2011 : a year in review.

Last year, I came across this annual review template by writer/traveler Chris Guillebeau. I wasn’t able to pull together a review last year or set goals for 2011, but it is what inspired the Year of Intention.

I’ve been excited to return to the tool and actually use it. So with that (*drumroll*)…my first ever annual review! Woot!

So with that (*drumroll*)…my first ever annual review! Woot!

The first step is to make two lists––things that went awesome this year and things I wish had gone better. Here are some selections from those lists––

Things that went awesome this year (aka. “the nice list”):

  • At work last year, I was critiqued in my performance review for having bad work-life balance, which was a totally legit critique. I worked way too much. I was stressed and tired and totally lacking in perspective. This year, I’m really happy with the way I turned it around. I’m working reasonable hours. I’m getting better at recognizing my insignificance. And I’m much happier, which is awesome.
  • As I was reviewing 2011 blog posts, I realized a trend was emerging this year that differed from the past: so much more photography (including weddings!)! I didn’t learn to use my SLR the way I’d wanted, but I’ve gotten so much more into just taking pictures, which I’m excited about.
  • We joined a CSA farm share! Definitely a highlight of the year for me (including discovering kale), even though it was definitely a learning experience for me (we wasted a lot of vegetables I just didn’t know what to do with). But I’m so excited to sign up for next year and learn more!
  • Travel––this was obviously a huge year for travel for us! We made it to two new states and three new countries (Ireland, Northern Ireland (UK), and India).

Things I wish had gone better (aka. “the naughty list”):

  • Writing (*sigh*). I had all sorts of high hopes for writing that I just didn’t do. Argh. I’m trying to think about ways to improve blog posting, as well as work on a couple other writing projects. The hardest thing is finding the time! But I’m committed. I always feel best when I’m writing, so I need to make it happen.
  • Exercise––I knew this would make the naughty list when my mother-in-law asked me last time I came home how much I was exercising. Yikes. But it’s time to turn my monthly donation to the gym into something I’m actually getting in return (and by “getting,” I actually mean “taking” since no one is stopping me from going).
  • This year, I spent way too much time freaking out about graduate school. I’m really excited about eventually going (and I feel good about the direction I want to go). But I need to stop STRESSING OUT about it. This year, I really want to focus on investing really deeply in what I’m doing now and really try to get the most out of all my current opportunities.
  • More reading. That’s all.
Yay! Overall, 2011 was an awesome year. A lot of new stuff, new places. There are things I want to do better at next year, but overall a great year. The Year of Intention theme, even though I didn’t focus on it as much as I had wanted to, was helpful for me, even just to come back to every once in a while. I plan to keep thinking hard about what it means to live with intention and to keep exercising the things I learned this year.

The next step of the review is setting goals for next year. I’ve already got some ideas brewing; what I’m aiming to do is identify goals in 9 categories: travel, health, learning, finances, service, family/friends, work, writing, and spiritual. Hoping to blog on several of these, and hoping people will keep me accountable! I’m also excited about the theme I’ve decided on for 2012––but that’ll have to wait for another post.

Question: How was 2011 for you? What could’ve gone better and what was awesome?

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5 thoughts on “2011 : a year in review.

  1. this makes me miss you so much. can’t believe 2011 is almost over. and i want to hear more about grad school – any major decisions made? here’s to hoping to see you in 2012! love you friend.

    • It’s looking like public health is the direction for me! Just not yet. 🙂

      Major low point of 2011: you moving away! Miss you.

  2. I have been lurking for a while and just haven’t posted any comments. LoL. I am mourning your childhood home because we had so many good times there.
    My year has been the hardest and the greatest that I have had so far in life. I explored new countries for the first time (Scotland, England and France), I was diagnosed with cancer, I beat cancer, I started dating a great new guy, I realized just how blessed I am to have so many amazing friends. To someone on the outside looking in they would probably say of course my year could have been better (Hello, you got CANCER), but truthfully I don’t think I have ever been so happy.
    Anyways I just wanted to let you know that I miss you. I love having these little insights into your life because you have always been one of my favorite people and someone I look up to (both literally and figuratively).

    (this entire thing is random, I know) ❤

    • Sarah, so great to hear from you! I know…it’s so sad about the house! I definitely have a lot of good memories from there with you.

      And wow – you have had quite a year, but it’s such an encouragement to hear your unfailing, positive attitude about it. Wow (again). I certainly look up to YOU!

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