The last week of the year gives me the same edginess I used to get during Finals Week.

It’s as if there is some great assignment that I should have completed–and did not. I sum up the results in my business, and wish there were more. I think about the people in my life, and wish we had more time together. I wrap the gifts I have purchased and wish I had given this whole gift-giving thing more thought and time.

The end of anything naturally brings feelings of judgment and review. What is really called for is the gift of appreciating what has been accomplished, said, given, produced and LOVED during the last 12 months.

I invite you to remember all the good things you have done in the last year, and give yourself the most important gift of all–satisfaction with your life.

A little review before the final:

Who have you helped this year? Many of us are informal counselors at work, in our families or with friends. Chances are you have given advice hundreds of times this year, helping others who were looking for ideas, validation or direction. Think about the good you’ve done and the ripple of positive energy that you sent out into the world.

What have you accomplished? All of us have work that produces an effect. In my world, I create speeches, workshops, resumes and Job Search Plans. In your world, it might be creating a circuit design, a service plan or a contract. You might be a homemaker–cooking, cleaning, shopping and making a life for your family. Or, you might be a care giver, helping a loved one with everyday living and health care choices. You could be a mom or dad, helping with homework, supporting your children in their studies, sports or social experiences. All of those actions count. Whatever your work, it is important to the world.

How have you changed? Each year, we start with resolutions about how we are going to transform our lives. Perhaps you took up meditation or jogging. Maybe you changed your diet or cut back on your alcohol. Perhaps you finally lost that 15 pounds, or you started going to church. Or, maybe you read more books this year than ever before. Take time to notice how you have transformed your life in positive ways this year.

How have you loved? Are you a better listener? Are your conversations with your loved ones more real? Are you calling your mother more often, or making time to see family members when you didn’t before? Are you saying yes to meetings with other job seekers? Did you visit people in the hospital, attend funerals and go to birthday parties? Did you make time to hug your spouse? Did you say “I love you” every day?

Rather than look at our bank accounts, we need to take stock of our emotional bank accounts. When you think of 2012, how well have you lived? Now, while you are thinking about this, give yourself a big hug.

You are more than you were 12 months ago. You are a better person. Enjoy that this Holiday Season!

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