I wrote this article in 2014 and it’s still relevant now. With a new year upon us, this is a great time to review what worked, what didn’t, and try something different…enjoy.
— Stacey Young Rivers
Once when I attended a women’s entrepreneur event, I met a young lady who was experiencing the most remarkable things. She had just completed her MBA, 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 the wins that got us here.
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 my self 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 who you are 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 2019, consider what you can do different to enhance your journey while working towards your goals:
- Make a mental note or journal about your thoughts during this time. Reflect on the lessons you are learning along the way.
- Thank those who encourage and support you now, not later. People don’t know the value of their actions unless you tell them.
- As you learn, share your lessons with someone else to encourage them while you are going through your process. This alone can give you a sense of purpose and make the journey enjoyable.
- Be threatened or feel apprehensive about others who may reach their goals before you. We are all on different paths and your time will come to claim your success.
- Dismiss how you are feeling, positive or negative. It is strategic to understand the “why” behind your feelings and embrace change.
- Minimize what you have done to get to where you are. Have a healthy balance of humbleness and confidence. Talk positively and candidly about yourself, opening the door to help others who may be in a difficult place.
I see accomplishments as a tool to drive you to your greatest you. The mere fact that you 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 part of the process. What we are not aware of is that this is the very essence of what it means to be “accomplished”, “an overcomer”, or “a success” because you grappled with the resistance in the process to realize the benefit.
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.
Take time in 2019 to think different about your approach for accomplishing your goals. Celebrate your wins and reflect on lessons learned to create a richer experience for you and those around you.
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LinkedIn or IG: Stacey Young Rivers and @staceyrivers2023