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New Years Achievements
August 29, 2019 Mother 4 comments

'As women we need to learn that celebrating our own achievements is not just OK , The dawn of a new year brings with it the hope of renewal.

You’ve probably seen the lists.

On Twitter, or Instagram or Facebook – people are posting lengthy lists of everything they have achieved in 2018. There are photos, links to work, and usually a deep, meaningful message about what these achievements mean to them.

Be it personal – an engagement, baby, buying a house – or professional – publishing a book, landing their dream job, every article they have written over the last 12 months – people are desperate to share their highlights and present a perfect package of curated, annual success.

It’s classic social media behaviour and it’s natural if your first instinct is to recoil from it.

We want to roll our eyes at the sheer brazenness of the boasting. These aren’t humble-brags, these are brag-brags – and it’s everything we hate about social media.

After the first of these end-of-year lists were posted, it wasn’t long before the snarky, derisive backlash began.



But why are we so averse to people sharing good news? Is it the deeply ingrained British sense of self-deprecation that dictates our behaviour? Or does it come from a place of jealousy, comparison and insecurity?

Surely we should be able to celebrate other people’s successes, and our own.

We were taught as children that boasting is bad, that no one likes a show off. Perhaps we’ve internalised that school of thought to an unhealthy degree.

So instead of rolling our eyes, we should be applauding these lists.

When so much of life is about struggle and hardship, we absolutely should take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for what we have achieved.

Surely you’d prefer open, honest discussion about things that we’re proud of, over the snivelling, insidiousness of humble-bragging. If you’ve achieved something and you want the world to know, you should feel empowered to tell people about it.

This is particularly important for women.

Emma Case is a life coach who works specifically with women. She says she always encourages her clients to blow their own trumpets and celebrate themselves, because women, more than men, have been conditioned to believe they shouldn’t.

‘As women we need to learn that celebrating our own achievements is not just OK, but is absolutely necessary,’ Emma tells

‘We could all easily name three things that we did badly or “failed” at, over the year, but it’s high time that we learned to confidently articulate the things that we are great at too.



‘Change and progress often comes from a series of tiny steps combined, it isn’t always about the huge, defining moments. We could easily overlook these steps if we’re not conscious of them, which is why it’s so important to be aware of all of our successes – even the tiny things.’

It’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of only seeing the negative things, the heartbreaks, the things we f*cked up, the jobs we didn’t get.

But how would your outlook change if you stopped thinking about your year in terms of absence – the things you didn’t achieve?

No, you didn’t start that novel. Your boyfriend didn’t propose. You’re still nowhere near ready to put a deposit on a house. Looking through this lens of absence, it’s easy to view your year as a write-off.

But that’s never the full picture.

Even in a year of serious drama, upheaval and grief – there are always moments of light, moments of success, moments to be proud of. Even if it’s as small as – well, I survived, I’m still here.

These are the things that should be focused on. What you gained or learned. It’s cheesy, but taking the little wins and learning from them is really the only way you can grow and develop as a person.

So we’ve agreed that celebrating our achievements is a good thing. But why does it have to be at the end of the year? Does January really hold some magical power of regeneration?


By now, we know the whole ‘new-year-new-me’ shtick is a tired, outdated construct. You won’t wake up in January and suddenly feel like a different person. But that doesn’t stop us being hopeful.

We still pour out all our booze on 1 January, start paying for an expensive gym membership we will never use, write a list of the books we’re definitely going to get through.

Despite the overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary, we still believe that this January will be different. This year, we will be better.

So maybe that is what January gives us. The hope and the statement of intention. Just because we know ‘resolution culture’ is a construct, that doesn’t mean we can’t use it to our advantage.

The dawn of a new year brings with it the hope of renewal.

1 January holds a certain promise of transformation – the chance to begin again, to wipe the slate clean, to become a better version of you.

But Emma thinks that saving our celebration and self-reflection for the end of the year isn’t the best way to go about it.

‘I ignore January and rigid goal setting in favour of something much more fluid and effective,’ she explains.

