Every year since 2017 I have kept a running list on my phone of accomplishments.
Personal and professional.
That year, my divorce was finalized and both boys were moved out and in college.
I went from being married for 22 years and having a lively house full of teenagers to a brand new life with just me and my daughter, a freshman in high school at that time.
It felt like one day I had a family and the next day it was all gone and I had to somehow from nothing create a brand new life for my daughter and me.
I was grieving. I was scared. I was full of hope. I was optimistic. I was determined. I was keeping my head above water.
Everything was a new adventure. Change was my constant companion.
All of the sudden, I had to figure out how to do stuff that I had no idea how to do.
Being a single parent to a 14 year old daughter who was suddenly an only child, also took some figuring out.
Learning how to fix stuff.
Learning how to ask for help.
Learning how to tell people about what I was going through. Hard conversations for someone who had never shared anything personal with pretty much anyone.
Work was also very challenging at that time, our company had gone through a massive reorg and had rebranded itself as a 100 year old start up and everything was new and moving so fast.
All hard life stuff. But so so good.
I probably wouldn’t look back on it so fondly had I not started to track all the little things I accomplished during that year.
Every time my team and I accomplished something at work, I added it to my list.
Learned a new skill or attended a training, added it.
If it challenged me or scared me but I did it anyway, added to the list.
If I got new tires, fixed a toilet, or painted a room added those too.
Drove 75 minutes in traffic every night after work to pick up my daughter after school, added it.
Every book I read or listened to, added.
Did something for my health and wellbeing, added it.
Every small “insignificant” thing was added.
On December 31, 2017, I looked at that list and was shocked at all I had accomplished and learned.
I could have looked at that year as one of my most difficult years ever.
But because I tracked my progress instead of my pain, I look back on it with so much love.
I have kept a list every year since.
Now my list motivates me. I am always thinking of what I can add professionally and personally.
So, on December 31, I will have a glass of wine and take out my list from 2022 and marvel at how small steps over the year led to amazing accomplishments. I will remember things I did that I forgot about. I will feel so much gratitude for the opportunities and people who played a part in making me who I am today.
And then, I will start a new list for 2023 knowing that whatever comes my way, I can handle it. (And then add it to my list.)
I hope this inspires you to do this in 2023. Future you will be so glad you did. ❤️