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30 Accomplishments to Be Proud Of

Facing the Sun

“Do something now that will make the person you’ll be tomorrow proud.” ~Unknown

A while back someone asked me to list my greatest accomplishments for 2012.

As I racked my brain, I thought of a few professional achievements that made me feel proud, but as for the top accomplishment, I kept coming back to the same thing: my sister’s wedding.

I wasn’t the planner, and I didn’t pay for the whole thing, but I was a big part of it.

Even though I live 3,000 miles away, I acted as her Maid of Honor, helped plan her bridal shower, planned a fun two-day Bachelorette party that meshed with her unique personality and interests, and traveled to Massachusetts on numerous occasions to be part of it all.

I felt excited to recognize this as my top accomplishment for a couple of reasons. First, it reminded me of how much I appreciate my family.

Particularly as someone who spent a lot of time isolated, I now believe my relationships are priorities—and I’m proud that I show it in action.

But also, it reminded me that accomplishments don’t necessarily need to entail productivity, promotion, sales, or profits. Sometimes the most fulfilling things we do in this world bring little recognition, yield no monetary results, and come without fanfare.

And yet, they still can mean so much and feel so completely satisfying.

I’d by lying if I said I don’t enjoy growing and expanding through my work, but I’ve finally realized that what I have to offer—to others and myself—far exceeds the fruits of my paid labor.

In a fast-paced, competitive world, where it’s easy to feel we’re never doing enough, it’s gratifying to recognize just how much we do to honor the people and things that matter to us.

With that in mind, I decided to create a short list of accomplishments that we may sometimes overlook.

If you’re looking to do something that will make you feel proud—or perhaps looking for a reminder that you already do so much—one of these ideas may resonate with you:

Your Relationships with Others

1. Ask someone who is struggling if there’s any way you can lighten their load and then follow through.

2. Show up for someone who needs help—moving, packing, or doing anything that’s easier with an extra set of hands.

3. Plan, organize, or assist with a party or event for someone you love and/or value.

4. Support someone in a fundraiser, online of offline.

5. Respond calmly to a tough situation to keep a small issue from escalating into something much bigger.

6. Speak up for someone who otherwise might not have a voice, or may be too scared to use it.

7. Volunteer your skills and talents to help someone, whether that means proofreading a friend’s resume or cleaning their kitchen.

8. Offer a random act of kindness to someone without expecting anything in return.

9. Give something of yours to someone else if you think they need it more than you.

10. Point someone in the direction of a resource, group, or event that could be life-changing for them.

Your Relationship with Yourself 

11. Set a clear boundary in a relationship that lacks them, thereby taking good care of yourself.

12. Follow through on a commitment to yourself, whether it’s to exercise, eat healthy foods, or to try something new.

13. Replace a negative, self-defeating thought with a positive, self-affirming one—and believe it.

14. Stick with something you’re tempted to quit knowing that what matters most is your commitment to the journey.

15. Improve how you deal with criticism, receiving it with an open-mind, without self-judgment.

16. Trust and follow your intuition instead of depending on someone else to define what’s best for you.

17. Forgive yourself for a mistake, creating more space in your mind to see, enjoy, and appreciate what’s right in front of you.

18. Choose a healthy coping mechanism to deal with emotional pain—like deep breathing or taking a walk—instead of doing something self-destructive.

19. Honor your own needs, creating more balance in your life.

20. Allow yourself to get into the zone with something you enjoy instead of overwhelming yourself with persistent mental chatter.

Your Relationship with the World

21. Purchase consciously to support businesses that follow ethical practices.

22. Become conscious of your environmental impact, and try one of these 50 ways to help the planet.

23. Make a microloan through an organization like Kiva to help and empower people around the globe.

24. Recycle. (You can recycle a lot more than you may think!)

25. Pay it forward. Do something kind for someone and tell that person to return the favor to someone else.

26. Give old clothes to charity instead of throwing them away.

27. Volunteer your time to help people in need. (Or do something simpler, like using the game at FreeRice.com to help end hunger.)

28. Donate marrow to someone whose life depends on it. (You can start by registering on marrow.org.)

29. Do some research on your own to find a charity organization that you believe in and then tell three people about it.

30. Follow Gandhi’s advice and “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Do you have anything to add to the list?

Photo by Jo Munday

Avatar of Lori Deschene

About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook seriesTiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself, and Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions. She's also co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you change your life. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow on Twitter & Facebook.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • Juno

    Absolutely fantastic post! Made my day :)

  • Miles Agosto

    You have done it again Lori, I thoroughly enjoy these simple pleasures you speak of. Thank You.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Dana

    Thank you, Lori! It’s a magnificent lesson of inspiration! Thank you so much for your contribution in the process of becoming a better me!!!

  • Charity

    Loved this quote (-and the bit about how more people should respond calmly to all situations and not escalate things into something bigger too)..

  • http://www.sixsimplerules.com/ David Singer/SixSimpleRules

    Great list(s) Lori. Thanks! And congrats again on your sister’s wedding. Glad it was such a source of pleasure.
    Best regards,
    David

  • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

    hi Lori – great tips about small things that can make a big difference. I’m spending the year with the resolution of ‘giving’ more. Trying to give a little to others every day. From donating change to a local charity, to giving someone a ride, to helping someone carry their groceries, i’m finding the smallest of tasks can bring others much joy and happiness.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Dana!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I love that quote too. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much David. It was a beautiful day with lots of beautiful events leading up to it. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That’s wonderful Vishnu! Such a great resolution. =)

  • ms g

    Lori… i have only just discovered tinybuddha… .a column of yours on “how to let go” brought me much peace and inspired me to continue perusing the site where i found this gem (30 accomplishments…) and many others. I thank you for sharing your insights and encouragements, they are much appreciated!

    Best wishes,
    Grace

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Grace. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the site so far!

  • AnonWriter

    Holy cow. Numbers 11-20 shocked me. These are things that I would never think to do. I used to do more of these things, but I’ve never been good at boundaries. I guess that over time, people have stolen my identity from me, and I let them do this because I trusted them. I no longer have a relationship with my self, because I now only exist for the benefit of others.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I think it’s wonderful that you’re aware of these areas for improvement. That’s generally the hardest part–recognizing where/how you need to make a change. At least it has been for me. Incidentally, you may enjoy today’s post:

    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/ending-codependency-in-relationships-find-and-live-who-you-really-are/

    This writer experienced something similar, with boundaries and living for other people. I hope this helps a little!