The Ta-Da List:
Developing the habit of acknowledging your accomplishments -- large and small -- is a powerful way to maintain your optimism and energy, especially when the demands of work and life go into over-drive. Here's some guidance to get started on your "Ta Da List":
Identify at least three things you accomplished today (or any other timeframe): It may be tempting to make this list all inclusive but that's not necessary. Start with just a few items that come up for you. As you write these out, you may remember more and can certainly add them to the list. Just don't stress about getting it all down. The idea is not to turn this into another task that burdens you further.
Pay attention: At the beginning, you may not realize what may account for something worthy of your "Ta Da" list. We tend to take ourselves for granted. Notice and grab those 'got it done' bits - they really do count. The other night I was admiring my clean coffee table. I had just finally cleared off the piles of saved articles, papers, notes that were cluttering it up. I'd been procrastinating for too long yet when I eventually did get to it, I realized that it was a 'Ta Da'! It felt great to have the clean table - but also to add it to my list. Ta da!!!!!
No accomplishment is too small: Like the coffee table example, no 'Ta Da' is too small if it meant something to you. While acknowledging the big accomplishments is important, it's equally energizing to acknoweldge little things too, especially for procrastinators. So if cleaning up your desk was something on your 'to-do list' for too long and you finally got around to it - add it to the Ta Da List!
Write it down: The act of writing it down (vs. simply thinking it) gives more focus to the intention of 'owning' and recognizing your accomplishment and deepens the awareness. Sometimes, the writing will prompt additional recall of other items worth noting. As well, if you write it down (paper, computer, PDA, etc) you can have a look back at the growing list -- which can be a "mojo-boosting' reflective practice.
Ta Da regularly: Determine what frequency makes sense to you. For some people, taking a few moments at the end of each day may be the right frequency. For others, it may be weekly or adhoc. The idea is to acknowledge often enough to give balance in your perspective when it seems you just can't get ahead of all that you need to get done. It's a worthwhile habit because it is all too easy to slip into the "I haven't done enough' default trap which is so demoralizing.