It seems fitting that the last column of the year be dedicated to the topic of celebration. As the year draws to a close, the calendar offers an opportunity to look at what we have accomplished, and that over which we have triumphed. Business, and how we are in relationship to the challenges of our business, can be a starting point for this reflection. Transforming our leadership viewpoint can be a gateway to transforming our lives.
I have observed how celebration is often neglected in our work. We have our noses to the grindstone, often so focused on the problems at hand that we don’t acknowledge what has been working well already. We are so focused on the future we can’t appreciate the fullness of today.
In my work with organizations, when I ask about celebration, leaders often reluctantly admit that they rarely celebrate, unless it’s for an employee birthday or a major holiday. I think that is unfortunate. Celebration offers a chance to acknowledge and honor this moment; where we are right now. There is always another goal, target, or number to make; there is always an endless list of activities to which we are running.
But what about acknowledgement of what we have right now? Celebration doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. What matters is the intention to celebrate. Out of that intention, the means of how to celebrate will become clear.
Here is a starting point to invite celebration into your year-end process:
I often find that as I clean out files and projects from the last year and make way for the new, I see all that I have accomplished. Sometimes it’s hard to remember the details of the past year reviewing the files and clearing out brings back the sharper edges to memory, showing exactly what was accomplished. That often surprises and delights me.
Make a list of what were your big “wins.” What were those top 3 things that made 2014 remarkable for you? What truly matters is how significant a breakthrough it was for you to triumph; not the absolute size of the win.
Growth is often revealed in the most subtle acts.
List the top 5 things you are most grateful for in 2014. Those people, events, or opportunities that were game-changers for you. Look at them. Are there any themes or patterns? If you had a theme for the year, how did it play out? Were you acting in accordance with what you declared mattered?
I have a ritual at the end of every year. When things slow down and we’re in the gap between this year and the next, I take some time for reflection, clean-out, and gratitude work. I celebrate where I am and all that I have. I express gratitude for all of it, knowing it could have turned out quite differently.
I hope this year had remarkable moments for you. I hope you realize now just how remarkable they were. I hope you celebrate them, are grateful for them, and that you are open to receiving the next one, and the next and the next.
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