New Year’s Challenge: The Opposite of a Resolution

February 2, 2015

Instead of thinking of all the things you could do better this year, think of all the things you did right in 2014! Sometimes we focus so much on the things we didn’t do that we forget to honor and celebrate the progress we have made.

In triathlons or swimming we get instant feedback upon completion of the race in the form of a time or a place. Then we have an awards ceremony that could be perceived as a waste of time and resources. However, every triathlete, coach, swimmer, and parent knows how important those awards ceremonies are. It’s not enough just to do something. It is important that it be recognized and honored. The prize isn’t what matters. It’s not a reward, it’s simply an award. The valuable part is taking the time to make it important.

Of course, everyday life is very rarely like that. We don’t usually get instant feedback about our performance or have a designated time and place to honor that performance. But maybe we should? What if your family had an award ceremony and your son or daughter gave you a gold medal for being a wonderful cook who always keeps them nourished and satisfied. How would you feel about cooking for them? I bet you might be excited to do an even better job for them! How can you do this for others in your life?

We all have ways of earning our own gold medal in our own way. It doesn’t have to be on the world’s stage. What was your gold medal moment this past year? What are you most proud of? I want to thank my incredible public speaking coach, Naomi Rhode, for helping me see the importance of this practice and to do it for myself.

Here are the five things I am most proud of in 2014. Just for the record, I did not get a medal for any of them. However, I gained a different and better outlook on 2015 when I took the time to acknowledge them. I am no longer looking at 2015 worried or scared about what I won’t be able to do, but rather excited about what I actually am going to do!

  1. Improving my corporate speech significantly
  2. Giving my speech in Spanish for the first time
  3. Writing these newsletters
  4. Getting my new website up
  5. Balancing my life better to have more time for friends

OK, I have to go for 10, because I keep thinking of more. When you do this exercise, I am certain you will be pleasantly surprised to realize how much you did that you are proud of last year.

  1. Throwing a successful retirement party for my mom
  2. Giving 25 swim clinics to inspire and teach swimmers
  3. Coaching over 1,000 swim lessons
  4. Hosting Thanksgiving for the first time
  5. Not feeling guilty about saying no when it’s appropriate

Take time to create your list of gold medal moments.