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A powerful year end "gift to self " for creative professionals.

'Tis the season to be wrapping up, reflecting and celebrating! 


As a creative professional you may be wrapping up projects or an academic semester, tying up seasonal sales or delivering on end of year deadlines. Wrapping up the year in my coaching practice includes two important seasonal traditions. One is to send out individual thank yous and best wishes for the season and New Year to all of my current and past clients and anyone who has connected with me this year to learn more about my coaching practice and services. Making the time and effort to send personal notes is part of how I want to acknowledge and honour the creatives that I am connected to and the work we have done together. I have also made it a tradition to take some time during December to reflect on and acknowledge my own achievements and what I’ve learned over the past year. 


Through coaching other creatives and growing my coaching practice, I am increasingly aware of how we tend to be so focused in our daily lives, creative practices and careers on looking forward to what’s next. Be that our next task on our to-do list, our next deadline or our next goal.  Often all we see is a growing pile of what we want or need to accomplish. But this dogged forward focus can have the effect of short-changing our sense of accomplishment, growth and even our confidence. I have learned (and strive to help my clients learn) that stopping to reflect and acknowledge steps taken (big or small) and to articulate what we are learning empowers us to keep going and grow in ways that are fulfilling and meaningful. Reflection can be such a powerful "gift to self " for creative professionals.


I look at my practice of annual reflection as just that. A gift to myself. I indulge in dedicating 90 minutes or so to do this and sit with a cup of tea (and usually some chocolate) and make note of my reflections. This practice has helped me to see and celebrate my progress (big or small). Plus, this practice truly gifts me with AHA moments and creative ideas and helps to clarify my priorities going into the New Year. Before I jump into setting new goals! I celebrate having done this important work by treating myself to an “office party” AKA special dinner during which I share the highlights of my accomplishments and learnings with my "plus one" who is my proof-reader, cheerleader and my partner in life and love.


As the year is coming to a close, I hope that you will take some time to reflect on, acknowledge and celebrate your achievements and learnings in 2023 both personally and in your creative practice, business or career.

Image Credit: Cylla Von Tiedemann

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1 Comment

Richard Isaacs
Richard Isaacs
Dec 14, 2023

I liked your curated list of "gifts to self" especially the, "Create a 2024 "To Be" list. High on that list for me is: "To Be -thankful for what I have" For example, having a great coach for my creative career that helps me to be more. Thank you for that.

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