"I'm NOT a lazy bum! I DO make great strides each week! I'm NOT taking one step forward and two steps back in all areas of endeavor!"
That's the sound of the New Me echoing through my brain. I, like many professionals, had previously had a tendency to look at the daunting list of tasks ahead of me and feel overwhelmed. Seldom did I believe that I could achieve enough of my goals, and even when I had, there was no sense of accomplishment afterward. There was perpetually so much to do, after all, and although I was constantly crossing completed tasks off my list, the list never seemed to shrink. After years of being bogged down by my own ambition, I finally put into practice my 'Week in Review'.
The Rewarding Power of Progress
Since January 2013, my Saturday morning routine has included listing a summary of what I had accomplished professionally during the past week. Beginning with a paragraph about my general mood and specific challenges or triumphs, I detail in bullet form a snapshot of my previous work week, including all of my meetings, accomplishments and progressions. As a result, I've reclaimed my sanity, my positive self-outlook, my energy, and my small business-building momentum, not to mention vast blocks of free time to enjoy. This discipline also serves as a nurse of sorts, taking my emotional pulse and allowing me to check in with myself in retrospect as I read back over my old reviews. Before I began this ritual, I never would have guessed how rewarding such an exercise could be!
It's a Bird, It's a Plane…
This concept came up at a business lunch in September, while I was meeting with the new executive director of one of my company's strategic partners. This woman had been in her new position for four months, and admitted she hadn't made much progress in her work. Over the course of lunch, as she sketched out some changes the company was making, I did some mental calculations and realized she had strongly misled herself. In fact, she may just have a cape tucked in beneath her outfit! This superwoman had already made enormous strides in her new position, but was suffering from an inability to acknowledge her achievements….an unfortunate personal outlook that so many impactful women tend to undermine themselves with. I held a mirror up to her face by sharing my Week in Review technique with her, and before the end of our meeting, I could already see the light bulb over her head. She has a rewarding and fully-realized life ahead.
Man or woman, employee or entrepreneur: try composing your own Week in Review for a few weeks. Then, when the New You emerges, pat yourself on the back. Congratulations….you're making great strides!