Who doesn’t love the feeling of winning, or accomplishment, or satisfaction? I sure love those feelings, and I’m sure you do too! 2017 was a pretty incredible year for me both personally and professionally. It’s important to take time to recognize all the good in our lives. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on accomplishments, and daily gratitude and appreciation exercises increase happiness and can have impact on future successes. I use a Daily Greatness Journal to help with my gratitude exercises as well as planning my days and reflecting each night on what went well. These practices help me stay both grounded and hopeful. Even on days when I struggle with frustration, intense stress, or failure, there is something to end on a positive note, even if it is only that “tomorrow is another day,” according to Scarlett O’Hara. In this post, I’ll take a look at my accomplishments, the lessons I’ve learned that are worth sharing with you, and what I think is next in that area.
The “Accomplishment”: I walked down the aisle in a white dress and married my now husband! This was an exercise in project management, planning an expensive celebration of the love of my husband and I. It was an unforgettable day surrounded by amazing family and the best friends (and included a hoppin dance floor!).
Lessons Learned: Managing budgets, schedule, and vendors. And that managing family and personal expectations about events that are deeply emotional are extremely different from straight up project management.
What’s Next?: Hopefully decades upon decades of happiness! In a few weeks, on our one year anniversary, I’ll write a post on how I think marriage impacts our careers, based on my experience thus far. I’m sure this will change over time as life rewards us and challenges us in different ways.
The “Accomplishment”: This year I not only went to my first foreign country, but to TWO foreign countries. My honeymoon was in Costa Rica and my husband and I finally took a long-anticipated trip to Ireland in November.
Lessons Learned: The world is small, yes expansive. While we all have much in common, each corner of the world is special and unique. It is a privilege to travel, no matter where we get to go and how we get there. It is important to try new things, even if just to know they are not a good fit.
What’s Next?: I’m going to be lucky to spend some time in DC with my friends, celebrating the wedding of of one of my husband’s best friends in SoCal, visiting my sister in Indiana and my brother and sister-in-law in Baltimore, attend Alpha Gamma Delta convention in Texas, and maybe take a few days down on Cape Cod during the summer. There is much to explore in the US and the world – maybe I even make it up to Canada this year to see Lake Louise or Quebec City!
The “Accomplishment”: All of my projects at work have received a level of success during the year. The teams gelled and performed in amazing ways, always looking for continuous improvement and keeping the promises we make to residents. We’re meeting the goals we set out to achieve and having fun doing it! It wasn’t all fun, though. I had to learn to raise my hand and ask for help with managing the multiple projects when too much was happening at once. It was something I wish I did sooner and wish I was more open about the difficulties faced earlier in the process.
Lessons Learned: Nothing is worth achieving or has been achieved at a high level without significant collaboration. It takes a combination of experience and novice to see things in new ways. Managing difficult conversations is a key personal development opportunity. Speak up, be honest, ask for help, and learn to delegate better.
What’s Next?: More successes on more projects! 2018 is bringing a new set of opportunities, new teams to work with, and existing teams to smash new goals alongside. I’ll get to try new types of projects and learn new skills. And, I’ll be better set up in asking for what I need now that I know my limits.
The “Accomplishment”: In February 2017, I “opened the doors” to my official platform presence on the internet via this website and blog. It was a leap of faith and is constantly a work in progress.
Lessons Learned: Be more thoughtful about what I want to say, and how I say it. Putting myself out there and being more vulnerable publicly. Practice writing and thinking more about the intended audience than me. Connection is key.
What’s Next?: The goal next year is to write at least 50 blog posts – so you will start hearing from me on a more regular basis! I hope that you’ll take a part in sharing in the creation and discussion of what is interesting and worth sharing. I’d love to hear more from you.
There is much to be thankful for and much that remains to be accomplished. Hopefully you are inspired to look back at your own life. Find the victories that you gained along the way – it may not be something as monumental as getting married or starting a website, but maybe you started writing that book you’ve been meaning to, or organized a closet, or developed a new routine that has brought peace to your life. Break free of the winter blues, and reflect on your own talents and abilities and accomplishments. Celebrate all that makes you a better you this year!
What is it you are proud of or makes you happy that you did this year? What are the lessons you learned and where will you go next?