As the year quickly winds down, I do several things in my personal journals to memorialize the year. I’ve been doing this for a while now and it’s usually fun to go back and see what’s changed or not changed over the years.
- List 25 Accomplishments from last year
- Choose my top five accomplishments
- List three ways I have grown over the last year
- What didn’t I do that I wanted to do or should have done
- What I need to change
- Contemplations & prayers as the New Year begins
- Goal ideas for the New Year
Understandably, this can take a while to work through. I find it satisfying for several reasons and worth the work:
- It reminds me that I did in fact accomplish a lot despite all that remains undone
- I review it frequently for encouragement and as a reminder of what needs change
- It helps me prioritize my time better
I also write a long entry in my journal that I title “The Year In Review”. It’s different than the 25 Accomplishments – those are the things I got done during the year, big and small. The year in review is more of a recording and rant, bringing closure to the year. It’s a letter to myself – what went right, what went wrong, people I interacted with (good and bad), and it becomes a recording of my life in hindsight. Those can be painful to reread later, but they are cathartic and clear my mind for the days to come.
Do I finish this all by New Year’s Eve? Sometimes, but usually not. I like to do the accomplishments by then, as it’s a good way to start the New Year. The Year In Review sometimes doesn’t get done until later in January. I keep notes as to what I’d like to put into it, which makes it easier to put together when I finally have time.
Here are some examples from last year:
Accomplishments From Last Year (2011) - parts of this post were excerpted from there
2011 Blog In Review - my public “Year In Review”