At the beginning of each new year, we create a list of resolutions for what we want to create and who we want to become (most of us anyway). This is a great way to check in, reflect on our lives and refocus our energy. It’s something I do every year, but whether we realize it or not, we tend to focus on the negative aspects of our lives; what we haven’t yet done, who we haven’t yet become.
All the amazing things we’ve accomplished and created certainly deserve some recognition as well. And not just a quick pat on the back but a real appreciation, something we can reflect on for years to come.
So this year, I’ve decided to document all my wins with a 2013 Epicness List, an inventory of all the things I did right, all the things I accomplished and all the experiences I had that were epic.
This concept evolved from a chapter I read in Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles“, chapter 26 “Acknowledge Your Positive Past” where he recommends keeping a Victory Log, a written record of your successes. He explains:
By recalling and writing down your successes each day, you log them into your long term memory, which enhances your self-esteem and builds self-confidence.
The purpose of this journal is to give you the right dose of encouragement and become your own cheerleader in life, especially before a challenging or nerve racking situation, ie: a big board meeting, a new client pitch or anything that might have you questioning your ability to succeed.
While I always loved this idea, I never did it. It’s just not that practical to have a journal with you at all times or keep a running list of every amazing thing that happens. So, I decided to modify it and make it an annual practice; something that is logged in a web-based system that I can access anytime I want and can reflect on year after year.
As with any exercise, a guideline of some sort is helpful so I put this together for anyone who wants to start this as an annual practice.
Because we need different kinds of encouragement and reflection at different times in our lives, I would recommend breaking up your list into categories. Here are some suggestions:
Professional/Business: What have you achieved this year in terms of your professional goals? What new habits have you implemented in your life that will help boost your career or professional life? Have you made a change in your career goals? Even making a new decision is worth acknowledging (since this is how all change manifests).
Relationships: Think about the time you’ve committed to relationships that matter to you. Can you recall a few times you went out of your way to help others (friends, family or strangers)? Maybe think about a time when you really listened or gave a piece of advice that you know made a difference in someone’s life. This is a place to list anything that reinforces your commitment to healthy relationships and communication with others.