14. February 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: army wives, military spouses, portable careers, telecommute, transition, valentines day

I enjoy Valentine’s Day. Any day that promotes the consumption of large quantities of chocolate is alright with me. In the spirit of the season, I want to focus on the idea of love–but not in the way most people think about on February 14.

 

The majority of the population thinks about the expression of love as one that you give to another individual. As military spouses though, I find we do not spend nearly enough time appreciating ourselves. Too often, we come last on the priority list because we don’t havemuch of a choice. There are things that must get done–dinner, cleaning up, paying the bills, visits to the doctor. In the daily grind, it becomes so easy to forget about ourselves and our needs. Unfortunately, days quickly turn into weeks and months, and over time it feels as though we have lost touch with who we truly are. What I find helps break this cycle is having a constant reminder, one you cannot ignore, to reconnect with yourself. This reminder canbe anything that works for you and some of the military spouses I work with have great success setting up a schedule. For those spouses like me who tend to deviate from schedules on occasion, it seems that having more of an in-your-face, unavoidable, “HEY HEY LOOK AT ME” type of strategy is quite effective. The way I have done this is by imitating what many in the military refer to as an “I love me” wall.

 

 

I first heard of an “I love me wall” upon receiving an appreciation plaque from an employer. The President, an Army retiree and West Point graduate told me that if I did not already have my very own “I love me wall” the plaque would provide a great starting point.  I didn’t think much of the terminology at the time (using my elementary school knowledge of context clues to determine the general idea), but I began to notice this particular phrase coming up more and more in my everyday life.

 

While the reason to have an “I love me wall” may vary from person to person, the overall goal is to display achievements in a tangible, visible way. For military spouses, I especially am fond of the idea of using it to remind you, every day, of what you have accomplished in your life, of the things that are most important to you and of what you still hope to achieve. This means you have to set it up in a place that you will see at least once a day, but not somewhere you would pass by so frequently that you become desensitized to the meaning.

 

Ideas to Start Your Very Own Accomplishment Wall

Our walls will probably be quite different from that of our husbands, or perhaps your husband does not yet have a wall of honors and achievements. Whatever your particular situation may be, it is okay! Your accomplishment wall is personal and should highlight the accomplishments that are important to you.

  • EDUCATION

Probably the most common item on an accomplishment wall, your educational achievements offer a great starting point. You can include your high school diploma, GED and any higher educational training, certifications or formal degrees.

  • WORK HONORS

Work honors are also popular items to include on an accomplishment wall. These honors come in many forms. For example, you may have received a formal certificate for your work ethic or completed training necessary to successfully execute your responsibilities.

  • COMMUNITY RECOGNITION

Perhaps you volunteer at church, with your FRG or are especially active with a local non-profit organization. Any recognition that you may receive is valuable and illustrates your commitment to an important cause.

  • INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

I am a big fan of inspirational quotes. I have seen some accomplishment walls adorned in uplifting sayings and quotations. If you have a personal saying or quote that is of particular importance to you, you can type it in Word and print it or even handwrite it in a calligraphy-style format.

  • MEMORABILIA AND PHOTOGRAPHS

Sometimes people like to display photographs of significant events—be it graduation, meeting someone famous or any other significant moment in their lives. An accomplishment wall should not be limited to just paper achievements—add some color by putting pictures up or framing a particular item that is symbolic to you.

  • A SELF-CONTRACT

I always encourage Army wives to develop a contract that outlines long-term goals and steps to achieving those goals. After completing the document, consider solidifying your commitment by signing it as a binding agreement. It is not a bad idea to have a friend, coach, mentor or family member also sign the document, ensuring you have a partner that will hold you to accomplishing your goals.

Consider that while only 25% of all the people who set a goal achieve it, 50% of people who set a goal that includes a timeframe and a plan achieve it. By adding that accountability partner, you increase your odds of achieving your goals to 95%.

Your self-contract can serve as a reminder to you as you work on each step and will take on a whole new meaning for you once you successfully fulfill your commitment to yourself and that little piece of paper!

This Valentine’s Day, take a moment to think of what you are most proud of about yourself. Your very own “I love me wall” is a great first step! Show us your very own walls of accomplishment! Share them on the facebook page, upload them to twitter or email them to Stacy to be featured!

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