Many years ago when I was a teenager, I worked at department store at Green Acres, a mall near my home in Elmont, Long Island. They would close the whole store for a day or two, for “Inventory Day.” We would go shelf by shelf, and manually, yes in pencil, (to help you go back and make corrections) we would enter all the inventory on the shelf.
Not only how many units the store had, but which ones were broken, boxes that were damaged, etc.
While it seemed really tedious to my fellow co-workers, and not always the most fun part of the job, I got introduced to the power of taking inventory on a regular basis, to observe what was in stock, what was damaged and needed replacing, and what could just be ditched.
Having grown up in a family where one of my first grown up books was “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie, I became fascinated with personal growth and human development fairly early.
As a result, in either a formal or informal way, I’ve made it an annual ritual to really inventory my previous year, not from just a goal setting, in preparation for New Year’s Resolution vantage point, but to look at it as a whole.
Last year, I did a more formalized version of inventory-keeping with the wonderful book, “Your Best Year Yet,” by Jinny S. Ditzler and I actually have worked with several of my clients as well, using it as a template in the year ahead. It will now become an annual ritual and I’ve included Charlie, my Sweetheart and Life Partner into it.
But whatever system, formal or informal, I believe a careful review of the year we’re about to close, i.e. victories, challenges, ego-deaths, etc. paves the way for us to put in focus what we’d like to create in the following year. If you think of it as life’s luscious sorbet, by doing inventory of the current year, it clears the palette for the year to come.
While I’d highly suggest you pick up the book, as I think it has so many great points, and is not the typical goal-setting book, you can also just ask yourself these questions:
1) How did I grow both professionally and personally this year?
2) What are 5 things I am really proud of myself for accomplishing?
3) What were my biggest setbacks and how did I choose to deal with them?
4) Moving forward what was the greatest lesson I learned this year, that I want to take into my next year?
5) What friendships did I create this year, or which existing ones did I take to a new level? Which ones did I need to let go of in order to grow?
6) How was my health this year and what role did I play in it?
7) What were 3 magical moments that really stood out (looking through your calendar can help clarify)?
8) What adventures did I have that I really enjoyed?
9) If I had to do it over again, what was one thing I would have done differently, and why?
10) What are three goals for next year that if I manifest will be a winning year for me?
I would love to hear from you on what your observations, insights and comments are?
In the next few weeks, I’ll be expounding on how to celebrate your victories, deal with your disappointments, and create the New Year ahead.
Have a blessed rest of your holiday season.