End of year is a traditional time to review the last twelve months and prepare for the next. But how many of us get so caught up in making New Year’s Resolutions – usually based on regrets and disappointments – and fail to focus on the successes? In my experience, it’s the majority. So, let’s pause for a moment and consider the benefits of review and celebration; the type that goes beyond a glass of champagne and well deserved “cheers!”
When was the last time you luxuriated in a team discussion of the project that went so very well? Highlighting the contribution Simon made, that funny incident when Martin got locked in the loo, the time when Sue saved the day with spare batteries in her bag for the remote control….. Telling stories and reminiscing is an essential part of review and celebration. It’s one of the reasons we love to look at photos to embellish our memories.
Another essential is praise – beyond a pat on the back for a job well done, this is specific and meaningful, like this: “Luke, I want to acknowledge the exceptional contribution you made to our team’s success with your attention to detail in the report on xyz; without that the client wouldn’t have been persuaded to choose us. Thank you, you did a great job for us.” And if this is not about a team effort but self-praise, jot down a few of the things you’d like a mentor to say to you about what you did. Better still, write a letter to yourself, put it in a stamped envelope with your home address and ask someone reliable to mail it to you on a specific date two or three months hence. What a lovely surprise!
You know when you’ve been successful in your review and celebration when:
1. The world looks different afterward
2. You feel noticed, honoured and proud
3. You’ve gone up in your own estimation, and that of others
4. You feel inspired to take on greater challenges
5. Others feel inspired too
6. A platform for the future is established, creating even great achievement
7. Everyone can believe in success breeding success
What do you want to celebrate about 2012?