Whenever December rolls around, I can’t help but take a couple moments to reflect and tally my wins and losses for the year. The funny thing is that no matter how many wins I’ve racked up, I still seem to spend most of my time focusing on the losses or areas where I fell short. Maybe I’m just hyper-competitive or lack the ability to be satisfied, but I’m willing to bet that if you’re the type of professional reading this, then you can probably relate to this bittersweet feeling of fleeting accomplishment.
Being a coach is hard. We carry a ton of responsibility on our shoulders; client goals and expectations, career ambitions, and balancing a chaotic schedule while trying to maintain some semblance of a personal life. We rush through every year trying to reach each new checkpoint in a never-ending race with an invisible finish line that we have dubbed success. We get so focused on hitting these milestones that instead of stopping for a moment to have a small celebration, we continue on and build up fatigue from the journey. We promise ourselves that even though we’re tired, it will all be worth it when we reach the destination and can then rest as long as we want.
But what if that’s not true? What we believe success is today will likely change next week, next month, or even next year. That finish line is a moving target. It has to be, and we have to do our best to adjust our mindset to that reality. Much like we tell our clients to celebrate the small victories, we too must find comfort in even the humblest of our achievements. This is the only way we can find happiness in where we’re going and where we’ve been.
As we round out another year, take a moment and reflect, but rather than keeping score, pat yourself on the back for how far you’ve come and how many lives you changed. It’s ok to recap experiences that didn’t go your way but use them as guidance and approach the next year with optimism. No matter where you are, the best is still yet to come.