the year’s end is a thrilling time for planner girls. we select our 2018 planner lineup. we set up our dashboards and dividers just how we want them. we set goals, schedules, and routines. we can’t wait to dive in to the new year!
but before we canon ball head first (is that even possible?) into 2018, can we take a few moments to reflect on 2017 real quick? a list of this year’s achievements can help you plan for a stellar 2018. here’s how.
end of the year anxiety
my 2017 started with a bang. but by summer time, i began to battle a pretty gnarly relapse into depression. it made the rest of the year pretty damn tough.
as a result, i have mixed feelings about 2018. i welcome the motivational push and clean slate a new year offers. it makes me feel ready to take charge of my life and kick negativity square in the balls! hell, january 1st even falls on a monday this year. that’s a planner girl’s dream!
but, the anxious side of me worries. of course it does! have you met me!? most of 2017 was a crap time of just making it through another day. so many lost family moments, unnurtured friendships, and missed business opportunities. my mind had glorious wonder woman hopes, but my brain made ugly alternate plans. and nothing scares me more than to waste another precious year of my life.
why i value end of year reflections
so there i was, sitting in my angst, wondering if i needed another cup of coffee or a nap. my beautiful husband gently reminded me that i still managed to achieve some awesome things in 2017, even despite some nasty obstacles. i was skeptical, of course. i had to see it to believe it. so, in true planner girl fashion, i sat down to make a list of my 2017 achievements. i owed it to myself.
first, make a list of 20 things you accomplished over the past year.
chris bailey on a life of productivity wrote a great post on how to conduct an end-of-year productivity review. he instructs to list 20 achievements from the past year.
i’m going to be straight with you. i was stuck at about 10 and panicked that i was the biggest loser and how could i have wasted an entire year of my existence and what am i going to do now! but this is exactly why you write a list. because it takes time to thoughtfully and honestly reflect over the year and remember all your accomplishments.
our evolutionary nature mandates that we hold on to the negative in order to survive. (remember that saber tooth tiger that almost ate you before you got to your cave!? that was scary! remember that!) so, it’s harder to recall positive outcomes and memories. our reptilian brain doesn’t see as much value in that. (silly brain.)
in fact, i scrolled through facebook and instagram to help jog my memory. and i bet i could add to my list with more time. so, it’s thankfully easier to list 20 achievements than you may think! who knew you were so awesome?
by the way, achievements can be anything–be generous with yourself! did you reunite with a friend? take a great trip? reach 5000 followers on instagram? fit into those skinny jeans again? these are all worthy accomplishments to take pride in.
then, determine where you spent most of your energy this past year.
here’s a step chris pointed out that i don’t usually take when i list my achievements. categorize each of the accomplishments you listed in terms of areas of your life. for instance, does the achievement relate to your health, relationships, finance, spirituality, what?
i noticed four categories for my achievements. i used color coding dots to mark them and then did a simple count.
- 9 of my achievements involve my blog and business;
- 6 of my achievements relate to my personal life and family;
- 4 of my achievements deal with teaching; and
- 3 of my achievements involve friendships.
my prioritization of work doesn’t surprise me. when i don’t feel my best, hard external deadlines are easier to meet than fuzzier self-imposed ones.
now you have some more insight on how to plan for the new year.
now, with list in hand, decide which habits you want to carry into the new year. for instance, i started yoga again (yay!) and i definitely want to deepen my practice in 2018. it calms and centers me over time, so i want to go more often than just once a week. i owe it to myself and my family.
this achievements list also clarifies areas you neglected. for example, my measly 3 social achievements reveal that i haven’t been the most outgoing and attentive friend. that can change in 2018.
if you try this method, let me know what insights you gain. also, stay tuned for more on goals and organization for the new year.
merry christmas all!