2020 has arrived, and many of us are thinking about how we want to spend the year ahead - what we'd like to change, what we'd like to accomplish, what we'd like to release, what we'd like to earn, and so on. I love looking forward, dreaming big and savoring the fresh start. But this year more than ever before, I've taken time to look back, to review the year that's just ended. It's really given me a unique perspective on the highs and the lows, the hellos and the goodbyes, and what I'd like to add more of and what I'd like to subtract.
If you'd like to conduct a review, here are steps to consider:
Starting with a blank sheet of paper, write down everything that comes to you about last year - specific events, people and places, high points and low points.
If you live with others or have relationships with people who might add additional perspective, solicit their input too. It was interesting to hear what each of my children and my husband said first when I asked.
Flip through whichever of the following are applicable to you: calendars, journals, photos, text messages, emails, receipts, souvenirs or blog posts. There's something to be learned from each of these resources about how you spent your time, your money, your attention.
Look for patterns: Are there certain people/places/things that bring you joy? That bring you sadness? That cause stress? Did you spend far too much time in one area and far too little somewhere else?
State your intentions. Use what you learned to decide what you'd like 2020 to look like and what you need to do to make it happen. My review helped me identify I want to continue reading and listening to great books. I'd like to go on a few more adventures with our family. I need to schedule more time with friends. I'm going to look for a new volunteer opportunity. I will work to schedule a few more speeches. And to do all that, I need to spend a little less time online and be more intentional each day.
A quote attributed to Jonathan Estrin says, "The way we spend our time defines who we are."
Conduct a review to find out how you're spending yours.