‘True and lasting change takes time, so I’m a huge fan of having monthly or quarterly reviews of achievements and goals, rather than one huge, pressurised new year evaluation.

‘Doing it this way means I will already have a balanced view of what I’ve achieved, so there will be no disappointment or shock come the end of the year.’


Food for thought for next year. But that boat has already sailed for 2018. If you want to shout about your achievements, then it’s time for a social media thread.

But if the point of listing your achievements is self-reflection and growth, why not just write them down in a notebook? Why splash them over social media? It suggests that what’s really happening here is a need for validation from strangers – nothing deeper.

Francesca Dean, a disability rights campaigner and aspiring journalist, thinks it’s not that simple.

She says that for her, posting achievements online is a way of recognising the people who have helped her along the way.

‘I don’t think it’s about showing off whatsoever,’ Francesca tells us.

More: Lifestyle

‘I like to share my achievements on Twitter because there are so many people who have helped me this year, and stuck by me through thick and thin.

‘I think reflecting on things that you’re proud of is key to determining your attitude for the new year. But also, most importantly, it’s about recognising who was really there for you during ups and downs and showing gratitude.’

Francesca’s year has been an important one. She has achieved more than many people thought would be possible for her – and she knows that sharing those achievements is a crucial part of advocating for people living with disabilities.

‘This year I landed my own segment on local news programme, Granada Reports, I was a finalist in the youth journalism competition, Breaking Into News, I got my first ever job at Blackburn Youth Zone, and I spoke at ITV’s inclusion event.

‘I want to shout about these achievements because I have a disability, and I think there are so many people who don’t realise just what disabled people are capable of doing, as long as they have the correct network around them.

‘I’m so grateful to be an advocate for those living with a disability who can’t defend themselves, or helping children who have been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. I know my parents initially felt as though there was no hope for me, but I’m happy i’m able to consistently prove that there is hope.’

Francesca’s achievements are unbelieveably worthwhile, but you don’t need to have achieved anything nearly as substantial in order to deem it worthy of celebration.

Taking stock of the year, the highs and the lows, is a fantastic way to gauge where you’re at, what you still want to achieve and how far you’ve come.

New year is traditionally about setting new goals. New things to aim for, new tasks to add to our to-do lists. But our to-do lists are already overwhelmingly long and they never seem to get any shorter.

Maybe a more useful exercise is to look back before looking ahead. This year, why not see what you can tick off your list before adding a truckload of new tasks to achieve?

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'As women we need to learn that celebrating our own achievements is not just OK , The dawn of a new year brings with it the hope of renewal.

New Year's Customs

New Years Achievements

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by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.

This article is adapted from the book, You Are More Accomplished Than You Think: How To Brainstorm Your Achievements For Career And Life Success.

New Year's resolutions are often trivialized because they are seldom maintained. This year, consider a process a bit more meaningful than declaring New Year's resolutions. Instead, recognize the relationship between goals and accomplishments and conduct an annual review of both.

Goals are the flip side of accomplishments. You can achieve accomplishments without setting goals, but if you set goals and follow through, you are virtually guaranteed accomplishments. Accomplishments are the indicators that we have met our goals, and goals give us the motivation to have accomplishments.

A year-end review of accomplishments can help you set goals for the year ahead. Reflect on the year just completed and consider how it went. Or you might prefer to do it at the beginning of the new year so you can set goals based on what you have left to accomplish from the previous year.

If you need prompts to recall your accomplishments, see our Accomplishments Worksheet.

Many people update their accomplishments inventory in conjunction with updating their resume annually. Executives polled by Accountemps, a temporary staffing service, said they believe only half of managers would be ready to send out application materials if they were to unexpectedly lose their jobs. "Those who keep an ongoing record of professional achievements are better positioned for the job search because they can more readily recall details of past responsibilities and accomplishments," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies (Hungry Minds, Inc.). "This is particularly important for professionals who have been with the same employer for many years and, as a result, have not actively looked for a new position in some time."

