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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#130: Past Year Review

Every Friday, I get Tim Ferriss's "Five Bullet Friday" email, and while I think he's a bit of an annoying tech-bro sometimes, there is usually one good nugget each week. (In fact, I love his writing-music recommendations and I'm listening to one right now.) This week, he had a link to his Past Year Review, which I've done in the past and am definitely going to do again this year.

Basically, instead of setting New Year's Resolutions (which, I agree, are usually worthless), Ferriss does an exercise where he sits down with his calendar from the previous year, looks at each week, and figures out what brought positivity into his life and what didn't. Then, he makes a list of the most positive things he did, and puts them on his calendar again for the coming year (sometimes going so far as to pre-paying for activities he knows he loves but always puts off.) That way, he knows he has positive activities planned out for the future.

He also makes a list of the most NEGATIVE things he did in the previous year and creates a Not-To-Do list, so he won't agree to do them again for any reason. This could be people he doesn't want to meet with, or activities he agrees to that he actually hates, but feels obligated to do.

I've used this list in the past to realize that I hated sitting on non-profit boards, and that I shouldn't do that, ever again. (Not because I hate non-profits, to be clear. But because those boards are typically just monthly chat sessions and meant to make people feel important, pad resumes, and get access to networks for fundraising. Not my cup of tea.)

I'm definitely doing the Past Year Review again this year, and I'd suggest you do it, too. Follow the link above for detailed instructions. It only takes 60 minutes, tops, but it makes a whole world of difference.


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