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A Different Kind of Christmas List

celebrate accomplishments from 2023 with a different kind of Xmas list

Near Christmas every year, I’ll have a conversation which reminds me of one of the first blogs I wrote. It wasn’t about MEDDIC or the power of Personal Boards, as you might think, it was about celebrating your accomplishments.

Once again, tweaked a little for 2023, it’s back for those who need a little self-celebration this Christmas.

At Christmas time our levels of busyness increase to new heights.

Complete your work, close out the year, juggle the kids’ nativities, prepare for festivities, buy and wrap the presents, visit as many people as possible who you were too busy to see during the year and then…maybe then relax!

Often this time of year is also one of reflection – to digest everything that you have achieved before you set new goals for the year ahead.

The approach of a new year always triggers an inner dialogue in me about my successes of the past year, but also raises questions about the impact those had.

Sadly, focusing on our achievements is all too often a fleeting moment….

…a quick run through the past 12 months in our heads, a swift acknowledgement and then quickly move on to setting 2024’s goals.

So, this Christmas, like the one before it and the one before that, I’d like to invite you to pause….

First, grab a pen and a piece of paper.

Now, think about 5 accomplishments in 2023:

  • Big or small.
  • Professional or personal.
  • Any shape or size.

Before you start, follow this ONE rule:

Don’t be influenced by what others would say your accomplishments have been. Allow yourself to be free thinking. What did you achieve which gave YOU the biggest kicks or pleasure?

Make sure you get to 5. No cheating by writing down 3!

Now read them out. To yourself. Out loud. How did you feel?



Write down how you feel…

This is a different kind of Christmas list - because the list itself is the gift!

We rarely capture our accomplishments along the journey, so this list is a great record to keep. Writing your achievements down and playing it back will also boost your well-being.

At this time of year, with everything else going on, invest in yourself for a few moments.

Indulge in celebrating your successes. Feel good about your impact on the world and others.

If you enjoyed the experience of writing the list, think about working something similar into your life in 2024. It is a basic form of ‘journaling’ where you remind yourself of happy moments, accomplishments or thoughts.

Over the past few years, the idea of journaling for mental health issues has been widely researched looking at the positive benefits for stress and depression. There is also research which suggests journaling can boost the physical aspects of your health like your immune system.

Many schools are also trialling journaling with kids to help with childhood anxiety and are seeing some fantastic results.

There are lots of books out there on the subject and whilst I am no expert, here are a few ideas I have seen work well:

1. Christmas List

A once-a-year journaling of accomplishments. Useful at stressful times of the year to ground you and can help as a pick me up.

2. Gratitude Journaling

Everyday recording of things you are grateful for — like your health, friends, and loved ones. This is a great boost when the world is darkened with sad news. Helps remind you of the good around you.

3. Daily One Sentence Journaling

No essays required. Most good bookshops have self-dating-5-year-diaries for journaling which will help you to start small with a sentence or word a day.

4. Guided Journals

Many celebrities have published books over the past few years on ‘guided’ journaling where they give you a question a day to speak the narrative in your mind to journal something different.

Michelle Obama released one a couple of years ago to accompany her fabulous ‘Becoming’ autobiography. 

5. Video Journaling

There are some great apps out there too where you can record a couple of seconds per day and it patches the clips together for a journal experience on video. Quite nice if you are starting a new job to show your feelings through the journey.

Indulge in yourself this Christmas. Experiment and see what works for you!




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