or a piece of creative writing you produced.
  4. Arrange a time to meet at someone’s home for the Show & Tell.
  5. Each take an agreed period of time (eg 20 minutes) to list your achievements and show the items. You might lay them all out on the floor to get a sense of the scope of your year’s achievements or show them one at a time. You could even (as I did this year) use a programme like iPhoto to turn them into a short movie backed by a favourite piece of music.
  6. Give each other a round of applause!

You should find you feel a lot more upbeat and proud of the year just gone – and more capable and positive about the year coming up. (If someone in your group claims they haven’t had any achievements, the others should feel free to remind them of some.)

This process has an additional benefit in that it tends to set your mind on a more positive track looking for achievements over the course of the next year. Consider writing them down in a log at the end of each week, ready for 2011’s Show & Tell.

What feels like your most significant 2010 achievement to you? Leave a comment (if you’re happy to share it).

And so on to 2011…

If you’d like your 2011 list of achievements to include “Finally found my route to get paid for something I love”, take a look at the Screw Work Let’s Play Programme starting 24 January

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