I attended a women's entrepreneur event recently and met a young lady who was experiencing the most remarkable things. She planned to complete her MBA within a month, had just published a children's book, created an interactive companion app for the book, and was on a mini marketing tour for PR. As I sat next to her in an adjacent booth stuffing bags for the event patrons, I launched into interview mode for the next 15 minutes. The more we talked, the more I became impressed with her humbleness as she described what she had accomplished and the plan she was starting to work on. During the conversation I complimented her achievements, and as she downplayed the magnitude of being a newly published author, I realized that she, like most of us, don't stop to appreciate our wins that got us here.
Take Time To Celebrate Your Wins - Big And Small!
As you look back over your life surveying your accomplishments, did you stop to celebrate and appreciate your achievements as they occurred? The saying "stop and smell the flowers" is as relevant now as ever and should be the sign hanging on your mirror, refrigerator, vision board, or where ever you look to get instant inspiration. I, too, have fallen victim to looking forward to "the next thing" that I rarely gave me time to revel in what ambition and drive allowed me capture as part of a growing portfolio. There are certain things we should do to fully engage in the process of achieving our goals and now is a great time to assess how we can enhance the journey.
First, focusing on just the destination, and not stopping to celebrate once you arrive, can be a symptom of a bigger issue. This is when self-awareness becomes really important, and if you are not, I encourage you to start using situations like this to understand who you are. Learning about you while you are going through the peaks and valleys can help insulate you against what any naysayers or negative thoughts may try to tell you.
Second, so what the journey is challenging on the way to the destination? Don't get discouraged or let discomfort rob you of realizing the lesson and who you are becoming as a result. The ability to be cognizant and appreciative of the obstacles you are overcoming along the way is an indication of growth and resilience. You will miss this value in the process if your only focus is rushing towards the destination.
In 2015, consider what you can do different to enhance your journey while working towards your goals:
I see accomplishments as a tool to drive you to your greatest you. The mere fact that you have set a goal and accomplished it is evidence of your potential and desire to grow. What is not embraced is the friction, uncertainty, awkwardness, or uncomfortable feelings we experience as we go through the necessary changes to reach a new level. Grappling with the resistance in the process to realize the benefit is the very essence of what it means to be "accomplished", "an overcomer", or "a success".
Analyzing and learning more about you during the journey makes the accomplishment even sweeter in the end. Reflecting on what you made happen and sharing your unique story of triumph can fuel you on to create new goals. Even more, your behavior becomes a model and encourages others to pursue and accomplish their goals too, and that is the definition of a real influencer.
Start 2015 with a different approach to accomplishing your goals. Celebrate your wins and reflect on lessons learned to create a richer experience for you and those around you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stacey Rivers is the director of an executive portfolio management office at a large media company and a career advice blogger. In her day job she has responsibilities for defining, planning, and prioritizing initiatives to provide portfolio-level oversight for technology projects. After hours, she blogs regularly on her site careerbluprint.org. She has a Master of Science in Management with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, and a Bachelor of Science in Technology Management. For more career advice, ideas, and suggestions, follow her on Twitter @staceyrivers13.
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