The end of the year is always a time of reflection and contemplation for me. I look back (with gratitude) at ALL that happened his year – what went well and what didn’t, what happened and what didn’t, what I accomplished and what I didn’t. I think about what I want to continue doing in the coming year, and what I want to do differently. Most importantly, I decide how I want to BE.
It is part of being a ‘deliberate creator’ (creating a life and business that you love).
It is why every year (since I learned it was possible) my life gets better. It is not by chance that my life and business are the way they are right now. It has been a deliberate process. A challenging process. At times a painful process. But mostly a joyful one.
While doing my end of year ritual a few weeks ago, looking back at all I had accomplished and created this year, I noticed that, along with the deep gratitude and sense of accomplishment, I was feeling a lot of fear.
As I contemplated my goals for next year, fearful thoughts ran rampant through my mind: “Can I sustain this level of growth?… How can I get to the next level without burning out?… If I feel this tired right now, will I have the energy to get to the next level?… Will it be worth it?”.
Hmmmmm. I checked in with myself and what I realized was…. I felt tired. I did A LOT this year. Stretched myself consistently. Took big risks. Invested in myself big time. Instead of feeling like celebrating, all I could feel was …. Tired. I wanted to go on vacation. I needed a break. Can you relate?
So many entrepreneurs feel this way at the end of the year. You’re just too damn tired to even celebrate. You’ve made it to the finish line. The holidays for you are a chance to do nothing. Zip. Nada. You dream of lolling around in bed and maybe, just maybe, reading that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for months.
Maybe you’re like my client who was ‘bracing’ for the holidays because she “just knows she is going to come out the other side more exhausted than ever” with all the obligatory parties to attend and a house full of visiting family. (We quickly shifted her mindset so she could create a different experience this time around).
It’s easy to feel conflicted and get caught up on other people’s agenda’s – especially that of your loved one’s.
Part of the conflict is that you DO want to spend time with your family and friends. The holiday season is all about celebration. Just make sure that you identify a way to celebrate YOUR accomplishments this year – in a way that is meaningful to YOU – and put it on the agenda as well. (Remember the old saying: “If you don’t have your own agenda, you’ll get caught up in someone else’s”.)
Is this you?
You’ve accomplished your goals and you don’t take the time to celebrate. OR, the reward you do give yourself is so small (i.e. something you do all the time so is not really “special”) that it does not validate the effort that you put into achieving the goal.
Many of us are unconsciously modeling a habit of depriving ourselves. Part of a legacy handed down from a different era – one where lack was real or a woman’s only job was to cook, clean and mind the children. I, and so many of my clients, have had to unlearn a pattern of downplaying our accomplishments (aka being humble) so that (God forbid) you won’t be perceived as “showing off” or “bragging”.
This kind of subtle conditioning is exactly why you may not take the time to even look back at your accomplishments this year. It’s how you hit a goal without even realizing you have. You are so busy with your head down ‘doing the work’ that you crossed the finish line and didn’t even realize it!
Why is this a problem?
Because next time – next year – when you need your body, mind and spirit to get on board to make your next big dream a reality, it will be hard to get them on board. They may even “go on strike”. This often looks like, lack of enthusiasm, feeling unmotivated or uninspired; chronic lack of energy; self sabotage; procrastination, overwhelm, confusion… sound familiar?
Have you ever worked your butt off and felt your efforts were not appreciated? Or felt used by someone. They only want you around when they need you but don’t include you in the fun? It’s hard to get excited about helping next time they ask for help right?
It’s hard to keep giving maximum effort for minimal reward. It’s the law of diminishing returns – A concept in economics that if one factor of production (number of workers, for example) is increased while other factors (machines and workspace, for example) are held constant, the output per unit of the variable factor will eventually diminish.
In everyday experience, this law is expressed as “the gain is not worth the pain.”
Eureka! (The Solution)
I sat down and came up with a reward that was both meaningful to me and worthy of my accomplishments this year (a trip to London for myself, my husband and our youngest son to spend Christmas with my oldest son) every cell in my body lit up! I finally felt the excitement. The weariness I had been feeling went away completely!
So my question for you today is this: Are you celebrating your accomplishments along the way? AND… Are your rewards on par with the effort you expended to achieve your goal?
Check in and find something that’s meaningful to you – maybe something you’ve been wanting to do or have but haven’t – then give yourself permission to do it or have it. Your success in 2016 depends on it!