I worked with a business coach and four other women lawyers for a period, and we were encouraged to list 20 accomplishments for the year. It was December. We were busy – everyone wants to be done with a legal matter before the new year. And 20? That’s a lot. I have gifts to wrap.

I have great facility for looking at the things not done. I have to check myself at night to keep from thinking, I didn’t get to…. I’ve gotten pretty good at redirecting and taking inventory of all I accomplished that day. Asking me to do that for a year was another thing.

The key to getting something from a coach is to be “coachable.”

So I didn’t resist and opened a journal and just started. I was surprised at the power of this exercise, and you might be too.

When a big event happens, it’s hard to see past it.

You may look back and think, I survived (or am surviving) my divorce. Or my deeply loved person died this year, but I didn’t die too. Or I caught my breathe after a serious diagnosis and I’m dealing with it.  It may be all you can see when it’s something that big. But really, it’s not, right? You held your job or stayed in school, you made a new house a home (or maintained your home and replaced furniture), you called your mom, you took that one glorious weekend away from the grind, you loved your pet, you maintained at least a few important friendships, you did well enough by your kids, you…well, you did a lot of other things too beside deal with the one big thing.

So let me encourage you!

Open a new Word document or journal page. Write your version of “20 Accomplishments of 2023” and surprise yourself, as I do every year, with the wins forgotten. I haven’t written mine yet but between Christmas and New Year’s I will. I think it will start with:

  1. I made time most every morning to write in my gratitude journal and now it’s a solid habit.
  2. I continued to do work I feel called to do to provide people a better way to part that preserves family.
  3. I had a hard conversation with a family member that was avoided for a while but needed to be held. And our relationship is stronger for it.

You get the idea. Maybe it won’t be impactful for you but maybe it’s worth a shot if nothing else, to keep you from thinking the only thing that happened this year is that one big, perhaps awful, thing.

Wishing you Wisdom,

Deborah Bennet Berecz


PS. If you want your 2024 list to include a change you might need to make in the new year, please let us know if it’s something we can help you think through and perhaps take action. Call us at 269-428-3447 or in the Grand Rapids area, at 616-466-4131.


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