Sparkling moments aren’t just for Christmas

By James Crawley, Project Manager, Manchester Metropolitan University.

It’s officially winter. Heating on (and argued about). Winter coats pulled from the cupboard… with a lost fiver in the pocket if you are one of the lucky ones… used tissues for the rest of us. Endless adverts and cheesy songs reminding you that it’s the most wonderful expensive time of the year. Sorry, sorry. There are some amazing bits of winter: chunky knitwear, log fires, crisp sunny mornings and glorious mince pies. (My thoughts: Morrisons’ baked in store are hands down the tastiest.)

Given that we are fast approaching the end of the year, looking back over what has happened since we last went around the sun helps us to contemplate our achievements, missed opportunities and the fact that we are still getting up every day to make it happen. Whatever it is.

Reflection is a good thing but rarely objective. There is a natural tendency to gloss over or wilfully forget the things that made us happy and instead focus on what didn’t go so well. Stop it. It’s a waste of energy and no-one likes a moan-y pants. If you are a normal, slightly grumpy, negative person like the rest of the UK then this blog post is for you.

Sparkling moments jar

Get yourself a nice looking jar. A jam jar will do but let’s set our sights a little higher. Splash out and get one of those ones that Nigella keeps her flour in. With a swing top lid and grooves in it. Perfect.

Keep it on a shelf by your desk. Or, the windowsill. Within reach is the key here.

Whenever something happens that makes you happy, write it down. Be specific enough so that when you read it back you will be taken back to that feeling. Fold that sucker up, and pop it in the jar.

Now, this works best when you’ve got a healthy little collection of sparkles, so leave it for 6 months. Maybe have a look during the summer slump when the kids are driving you up the wall and the emails have dried up like there is a hosepipe ban on leads. If you make it to next Christmas, you will have a massive jar of sparkles that you will need sunglasses to open.

Either way, when you are feeling a little bit like you want to quit, open that jar up and have a sparkling moments party. If you have a team, get them involved. If not, then you and the cat/dog/human you like can have a lovely time reading about the nice things that have made you happy this year.

I guarantee that you will have forgotten more than half of the moments in that jar. And, I know that you will feel whole a lot better by the time that you have finished.

Once you have read them all, and this is the clever bit, see what links those moments. Is it someone valuing your customer service? Or when you received your thousandth order? Maybe it was an online review?

If there is a particular trend of sparkles then you need to really celebrate those kinds of moments from now on. Give yourself a little treat every time you get one and you will be topping up your motivation all year round.

Some of my sparkles of 2019?

  • Having to shoo people out of the room after our first networking session went so well.
  • Getting an extension to this project, taking us to December 2021.
  • Helping bond a group of people that I know will be friends long after they have forgotten my name.

If you would like to hear more about how to turn reflection into action, please come along to our Christmas networking special. It’s at Alderley Park Conference Centre in Cheshire on 11 December (10:00 – 12:00)

There’s no charge to attend but please register here so we know how many mince pies to bring along!


The Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme is a consortium of North West based partners set up to deliver business growth activities across priority sectors from 2016-2023.

With a £3.85m investment of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) matched by investment by the three partner Institutions, this innovative programme brings together three key business support providers across Cheshire and Warrington to offer businesses access to a variety of services.

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