It’s nearing the end of 2019. It’s hard to believe, but in just a few days it’ll be 2020. Near the end of the year I like to take stock and think about last year and what ended up being successful and what didn’t. Last year I came across an image on Twitter that showed a different way to reflect on the year. Not sure where I exactly found it, but I believe the image was pulled from this site. In 2019 I wanted to purposefully reflect more throughout the year. I decided to jump on this trend of using highlighters, a notebook and pixels to analyze how I felt throughout the year. I ended up creating my own sheet with rectangles modeled after some of the pictures that I came across. I wanted to originally use squares, but that didn’t happen when I printed it to fit to the page so I just went with it.
I tried to stay consistent with filling out the sheet daily and at the same time. That didn’t happen every time, but I became better as 2019 rolled forward. As the year progressed I started to notice a few trends in my own analysis of how a day went. I became more clear on what events/activities/notices indicated an amazing day compared to a frustrated day. The list below is certainly not all-encompassing and isn’t perfect, but used as general guidelines as I filled out each rectangle.
Amazing (orange) – Feel well-rested, vacation time, visits with family, able to get outside in the sun, time to read, drinking my coffee slowly,
Really good (purple) – Feel productive, time to plan, able to get outside, exercised, get to bed on time
Normal (blue) – Feel good, able to accomplish what’s needed for that day. Feeling a bit tired but productive, sleep patterns are a bit irregular,
Exhausted (yellow) Lack of sleep, too much or too little coffee, traveling day, didn’t exercise, wasn’t able to get outside, too much work, evaluations, not feeling as productive, starting to feel sick
Frustrated (green) – Sick, bad news about family, medical issues, rejection letters
Sad (red) – I ended up not using this one and probably won’t in 2020
Moving forward, I’m thinking of continuing this process in 2020. I have my highlighters ready I think there’s power in being able to reflect and categorize how the days make you feel. Taking the time to write it down has been a valuable experience. I also have to be a more critical in how I categorize a day. Everyday isn’t going to be perfect. I need to be reasonable with expectations. For example, does getting bad medical news for 5 minutes negate having a terrific day? Not sure and I don’t have an answer here. Looking at the data is interesting as I can make generalizations, but my takeaway is the time spent being mindful of how daily events impact my perspective.
Here’s to 2020!