3. What did I learn? What three personal guidelines would help most in the next year? Look over your lists from the first two questions. Ask yourself: What worked? How did I manage to accomplish all the things I accomplished? What didn’t work so well, and why? What did I learn from that? Choose your top three lessons and turn them into guidelines for the coming year, such as: “Do the important stuff first,” “Communicate my desires,” or simply, “Relax.”
Now this is a confusing one to answer, because unless you made a point of recording everything that you accomplished, you tend to forget what you did learn. A few years ago, I started using, in a somewhat less than perfect way, the organization format taught in Getting things done by David Allen, which, although geared a great deal more toward those who are in a deadline-intensive job, is nonetheless useful to anyone. I don’t do it exactly as advised — I fall down on the job in the area of weekly review — but I find that many parts of it work very well and help me feel more organized. I’ve moved along on several goals in the last few years and this has helped a great deal.
So one of the things I will try to learn here is: Follow this organization process better.
Another things I started to do, in a weird way as a consequence of the blogs I have been reading, is recording both the progress and completion stages of many of my personal projects. This blog alone has helped me to realize that I do in fact complete more of these than I had realized, when you look at it in the context of the year and not just the day to day. So I think that recording things better will become more of a goal. Of course, that opens the question of how to do this better. I’ve really been thinking of a digital camera, but I think that needs to go higher in the list of things to buy. Not top — I have a few other things that come sooner these days — but high up. I still like the cameras I have, but I don’t like waiting to see if the picture came out when tracking progress, because what if it didn’t? and yet I’ve moved on to the next stage.
So lesson to learn is: do your best to record progress in some way for all areas of your life. Pictures, this blog, something more private for the more personal stuff, etc. (Ah, that reminds me, I need to take a picture of the current dining room repair and I need to make sure to get a picture of the people who helped me.)
Two lessons are enough, I don’t think I’ll look for a third.