Just Say Thanks.

In what’s become almost a ritualistic tradition for me – this time of year I block out part of my day and take time to do one simple, often overlooked, but incredibly powerful task: Saying “Thank you”.

I send emails, make phone calls, and sometimes write hand-written notes to people who have had an impact on my life this year. People who have challenged me. Clients who have hired me. Friends who have motivated me. Sometimes complete strangers who have influenced me.

A simple, heartfelt note of gratitude can be incredibly impactful. The takeaway today is simple: As you’re winding down 2012 and gearing up for 2013, over the next four days, take an hour or two to say thank you to those who have had an impact on you, be it big or small, this year.

Bonus nugget of wisdom to take with you into 2013: Celebrate (don’t discount) accomplishments

You know when someone gives you a compliment and the first thing you say back is, “Oh, it’s no big deal”? I know, I’m guilty of it myself. Example: I was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year at my local Chamber’s annual award ceremony this year. I didn’t win, but even to be considered for something like that – for me – was and is a huge accomplishment. But you know what I did almost every single time someone congratulated me? I responded with “Well, I didn’t win” – or “It’s no big deal”.

We are our own worst enemies and we’re quick to discount our accomplishments – be them big or small. We’re afraid of embracing success and recognition. But allow me to share one very important lesson with you right now: STOP DOING THIS.

Stop discounting yourself. Stop shrugging your accomplishments off. Life’s a bitch and throws a million obstacles your way – don’t make it any more challenging by neglecting to accept, embrace, and celebrate your accomplishments. The one tangible thing you can start doing right now, today? The next time someone gives you a compliment – be it landing a big client, running a 5k, or a comment on that snazzy new tie you wore to work – just respond with “Thank you”.

Thanks goes a long way. Accept that you are doing great things. That you have accomplished a lot. That you do look good. Just say thanks.