Review of Step 1: What Did I Accomplish This Year?
I just finished doing this prior to writing this post, and here are some of the accomplishments I came up with:
- I strengthened and deepened my relationship with my wife
- I completed the Chicago Half Marathon
- I started newsletters for all my blogs: Personal Growth Development, Prosper with Aspergers, and Personal Success Factors.
- I launched my new blog, Prosper with Aspergers, as a self hosted blog on WordPress, and got a respectable start going.
- I connected with @lynnesoraya, and through her encouragement, started Spectrum Solutions, a personal development blog at Psychology Today, for individuals on the autism spectrum.
- Through prayer support from great friends (among them, @latarahamying), a great business partner, and a lot of hard work, we were able to successfully transition from one rental lease ending to starting a new lease with fantastic tenants, who plan to be there for two years.
- Grew the readers at Personal Success Factors from about 500 to about 750, representing a 50% increase.
- Started P90X, and am one week into it! (Intense! If you’d like to read more about a successful blogger’s experience, check out @patflynn‘s journey at Smart Passive Income Blog.
- Consistently met with my men’s Bible Study Group almost weekly at 6 am for the past year: thanks, guys, you know who you are!
- Became a contributing author to a great newsletter (free to you!) : Sharing Life Skills
- Am making good progress toward becoming a Registered Dual Diagnosis Provider (specialty in drug and alcohol counseling along with my regular counseling practice, much like @StevenAitchison)
I’m not sharing everything here, but I was sure to be generous with myself, because I do deserve every bit of hard work I put forward so far this year. Yes, I’ve struggled in the past with acknowledging my accomplishments, but Jenny Ditzler, Best Year Yet author, has helped me as I’ve completed the exercises in her book over the last few years.
Here is the key question to get rid of your baggage once and for all:
|photo credit: prison-bars by huvisian on Flickr|
“What Were My Biggest Disappointments?”
Once you have written down, reviewed, and absorbed all your accomplishments, it’s time to go to the next step in getting ready for 2011: writing down all your disappointments.
Here are some questions that may get you thinking: (from Best Year Yet chapter on disappointments)
What dreams did not come true?
What expectations were not fulfilled?
Did you want a raise? A promotion? A new job?
Did you promise to get yourself out of debt, only to get in deeper?
Were you hoping to bring a new love interest into your life?
Were you hoping for the birth of a child?
Did you lose a loved one either to a separation of death?
Did you hope to start that exercise program, but never got started? Or you got started, but stopped?
Were you hoping to go back to school?
Some thoughts regarding this process:
Oftentimes we are unwilling to pull the weeds of disappointment and failure in the garden of our lives. In the words of Ms. Ditzler, “once they’ve (the weeds of disappointment) have grown you must clear them away, so that something new can grow.”
In a post I wrote for Advanced Life Skills, I found that the research on resilient people who successfully navigated traumatic life circumstances include the ability to be rigorously truthful with themselves about the facts of what has happened. In the same way, writing out all your disappointments in black and white has a way of making it possible for you to “face the dragon” of mistakes, failures, and disappointments.
In writing down all your disappointments, you may come across certain emotions: anger, sadness, hurt, regret, powerlessness, hopelessness. Notice them, honor them, but then let them go!
Letting these emotions go is easier said than done. Especially if we feel that there are people who have contributed to those disappointments. Here is a three step process that can help you let those emotions go:
This is a subject that has filled books and books. Suffice it to say that, when you hold on to anger, hurt, bitterness, and even hatred, it’s a poison that you drink hoping it will kill the offending party. It hurts you, not the other person.
Sometimes we can never entirely forget some of the more painful episodes of the past year or years, but by writing them out, it takes some of the power they hold over us away.
In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.
– Anthony D’Angelo –
The key success factor to living life in a way that matters is to acknowledge our disappointments and learn from them. Writing them all down is the first step in learning and gaining wisdom.
Start the conversation below! I look forward to your comments and thoughts.