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The Power of Acknowledgement

Nov 1, 2007
In this fast-paced society, there's so much competing for our attention and energy. Jobs, children, relationships, health, aging parents, worthy community causes - how do we keep afloat in these turbulent waters? Often our "to do" lists are an anchor that help us to keep our focus. As long as we're crossing off things on our list, that means we're productive, successful and presumably happy, doesn't it? Well it may mean that we're productive, but we may not feel happy or satisfied.

There's nothing wrong with using the structure of a "to do" list to keep us in action, but it's equally important to take the time to acknowledge and reflect back on what we've already accomplished. Unless we give ourselves that "pat on the back," we'll be forever waiting for someone else to acknowledge us. It's that internal self- acknowledgement that can fuel us and keep us moving towards the next goal that lies ahead. It brings our enjoyment right into the present moment with the realization "By gosh, I did that!" Instead, many of us postpone our happiness and feeling of satisfaction to some point in the future when all of our "to do's" have been crossed off the list.

I invite you, as part of your preparation for the coming year, to take some time to reflect back over the year and acknowledge yourself for where you've come from and all that you've done. It would be a wonderful experience and gift to share these questions and how you'd answer them with close family and friends.

1. What were three of my greatest accomplishments this year? These don't have to be big, mind you. Great doesn't necessarily equal big.

2. What am I most grateful for? These can also be the large or small things. Gratitude comes in all sizes.

3. What were my three most important mistakes and what did I learn from them? I won't keep repeating myself -- you get the idea.

4. What lessons from this past year do I want to remember and act upon in the coming year?

Let yourself dream a little by asking yourself the following question a few times: "If I wasn't afraid, this coming year I would _________________ (fill in the blank)." Write down your first gut reactions.

So ring in the New Year with a deep sense of accomplishment and appreciation for all that you've experienced in this past year -- and let that fuel you into an inspiring new year!
About the Author
Carolyn B. Ellis, author, spiritual divorce coach and founder of Thrive After Divorce Inc. If you want simple life-changing tips for single parenting, visit Thrive After Divorce now to receive a FREE report.
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