'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 Metro.co.uk.
‘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.
‘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.
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."
These questions will facilitate the process of reflecting on your 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?
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:
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.
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.
"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:
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.
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