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Resolutions and Retrospectives

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

Most resolutions I've made or have heard other people make, have to do with trying to correct a self-perceived flaw—lose weight, stop smoking, study more, party less, and so on. It’s a helluva way to start the New Year, by dwelling on one’s short comings. A retrospective, on the other hand, looks back on all the substantial things a person has done over the past year. It starts the New Year by focusing on one’s deeds in a positive way. (Photo: Ondrejk, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Bratislava fireworks.)

I stopped making New Year's resolutions when I was in college, because I realized their futility. Only recently I turned to retrospectives. This is the third year that I’m writing a retrospective. Over the next few days, I’ll blog about various aspects of what I’ve done, such as reading books, travel, learning, and so on. The first year I started writing a retrospective, I was surprised at how much I personally accomplished during the year. It took a lot to remember exactly what I’d done. So these days, I am careful to document the things I want to remember at the end of the year.

I’m using the same approach I used when I was employed by Apple. Because 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.

Stay tuned for several days of retrospective writing!

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