My 2012 Prep – Best Ever by Miles

I did an interesting exercise the other day. I wrote a list of all my accomplishments. I was thoughtful. I focused on what really matters. I started way back when I was a schoolboy. I wrote them all down. I was surprised by how many there were. It took a wee while.

I don’t say this to brag or boast and there are others who I am sure have a much bigger list but that’s not the point. My list is my list. I looked at the list and a number of things struck me:

I Did That?

Firstly, I had no idea I’d done all that stuff. I mean of course I know but it isn’t front of my mind. What’s front of mind is all the blah blah – why did I not win that piece of business? All that stuff. But I look down the list and it makes me feel good. It makes me feel special. And I like feeling special. So I have decided to add my list of accomplishments to my ever expanding positive psychology toolbox.  

I am what I do…

Secondly, my accomplishments seem to define me. I am those things. They are the cornerstones of who I think I am. When I think of myself everything I think of is on the list. I am not reliant on being defined by stuff that is, actually, just happenstance, like being Scots, or some nonsense spouted by a boss or a peer or a client.   

Loving it…

Thirdly, and most importantly, the list screams passion – I had a passion for everything I achieved. Everything. I really wanted those things. None of it was done as a chore, or under sufferance.  

Quick fix…?

Finally, nothing on the list happened overnight. All the achievements took months and some took many years. Years. And there were dark days. Dark months. And this is a key point:

We tend to overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in five years.

That is so important I’m going to say it again –

We tend to overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in five years.

If we are not careful then this can happen – we can get frustrated in the short term and, unless we take the time to survey what we have achieved, then we miss the satisfaction and the motivation that comes from what we have achieved over this longer time horizon. We don’t feel as special as often as we should.  

Get a plan, man…

So because I want to feel special all the time and have my greatest ever year in 2012, I’ve done this –  

Set The Scene

I’ve listed my accomplishments. The ones that mean something to me. And my strengths and my perceived weaknesses.  I remind myself what I am grateful for in my life – yesterday, now and tomorrow. I check myself whenever I have a thought that isn’t healthy. You might have some too.  

I remind myself that fear is an excuse to do nothing.

I remind myself what I am passionate about because I don’t see an accomplishment on my list without passion at the core.

I turn all this into a purpose statement for my life.

Evaluate the Now

I ask myself where I am right now in terms of my satisfaction with five key areas – my mental health; my physical health; my relationships; my finances and my business. Frankly is it not all good. There is stuff that needs changed and has done for some time. I am no paragon of virtue.

Envision the Life of My Dreams

I look again at these five areas and define the perfect outcome for me in each of them. My perfect life. Why not? Why the hell not?

Envision 2012

Then I turn all that jazz into one year goals and associated high-payoff activities and then goals and HPAs for January.  

I’ve written all this down in a workbook. It took me the best part of three days last week (and of course the preceding 47 years of preparation).

Worth its weight in gold…

I feel this workbook is the most valuable thing I own.

It spans forty seven sides of A4.

I feel set up for 2012 like no other year ever and all because I wrote my accomplishments down on a piece of paper and felt inspired…  

I wish you an excellent 2012. Make it your best ever year, as you define it, but do define it. Most people will have just another year or worse – they will allow themselves to be de-railed by the doom-mongers and the naysayers.

But this is not you…

Seize the day. Now is the time.

Thanks for reading,




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Thanks a lot. Mark

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4 Responses to My 2012 Prep – Best Ever by Miles

  1. Clare January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm #



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