I’m talking about giving yourself some time and space to reflect on the past year and give yourself a big pat on the back – you made it!
With New Year approaching there will soon be the prompts to join the gym, give up drinking/smoking/chocolate and the opportunity to set yourself some exciting challenges and goals. But for the meantime take a step back and recognise what you did this year.
So what did you do?
Maybe you tackled something massive and made that big change, new job, new house, marriage, kids? But even if you didn’t, there are a thousand small things you could be recognising – you’ll find out in a moment why giving yourself that ’pat on the back’ is good for you.
Did you go for a walk? It may not be beating any of Mo Farah’s Olympic records, but you lapped everyone on the sofa! Did you read that book you’ve been wanting to for ages or even make a start? Maybe you just managed to leave the house in clean (and ironed!) clothes, hair brushed and matching socks; as a mum, for me some days that is a real, honest to goodness, achievement.
There’s some real science behind focusing on the positives; dopamine is the neurotransmitter that drives your brain’s reward system, improving interest and motivation. If you are praised at work for doing a good job, you’ll get a delicious dopamine hit – resulting in feelings of well-being. It can be boosted by setting and completing even the most mundane of tasks like making your bed.
Here at ChangeQuest we have a ’Hooray’ board – a place to log even small achievements so that when there is a hectic time we can look back at what we have accomplished –seeming so far away when you’re in the thick of a big project that feels like it might never end. Seeing these accomplishments in writing gives you that proud ’my picture is up on the fridge’ moment, the recognition of a job well done.
We’ll be taking a look over our ’Hooray’ board shortly and updating it with all the things that have happened over the last few weeks, taking stock of the previous 12 months and raising a glass to ourselves and the successes of 2015. Make sure you take the time to do that too.
Here’s to 2015 and may 2016 be even better. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.