Work Life Balance

Proud of You! Recognizing Your Accomplishments During Difficult Times

We talk a lot about stress and frustrating aspects about this work or school because it’s important to dissect that and figure out solutions. We’ve also all gone through two really tough years that includes loss in different areas of life. I know it’s easy to end this year by just steeling ourselves for whatever’s to come but I think that would be a slight disservice to ourselves. Instead, I want us to wind down the year recognizing all the great things we accomplished.

Ok, caveat, I’m the last person to lean into posi vibes only–I literally wince when we have to do calming techniques or centering exercises during workshops or conferences. I literally hate it lol  I also stopped journaling because it quickly spiraled into me just listing all my grievances for the day and that didn’t seem healthy–so I get the instinct of just writing this year off and hoping next is a bit better.

But there is value in recognizing our accomplishments in both our personal and professional life and I find the end of the year to be a good time to celebrate those big and small achievements.

Taking stock of what you’ve done (or could do better) helps you see progress–it helps you recognize whether you’re on track to achieve whatever long-term goals you’ve set for yourself or identify if those goals are no longer right for you.

The way I track things at the end of the year include:

  1. Updating my resume with any major accomplishments so that it’s ready to share at a moment’s notice. This also means updating LinkedIn with those accomplishments. And while you’re at it, turn on the open to new opportunity tab because why not let the great resignation work for you?
  2. I take some time to really think about my long-term goals and whether or not I got closer to them. This can be really tough because the growth for this can seem small–or feel stagnant–but it’s important for you to see your progress. OR–the hard part–come to terms with why you’re not prioritizing this goal. Sometimes it’s not for a lack of wanting but rather other life circumstances that get in the way and in those situations you want to figure out if and how you can make changes.
  3. Finally, I’m making sure I celebrate others who have either helped me advance my goals or just people in my life that need to be celebrated for their own achievements!

See? Simple! Maybe a little boring for some so if you want to throw in a moon bath or whatever, go for it! The point is to purposefully take time to recognize what you’ve been through, what you accomplished, and if your goals are really working for you. I encourage you to do this because it can be so easy to get lost in practice–you just put one foot in front of the other and one day you’ve been a lawyer for 5+ years and don’t have direction or know what you want to do. Not to mention how “work” can take over the “life” part of the work life balance if we’re not careful.

So tell me, even in the cruddiest of years, what was your favorite accomplishment?