The following is my blog from a year ago. Although it was relevant then, I think it is even more relevant now because of what 2020 was like. If you survived 2020, that is an accomplishment in and of itself. If you managed to accomplish anything beyond surviving, that is amazing. Give yourself credit, especially since there was probably so much new thrown at you that you had to deal with. And as the blog discusses, because of the notes I kept, I can honestly state that I did much more in 2020, despite everything, than I would have remembered. And I feel good about that.
At the start of the new year, do you ever feel like you did not accomplish as much as you wanted in the previous year? I frequently do. I’ve accidentally found something that might help me with that, and I’d like to share it with you in case you can benefit from it, too.
Over the years I’ve gotten better at using an electronic calendar. Although I use my phone for meetings, appointments, location addresses, etc., I still like having a paper date book. I use this mostly for little things, and most of those are personal reminders. I also use it for lists of things I want to do.
This year when I was transferring information from the old to the new date book, I came across two lists I had forgotten. One included large professional projects, mostly books I wanted to write. The other included large personal projects, some that I had been trying to finish for years.
I was stunned, and pleased, to see how many of the items I had completed. I had even forgotten about a couple of the personal projects.
I realized that a problem with having a to-do list (whether short- or long-term) is that after we complete an item, we take it off the list. It can then be easy to forget that we did it.
What I plan to do is to create a list of what I want to accomplish this year, professionally and personally. I’ll make a copy of the list and place that copy away and not touch it for a year. I’ll work off the original as I usually do. This way, at the end of the year, I’ll have a reminder of what I accomplished, even if it’s not on the working list anymore.
Of course, I could also make a running list of things I accomplish as I accomplish them and review it throughout the year as well as at the end. An advantage to this list is that I can add all the things that come up that need to be done, even though I did not plan on them. I might try that as well and see which method works better.
I encourage you to do something to remind yourself of all you accomplish throughout the year. It can be very rewarding to realize we did more than we remember.
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