There is so much power in taking some time to reflect on the year that passed before preparing to rest or planning for the new year. This is why I’d like to suggest creating a did list for 2017!
I am currently working on my own did list and the process has been so valuable once again that I decided to write this article in hopes that it offers a similar kind of benefit.
The idea is simple really: Take some time before the end of the year reflect on all aspects of 2017 and then list key moments/learnings/achievements.
THERE ARE THREE KEY BENEFITS I’VE FOUND:
- Creating a did list is a form of catharsis more than anything. Your mind can only focus on a limited amount of thoughts so it’s best to regularly box those thoughts and experiences into compartments in your head before letting them go. To clear out the old is to make way for the new.
- In order to plan for the future, I really believe it’s so valuable to have context of the past. Nothing happens by accident and those that use the last bit of 2017 to prepare have the most incredible advantage as they walk into 2018. If you can measure something, you can manage it which is why this kind of reflection actually helps you form a more clear picture of what you want 2018 to look like.
- Finally, I always believe a little perspective shift brings about a healthy dose of excitement and enthusiasm which is vital at the end of the year when people are tired and mentally drained.
hope is not a strategy! Creating a did list is simple to do but it’s not obvious to most!
I’d like to supplement this thinking around creating a did list with another framework called The ARC of Happiness. I heard about it a little while back when I was listening to an episode of The Good Life Project podcast and I really believe it will be massively beneficial to you as you go away over this December period!
ARC STANDS FOR ANTICIPATE, RELISH, CONTEMPLATE!
Anticipation is a large chunk of the happiness equation. Looking forward to an experience, preparing for that experience, and talking about it with friends and family all contribute to your enjoyment of the overall experience. While there is value in spontaneity, there is equal value in locking down an experience or goal ASAP so that you can anticipate toward it. I am extremely intentional about my did list for 2017 so that I can clearly plan for 2018 and then anticipate toward each goal, dream and experience.
Once the anticipated occasion has arrived, relish in the moment, savour the experience in front of you, stop and take it all in. Let go of expectations. I recently went wine tasting in Cape Town and the experience was heightened immensely because I put my phone away, thought about what I was experiencing with each sip of wine while I totally immersed myself in my surroundings. The experience is absolutely etched in my memory.
Once the experience has passed or you’ve returned home, contemplate all that contributed to the moment. While most people will walk away and never think about an experience again, set aside a some time to contemplate what happened, what you experienced, and how that experience will affect your life moving forward (this brings us back to the value of creating a did list)!
Above all else, I hope the last bit of 2017 is everything you dreamed of and it enables you to be the best version of yourself in 2018!