Questions to Ask Yourself as You Review Accomplishments

These questions will facilitate the process of reflecting on your accomplishments:

  1. What new skills/competencies have you developed, and how have you applied them?
  2. What new learning or expertise did you apply to your accomplishments?
  3. What goals have you met that you set for yourself at your last review?
  4. What obstacles have you overcome? What unexpected developments got in the way of accomplishing what you wanted to?
  5. What did you learn from your accomplishments and/or your failure to accomplish some of your goals?
  6. What has been your single proudest accomplishment of the year?
  7. To what extent do you feel you've grown since your last personal review?
  8. Have you made a difference in anyone's life?
  9. How have you improved your level of performance in the last year? Give examples.
  10. In what areas did you truly excel and in what areas do you feel you still need to improve?
  11. Overall, to what extent are you satisfied with the level and quality of accomplishments you achieved?

Adding Value to Future Accomplishments

Perhaps you've identified a solid set of accomplishments, but perhaps you wonder if you can raise the level of your accomplishments. Chances are you can if you choose to. We've seen that, on the job, people who do only the minimum required of them by their job descriptions are not as accomplished as they might be.

Do more than your job description requires. Take the initiative. Make your job your own.

Communicate with your boss, however, to ensure your going above and beyond aligns with organizational goals.

If you see something that needs to be done, either do it, or propose a way to do it. Don't wait for someone to tell you to do it. Can you increase the quality of your deliverables to your constituents (boss, customers, co-workers) so they better meet needs? Is there more you could be doing to help your organization reach its desired business results? Can you make your work more efficient or cost-effective? Are you keeping up with change; could you be doing more to meet evolving needs? Could you be doing more to keep up with growth and/or contribute to growth? Could you be doing more to assist your colleagues?

Setting Goals to Achieve by Your Next Personal Review

Perhaps your accomplishments seem paltry. Maybe not many of them pass the "so what?" test. Maybe they don't support what you really want to be doing with your life and career. Perhaps you just don't feel as proud of them as you'd like. Maybe you feel you can do more.

On the other hand, you may be thrilled with your accomplishments, but you'd still like to set goals -- perhaps to do more of the same, perhaps to strive to improve because there's always room for improvement.

Here are some questions and prompts to help you set goals for the next time you review accomplishments:

  1. What did I not accomplish since my last review that I would like to accomplish next time?
  2. What obstacles stand in the way of my accomplishing what I want to? What would it take to remove those obstacles and reach my goal?
  3. What resources can I marshal to reach my goal?
  4. What learning or expertise do I need to develop to reach my goals?
  5. How can I apply past experience and past accomplishments toward reaching my goals?
  6. Should any of my goals be broken into smaller goals or steps?
  7. Do any of my goals need to be accomplished sooner than the time of my next personal review?
  8. How will I plan my time for reaching my goals?
  9. Are my goals measurable? What metrics do I want to apply to know I've reached my goals?
  10. How will I keep myself accountable and on track toward reaching my goals?
  11. What types of accomplishments would give me the greatest personal pleasure and pride?
  12. What types of accomplishments would most help me advance in my career?
  13. What do I most want to accomplish by the time of my next review?
  14. Which goals would it not bother me if I didn't accomplish by the time of my next review?
  15. What goals do I want to accomplish that require assistance or participation from others?
  16. Which goals am I most motivated to accomplish?
  17. What would it mean for my life and career to accomplish each goal on my list? How will I benefit? How will others benefit?
  18. Will I reward myself for reaching my goals? How?

Final Thoughts on Career Goals and Accomplishments

You may want to set goals with a series of milestones. What do you want to accomplish in the next week? Month? Year? Five years? Ten years? By the end of your life?

You can certainly set pie-in-the-sky, bucket-list life goals. For years, I've wanted to write a novel and become fluent in Italian. I've done little toward accomplishing those goals, but just having them on my list guides me in knowing what I need to accomplish if I want to feel completely satisfied when I leave this planet.

