Like many of us, for years each New Year's, I made resolutions. Most of them lasted a day or two, and if I was really committed, maybe two weeks. And I could never understand why until I realized that resolutions are about solving problems, not about getting what you desire. So I adopted a suggestion from author and speaker Cheryl Richardson and began making a list of accomplishments for the past year on New Year's instead. Reasons to celebrate rather than reasons to chastise.
Now each year about this time, I make a list of 25 or more things I'm proud of, both big and small. Projects completed, things I tried and decided I didn't want to complete, trips I took, kindnesses I offered, contributions I made, friends I connected with or reconnected with, good things I did for my body, mind, and soul, good things I did for others. Sometimes I make two lists: a general list and a creative list for the accomplishments of my creative life.
It's wonderful to read your list to a trusted friend or two, to celebrate each other's accomplishments. And it also gives you a place to start for shaping the coming year. The second step for me now is making a list of possibilities for the new year. What would I like to see on my accomplishment list the next December?
Caution: This isn't a to-do list or a set of commitments, rather it's a list of possibilities, things I might want to explore, people I might want to deepen connection with, places I'd like to visit, projects I'd like to begin or complete.
What might be on your two lists?