This New Year’s Eve, I decided to try something a little different to set myself up for the new year. I didn’t make resolutions; I made an accomplishments jar courtesy of an idea from Buzzfeed.
The basic idea behind the jar was that we all spend so much time focusing on getting to the completion of our goals (a BIG problem of mine, sometimes) that we miss out on the beauty of when we actually accomplish those goals — big and small.
So essentially (to use one example of mine), I should take the time to be excited about completing my query letter for my book instead of running past that achievement and only concerning myself with the completion of getting my book deal. And thing is, every time you complete something, whether silly or serious, publicly important or just something you silently said to yourself, you’re supposed to write it on the piece of paper, date it, and place it in the jar. When the year is over, you go back to the jar and re-read everything you did to remind yourself how much you did over the year.
There are so many reasons why this has been good for me so far, but here are just a few of them.
1. It forces to me to “stop and smell the roses.” I can be very focused and ambitious at times and sometimes lose sight of the small achievements that have to take place before I get to the big ones. Writing a note every time I complete a goal makes it that much more real for me.
2. It puts my gratitude on fleek! You know what happens, or at least what has happened with me, when you’re constantly writing out things you’ve done on even on a micro-level? You begin to realize just how much of it is not your doing. I find myself thanking God all the time now, for like… everything.
3. Which, in turn, keeps me faithful about the larger goals. I read recently that one of the best ways to stay faithful during a waiting period in your life is to constantly be thankful for what’s already in your life. I read this after I’d started on this accomplishments jar journey, and it was like confirmation to what I’d been feeling, and how much less stressed I’ve been.
4. It’s like the Twitter version of my journal, and it makes me commit to the feeling of accomplishment. You know how so often we look up and wonder what we’re doing with our lives? Folks start going through mid-quarter life crises and things? Well, this is a written account of what has been important to me in this year, what I sought out, when I was happy about a specific event, etc… but because it’s done on post it notes or small scraps of paper, it has to be in short and small details. No full out journal postings that start getting into rambling about how I completed something, but now I still have all this left to do. Nope. It’s short and simple. “I lost 20 pounds.” “I paid for someone’s lunch today.” “I woke up without snoozing my alarm sixteen times before getting out of the bed.”
5. It makes me happy. I haven’t even gone back and read anything yet (because technically, you’re supposed to wait until the end of the year lol), but when I see those notes piling up in my jar when I get home, I get a sense of joy. It tells me that no matter how hectic work might have been or if I feel like I didn’t finish something I wanted to complete, I’ve accomplished a lot just in the past four months.
I can’t wait to see what it looks like in December.