About eleven years ago, I began an annual tradition of recognizing what I had accomplished in the course of a calendar year. I started doing so, as I found myself feeling depressed one day, feeling overwhelmed by the obstacles I was facing (this was in 2000). I had just returned from living in Asia for a year, had finished graduate school the year before and was facing a huge question mark. What did I want to do with my time and energy and how should I pursue it?
Sitting at my desk, in a classically tiny shoebox apartment in Astoria Queens, just outside of Manhattan, I began creating a list. I started with this question:
What have I done or accomplished this past week?
To my surprise, there was quite a bit on that list. I felt surprisingly good about that.
Next, I asked, What have I accomplished this past month?
That list was really long. I started feeling better and better.
Finally, I asked What have I accomplished this year?
Looking at twelve months worth of goals I had set and accomplished (and some not realized), helped me see that I was putting tremendous effort and energy forward, towards the realization of my goals (and dreams) and that I was doing everything in my power to accomplish my goals–short-term and long.
What more could I do?, I then asked of myself.
If I am giving my best effort, what more can I give?
If I am giving my best today, I cannot expect more of myself. Tomorrow is another day and with tomorrow, comes more opportunity, more chance, more possibilities.
With all of this effort you have expended, an effect has taken place: You have changed. Another good question to ask is this: How have you changed this year, for good or bad?
During this holiday season, I urge you to take stock of what you have done and accomplished this year.
Make a list: What have you accomplished…
Jim Hart is the founder of The International Theatre Academy Norway.