Read more about brainstorming, tracking, and leveraging career accomplishments in Katharine Hansen's book, You Are More Accomplished Than You Think: How to Brainstorm Your Achievements for Career and Life Success.

Career and Work Accomplishments Section of Quintessential Careers

Find expert job-seeker accomplishments tools, resources, samples -- free expert advice about maximizing career accomplishments in this section of Quintessential Careers: Career-Job-Work Accomplishments Resources for Job-Seekers.

Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.

Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine, who earned her Ph.D in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market, as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes. With Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., she also authored Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Study Skills. Visit her personal website. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.

Have you taken advantage of all of our job interviewing resources? Find articles, tutorials, and more -- all written to help jobseekers learn how to succeed in all types of job interviews.

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It’s not boastful to celebrate your achievements at the end of the year, it’s necessary

New Years Achievements

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisibile into the visible." Anthony robbins

At this time of year everyone seems to be setting new goals for themselves and people seem inspired to do things differently.  Maybe this is your year for being healthier, to focus on your course work, or even to spend more time with friends.  Whatever it is, the following ideas might help you to meet your expectations for the coming year.

1. Take time to reflect.  Before you decide what new goals you want to set, take some time to celebrate your accomplishments from the past year.  Consider what you've learned over the past year and reflect on the ways you've utilized your strengths to accomplish everything you've done.

2.  Get Philosophical.  Ask yourself the big questions.  "How do I really want to live?" "What do I want for myself".  These might seem like massive questions at first so one way to focus is to make a list of statements each starting with "I want to.....".  Don't censor yourself, just let it flow.  Take a couple minutes to pick one or two of those points and consider how you can start turning them into a reality.

3.  Get Specific.  Take some time to think about how to turn your bigger hopes into a reality.  If you hope to become more thoughtful, ask yourself what would be happening to show you were working towards this goal.  Maybe you would remind yourself of other's birthdays, or take the time to hang out with a friend who was going through a tough time.  The important thing is to make your goals tangible.  Set yourself a time lines for meeting the "mini-goals" that make up the big goal you're working towards.

4. Stay motivated and focused.  Some tips for staying motivated include:

  • Share your hopes with other people
  • Visualize what it is you're working towards.  Draw a picture of it, or make it really detailed in your mind.  What will you be doing or feeling when you meet the goal?  What will you hear?  see? etc.
  • Be creative.  Many roads lead to the same destination.  If you can't get to where you want to be one way, try another.
  • Remember and celebrate past successes!  List your positives and think of the times you were active in making your dreams come true.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.  If the people around you are motivated, you're likely to pick up on that positive energy.
  • Control your fear!  One of the biggest reasons people lose motivation is because they are afraid of change.  Almost all change is accompanied by some discomfort, so when you find yourself anxious about something, remind yourself that you are capable and remind yourself of the benefits of the change.

No matter what you hope to work on this year, remember to have fun and enjoy the journey.  

Job-seekers better new year's resolution: recognize relationship between goals, accomplishments; conduct annual review of both for job-search success.

New Year honours: profession recognised for achievements

New Years Achievements

New Years Achievements

By Catherine Pulsifer, © 2008

The New Year symbolizes the ending of one year and the beginning of yet another. We celebrate this event, send new year wishes, and some of us write a new year poem, yet it is only a moment in time, like any other day.

A new year quote said by Hamilton Wright Mabie rienforces the thought that it is just another night: "New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights."

However what Hamilton points out here for some reason we think differently on this night. We stop and reflect on the year gone by, some set resolutions, and others set goals. But we all think differently on the eve of a new year. That night we think of what we want to change. We look forward with anticipation to a new year beginning, and, for some of us, we are happy to see the old year go.

Why Do Resolutions Fail
Many of us set resolutions only to be disappointed by not achieving them. The statement sounds good and it is truly something we want to achieve. We find resolutions are often discussed. People will ask you what resolutions are you setting for the new year. I'm not sure why this tradition started, but it is one that is carried on today. The majority of resolutions do fail; we may start out with enthusiasm and determination but in most cases it dwindles out after the first month or in some cases the first week. We settle back into our routine and the resolution becomes secondary or is forgotten about altogether.

