Since 2019 I’ve begun each year by writing about my accomplishments. I find that looking back on all the things I’ve done over the past year starts the New Year in a positive way. That’s a big contrast to writing resolutions which tend to focus on one’s shortcomings by vowing to do better (such as lose weight, study more, stop eating chocolate, and so on).
When I worked at Apple, annual performance reviews determined my compensation. I kept a running list of all the significant things I accomplished at work. That way, I was able to remind my manager what I’d done and make a case for increased compensation. The list really helped because most managers have a short term memory when it comes to their employees. So when I became a manager, I urged my direct reports to jot down their accomplishment during the year.
When I stopped working, I applied the same methodology to my life by making note of various activities throughout the year so that I could reflect on them when the year ended. Although writing retrospectives doesn’t increase my compensation any more, it allows me to answer the question—What have I been doing with my time? Over the next week or so, I will publish retrospectives that summarize my various activities in 2022, from reading to exercise. If you want to know what I’ve been doing, check back every few days.
Happy New Year!