It’s funny that the older you get, the faster the years seem to move. I often wonder if it is the routines that you fall into that cause the days to just fly by or it is that you become cynical and bitter and lose that wonderment that you had as a child? Or, if you’re like me, it’s that you’ve got so much on your plate that you never seem to get anything done, yet at the same time, you do get a lot done — it just never feels like it. And like that, we’re at the end of this year and waiting a new year to show up so we can write a list of things we want to do, look at what he didn’t accomplish and push it to the next year and try at it again.
It’s the year-end retrospective; and it feels like you’re at a job. You’re always doing these retrospectives, be it every month, every week, every product delivery, whatever. The reason these work retrospectives work is that you’re sitting back figuring things out, really analyzing what went wrong, what went right, what you can do to improve. Unfortunately, we don’t hold ourselves to the same standards we do at work. We write the new year resolutions, tell ourselves we’re going to do it and then a week or two later fall down on the job and not do any of them. We make excuses as to why we couldn’t do it. I say, forget that. Hold yourself accountable. Set goals, set high goals. Set goals that seem impossible to achieve — that is the only way you’ll get better. To strive for something, to push yourself to the edge and complete it. I know this sounds like a bunch of self-help schlock (and it probably is) but you’ve got to do something to push yourself forward.
Now, off from from that little derivation, the one thing that happen with retrospectives is that they occur at regular intervals to make sure you’re on target. I think this is the one thing many people don’t do with their resolutions — don’t follow through and don’t take stock of how far they’ve gone in completing the resolution. I suggest that what needs to be done is to do retrospectives each month on the resolutions.
Of course, now, what good would I be if I didn’t objectively talk about how I did on my resolutions for this year. My main goal was to propose my PhD topic this year. However, I didn’t get this goal like I had hoped — I got much closer, however — which was nice. So you know I’m going to be putting this high on my list for the coming year (and once achieving it, putting completing my PhD up there as a high priority). The other goals I had, some failed, some I succeeded on and others I still put in the improving range. So come January 1st, I want to list out my new goals and do a once a month check-up on them to prioritize and update my progress on each of the goals I have.
Now that I’ve talked about how I intend to follow through on my New Year Resolutions, what are some ways you handle your resolutions? Not make them at all? Do more of the same (not a good idea unless you’re constantly improving at something).