Why do New Years Resolutions fail?

Mainly, because they are only a statement, or what we wish for in the coming year. There are usually no action plans, no deadlines, no back up plans. Sometimes they are unrealistic resolutions, with no other thought or plans beside the statement.

I was recently reading an article in our local paper that discussed not setting New Years Resolutions, but rather acknowledging your achievements of the past year. These thoughts reminded me of a quote by Ellen Goodman: "We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential."

We set resolutions because we want something to change in our life. But if we are not specific and have no detailed plans about how we are going to change it then we can expect things to remain as they currently are. And we will end the year without the resolution accomplished. So rather than set them if we should recognize what we have accomplished in the past year and build on them, where is there the potential to do more, to be more. Once we identify those things we should set goals not resolutions. (more on goals further in the article)

Common Resolutions
You may recognize some of the common resolutions:
- I am going to help others more, I will get involved and volunteer my time or give away more of my money;
- getting out of debt, I will get rid of all credit card debt;
- lose weight, I will lose 25 pounds
- enjoy life more; I will work less and play more
- spend more time with family; I will set aside quality time for my family
- quit smoking or drinking; I am going to quit this year
- organization of home; I am getting rid of the clutter in my house
- get more exercise; I am going to join a gym or start walking every day
- learn something new; I am going to take a course
- get a better job; I am going to look for a job I like
the list could go on and on.

Goals Are Different Than Resolutions
After the holidays are over rather than setting resolutions you may want to look at setting goals for the coming year. Goals are very different than resolutions. Goals have time frames attached to them; they have action plans for each step; they are written down.

When setting your goals, don't forget to develop your action plans with deadlines for each step to achieve your final goal.

The art of setting goals properly so that you are in a good position to achieve them is to not only write your goals down but to include each action that you need to take to accomplish your goal. One thing to do is to sit with another person after you have finished this step and let someone who has no knowledge of what you want to accomplish read each step. The reason is this: if someone else reads the steps and does not really know what to do or is confused, then you have a good indication that your steps are not complete.

The next step is to set a specific date for each of these action steps. This is critical because you want to create a sense of urgency in order to move forward. The more progress you can make within a short period of time the better. It is this momentum that you want to keep so you actually see tangible proof that your plan is working.

A New Beginning
You will accomplish so much more if you just enjoy the New Years, recognize your success rather than setting a resolution that you may never achieve. Celebrate New Years with a new beginning by setting goals.

Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Try and do something new every day. You should attempt this even if it means speaking to a new person every day. When we try new things, we feel energized, excited and happy." Brenda Nathan

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." Edith Lovejoy Pierce

"Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be." Marsha Petrie Sue

"Instead of asking yourself what everyone else's opinion is going to be and how your action will be perceived by others, ask yourself, 'How do I want my life to be lived?' Then proceed to take a small risk in the direction of that new action." Wayne Dyer

"The calendar is changing, a new year is beginning. And like all new beginnings it is a time to reflect on what you want in your life. Let this new year be a time when you set your goals and achieve what you perhaps only once dreamed of." Catherine Pulsifer

"Every single time that something goes well for you, even the tiniest little achievement, be pleased with yourself." Rebecca Turner

"Every morning you are handed 24 golden hours. They are one of the few things in this world that you get free of charge. If you had all the money in the world, you couldn't buy an extra hour. What will you do with this priceless treasure?" Author Unknown

"If you are doing the things that are moving you toward the attainment of your goal, then you are "successful" even if you are not there yet." Meir Liraz

"The goal you set must be challenging. At the same time, it should be realistic and attainable, not impossible to reach. It should be challenging enough to make you stretch, but not so far that you break." Rick Hansen

"If you are uncomfortable with the idea of change, you can ease yourself into the winning mentality of 'change is good' by adopting little variations to your day to day life." Danielle Tinning, How to Succeed

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New Years Achievements
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