What I did to Discover that I’m Satisfied with Where I am in Life

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By Katie Corbett

I turned 30 this year, and one of the things I felt as I reflected on my life is that I wished I had accomplished more. I think this comes from not feeling good about myself. I knew one of the activities I could do to fight and disprove this feeling was to make a list of all my accomplishments so far.

I didn’t actually get around to doing this until I read “Girl, Wash Your Face,” by Rachel Hollis. She is an encouraging person who is honest about her faults, accomplishments and goals in equal measure. After reading such deep bluntness, I figured it was high time I sat down with myself and got a little pep talk.

I wrote out my list of achievements by thinking about my life at different ages, stages and activities. Here are some of the fruits of that exercise:

• I realized that most of the time, when I start a project, I see it through to completion. I do wonder whether I could achieve more in some areas, but I don’t wish I had spent more time on any specific achievement in the past.
• There are many things I have done that I am proud of and happy I achieved. It’s pretty cool to tell people that I have seen the moon through a telescope, learned braille shorthand, and have written three novel-length works.
• I want to explore some of my hobbies on a deeper level, though I am not sure how. I want to do something more with music and the 70 songs I’ve written.
• Although I’m blind, I have gotten to have many experiences in spite of – and in some cases, because of – my disability. I won two essay contests only open to people who are blind, got an A in an astronomy class even though others tried to tell me it would be impossible, and had the opportunity to go whitewater rafting while working at a summer camp for blind students.
• These life experiences could give me an avenue to teach others. I could teach someone how to cook Filipino food, how they could go about designing a product, or the ins and outs of being an editor of a newsletter.

I encourage you to think about your life and make a list of all you have accomplished. Writing it all down might help you realize you have achieved more than you thought in your lifetime. It can help you see that you are good enough, and give you the kick of motivation to go after those big dreams.

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Celebrate your Progress

Katie Corbett holds the book "Perfectly Yourself"

By Katie Corbett

I love setting goals. While this means I keep moving forward, I often lose track of what I have accomplished thus far. It turns out, acknowledging and celebrating progress is the key to staying motivated.

In Matthew Kelly’s book, “Perfectly Yourself,” suggestions are given for how to recognize your achievements. Some of the methods I have found helpful are:

Keeping a List of Goals: As I cross each item off my list, and review my list at the end of each day or week, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as I track how far I’ve come.
Involve Others: When I set a goal, such as getting a prototype made of the garment project I’m working on, I told a few trusted friends about the project and gave them a call when the prototype was finished. It was fun hearing how excited they were as, together, we celebrated completion of this step in my project.
Rewarding Myself: When I was in high school, I didn’t always like doing my homework. I did, however, like playing the guitar. On days when I was particularly unmotivated to do my homework, I promised myself that I wouldn’t play the guitar until my homework was done. This not only gave me incentive to finish, but also gave me a way to celebrate at the end.
Taking Time to Reflect on Past Achievements: I was recently at a career workshop where we were asked to list the five accomplishments of which we were the most proud. Doing this reminded me that I had created a CD demo of songs I wrote when I was seventeen, and wrote a rough draft of a novel while in college. Remembering these activities gave me a sense of celebration as I looked back at what I had achieved.
Making Celebration a Part of the Plan: When I start a particularly daunting project, I decide in advance how I’m going to celebrate once I’m finished. My Chief Financial Officer and I recently finished the incorporation paperwork for our garment company. To celebrate, we got together and had mimosas. It was fun to acknowledge this achievement, and now we are sufficiently ready to move on to next steps.

Celebrating success is important, and doing so takes forethought and effort. What are some accomplishments you would like to celebrate? How can you put celebration into your plan of action? What can you do periodically to reflect on past achievements?

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