Over the years, I’ve evolved some formats to use around January 1 to celebrate my life and accomplishments, as well as set expectations for the New Year.
Here is the format I’m currently using:
- List 25 Accomplishments from 2011
- Choose my top five accomplishments from 2011
- 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 2012 begins
- Goal ideas for 2012
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
Over the next few weeks, I’ll share parts of this. For today, I wanted to share my top five accomplishments from last year:
- Started a blog and posted daily to it – woo hoo!
Improved my photography through practice
Evolved my relationship with my daughter
Put together 5 photo albums to record family & other events
When rechecking my journals from a year ago, I was surprised to see that last year, it took two tries – TWO – to put together a list of five accomplishments that gave me satisfaction and feeling like I had a purpose in life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a big surprise. I felt 2010 was a pretty lackluster year for many reasons and my first choices for the top five accomplishments were equally unimpressive.
Thankfully my second try to list the top five accomplishments gave me somewhat more satisfaction, but I knew I wasn’t about to repeat that in 2011. And this year, my top five pretty much flew to the list. I am satisfied with them and with the creative outlets they have given me.
As for the relationship with my daughter, it’s always been a good one. This last year though, as she’s faced a number of disappointments and had to make hard decisions, we are relating to each more as adults than we did in the past.
I noticed this the most in August. I’d taken a few days of vacation to visit her, then worked from her home the rest of the week so I could spend more time with her. I’d had a really bad morning with phone conferences and a super secret project I was working on. I met her for lunch that day and found she’d had an equally bad morning. We spent the hour venting to each other about the problems at work. More than once I’ve looked at her and wondered when she grew up into such a smart person.
My small stones entry comes from breakfast at Cracker Barrel yesterday morning:
pecan panacakes, brown and beige
butter skims the smooth surface
the syrup over all
the fork cuts left, right and across the end
to lift it to my mouth
and explode the flavors against my tongue
yum yum – sweet, salty, smooth and crunchy
do I dare pour more syrup?
and how much should I eat from such a plateful?
Blog Header & Photo
With the New Year, I changed my blog header. This oak tree is at the end of our lot line. I’ve taken many pictures of it throughout the year and love its stark beauty in the winter sky.
Life Lessons accomplishments Cracker Barrel oak tree pecan pancakes postaday2012 sky small stones winter sky
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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.
Congratulations on having a better 2011 than your 2011. My 2011 was much better too. Here’s to a tremendous 2012!
Your lists are a good idea, if I find the time, I’d like to sit down and ponder over them, too. I loved it when my daughter became my friend. No one knows us like family! I love your oak, too.
I forgot to mention how badly I wanted those pancakes after reading that!
That was the whole point!
Patti – the lists are worth doing even if you don’t get to it until February. It becomes even more valuable after doing for several years and seeing all the things you got done.
I love your description – yes, my daughter has become my friend. That’s so great.
Glad you liked the oak tree.
I’ve never set goals for the year, but you’ve encouraged me to try it for 2012. I’m very impressed that you completed 5 albums while working full time and all else that you do. I use to really enjoy doing albums and have several I’d like to complete/start.
My dream is to move to a house where I could have a room that would be mine alone i.e. Jaimie would never enter it. A room where I could have projects laid out to work on in my spare moments and never worry that they would be disturbed. But I am working on being content in the state I/we are in. I’m still a work in progress. :)
Jane – I really appreciated you leaving the comment. I was undecided about spending a lot time about my goals, but thought it would be worthwile to write about.
I can understand why you’d like a room that Jaimie couldn’t enter. It’s hard being content where we are – and have I ever had prayers on that one lately!
This is what I do as well, go over my goal list from the previous year and tick off what I accomplished. It always surprises me that I actually did do what I set out to do for the most part. The fun part is then writing a new list. You did very well with your list! 2012 will be an awesome year for both of us I have a feeling!!BTW Love the oak tree.
Darlene – thanks for the encouragement! I started doing this quite a few years ago in frustration over all the things that were always undone. Thankfully I now have a record of the things that got done. Two of those photo albums took a long time to do, which took time away from other things. That’s just how it is.
I agree with you – I think 2012 will be awesome. I feel it strongly in my prayers.
Glad you like the tree! It’s really pretty and has given me hours of entertainment with my camera.