Win Harper | Life and Leadership Coach

Give Yourself an A for 2013

For the past 4 years I have been doing the Give Yourself an A exercise from the book, “The Art of Possibility”  by Ben Zander.  This is a very well written and easy to read book with important information for all of us. I highly recommend the book for coaches, leaders, and anyone who is on a journey of self-reflection and growth.  I have had great results with the exercise.  My previous blog compared what I wrote in December 2011, and what I accomplished during 2012.  The reflecting and writing involved in the process helped me to set goals and intentions that I would have not thought of otherwise.

Below is the exercise.  At the end of it I have added my 2013 writeup as an example. 

Exercise: Give Yourself An A

I want you to think about 2013 and what you want to do and achieve. Now, I want you to give yourself an A for the whole year.  The A is based upon your effort and your accomplishments.  Now I ask that you write me a letter telling me why you deserved an A.  I want the letter to start with “Dear Win, I got my A because…” and then describe in as much detail as possible, how you came to achieve this extraordinary grade. 

I want you to go to this time next year, and look back, and write about all the insights you acquired, milestones you attained during the year as if these accomplishments were already in the past.  Everything must be written in the past tense.  Phrases such as, “I hope,” “I intend,” or “I will” must not appear. If you wish you may mention specific goals you reached, but I am more interested in the person you will have become by January 2014.  I am interested in the attitude, feelings, and worldview of the person who will have done all he wished to do or become everything he wanted to be.  And I want you to fall passionately in love with the person you are describing in the letter.

I earned my A in 2013 because I focused on my physical, mental, and spiritual development.

In April, I ran a 1 ½ miles in 12 ½ minutes, did 60 crunches in two minutes, and completed 3 pull ups.

I also continued to improve my golf game, and I was able to play in the mid-80s.  My teams were league champions, and I won a trophy in the Associate Division of the Annual EAGA tournament.

I took classes in water coloring and memoir writing.  In addition, I continued my singing lessons, and sang in public for the first time in my life.

I taught my class on Fulfillment at Omega, and several other venues.  In addition, I taught with Elizabeth at several locations. I continued my private coaching practice.

I volunteered at the Middlesex Heritage Group, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the Ontario/Yates County Literacy Program.  I finally got connected with the Veterans’ Club at the Finger Lakes Community College, and worked with young men and women who had recently been discharged from the military.

I was the guest speaker at several events including a local Memorial Day Parade.

I reflected upon my life, looked for lessons learned, and discovered who I am.  I started my memoirs.  This process allowed me to heal some family and personal relationships. 

In 2013, I became more confident and creative. I learned to take a breath and choose my responses.  I expanded and celebrated the impact I have as a leader, change agent, and contributor to other’s lives. I was at peace with who I am and what I have accomplished; I was glad to be me.



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Copyright 2009 by Win Harper.