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Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Morning Check In: Just Desserts!

"Increasing your self-esteem is easy. Simply do good things and remember that you did them." -- John-Roger

When I first wrote this article, it was the last Monday in November 2011. To give you some perspective, at the time I wrote this, four more Mondays remained in the year 2011 after that day. We were in the final push to the end of the year, and I thought there was much that we could accomplish despite the holidays.

As I looked forward to a new year and a new beginning to some of my goals, I began the process of looking back at the past year to contemplate what I had accomplished. When I looked back through the previous months, I realized that I had accomplished a great deal. There was much for me to celebrate.

Asking the question "what did I accomplish?" is the first step in Jinny Ditzler's "Your Best Year Yet!" book. Jinny starts with this question in order to guide us in a positive direction. Too often we have an unbalanced perception of who we are, what value we give, and why we matter to the world. When we reflect on the answer to Jinny's question, we balance our perspective with what we actually accomplished and have not taken the time to acknowledge.

I have the added benefit of preparing an annual report for my employer about my activities during the year. I routinely make a habit of listing all the performances, creative and scholarly activities, teaching workshops, and service I have given or done. So I usually go through this question pretty thoroughly anyway. Along with the usual list of tangible accomplishments, there are other accomplishments to consider adding to the list. Perhaps we had a difficult year and we managed to survive it with a good attitude -- a worthy accomplishment to celebrate. Perhaps we kept within budgetary or dietary restraints more times than not. Perhaps we did several acts of kindness on a routine basis. Perhaps we expressed more optimism or graciousness in our daily interactions with others.

There are many things that we can add to our list of accomplishments. It is important that we remember what we have actually done this past year. It is necessary that we celebrate our achievements before we begin the process of adding new goals to the picture.

Jinny's first step is important. Do not neglect to take the time to thoroughly answer this question. I titled this post as "Just Desserts" as a play on words. The actual idiom expression is "just deserts," which means that one receives what one deserves. However, in my topic today, I want us to focus on celebration. I used the "dessert" spelling to encourage us to bring the same attitude to our celebration that we do when we eat dessert.

Let me leave you with some quotations to contemplate this week as you prepare your master list of accomplishments:

"Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment." -- Thomas Carlyle

"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval." -- Mark Twain

Have a great week! Celebrate those accomplishments!

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2016 by Paula E. Bird

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