The Value of Reflecting on Accomplishments

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We’re all aware of the power of goal setting but did you know that reflecting on your accomplishments can be just as potent for motivation and even more importantly, your health and wellbeing? In fact, sitting down to acknowledge what I’ve achieved is one of my favorite self-care activities – there is so much zest to mined there! Just about everyone has a ‘to do’ list, the practice I would love you to consider is a ‘what went well’ list or just ‘what got done’. Too often we fritter away the energy available to us in acknowledging our achievements when we leap straight onto the next thing that needs doing. Pause, notice how far you’ve come, see the mini-milestones for the true triumphs they are, and feel how this lifts your spirits and bolsters your feeling of self-worth and personal power.

For many of us, the end of the school year provides us with a natural pause. Before your mind launches into preparing for the next chapter, take the opportunity to sit, either on your own or with your kids, and look at how far you’ve come and the ways you’ve grown. Whether the school calendar affects you or not, this is a fruitful exercise to engage in. You don’t need to wait for a time of significance. We can pause to reflect at any time and reap the benefits. While this process might not feel comfortable at first, it is worth the effort.

Think along the lines of:

  • What events have unfolded recently and how did you navigate them?
  • What have you learned about yourself and other family members, or your work, your colleagues, or about the world in general?
  • How have you grown?
  • What skills or strengths have you drawn on?
  • What’s gone well? Please let your mind sift over the big and the small stuff – they’ll accumulate and fill you with light and life.

If this feels tricky, break it down into a single day. Scan back through your day and notice what you got done, any challenges you overcame, and the strengths that you put to good use. Things don’t need to have gone well in your day to feel a sense of accomplishment! Consider what you might reflect back to a friend if they recounted the same information to you. If the notion of strengths doesn’t sit comfortably, know that there is nothing narcissistic about this concept. We all have strengths, every human has something of value to contribute. It’s not about being more special or important than anyone else, it’s about deepening your awareness of the ways in which you shine as an individual and looking for opportunities to put those strengths to good use. Reflecting on your achievements will empower you with insight into your unique skills and abilities, boosting your sense of agency and wellbeing.

Written by Suzy Reading

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