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November 2012
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January 2013

Track your accomplishments

A number of years ago (too many, if you must know) I learned a hard lesson at my first real-world job. It was time for the infamous annual review, and as part of the process I was asked to provide a list of all of the things I had accomplished over the course of the year.

The only problem was, I couldn't remember but a handful of the things I'd done. And because of a particularly inhumane corporate culture, my boss really had no idea what I had done either.

Needless to say, my performance review that year suffered for my lack of memory. I vowed to never let that happen again.

Ever since then I've maintained two lists of accomplishments. They're text files, so they're easy to update whenever I meet a goal or deadline. There are two because I like to separate personal and professional accomplishments separate.

Entries are written in single-line bullet-point style, just right for a PowerPoint presentation. Not that they'll ever be part of a presentation, but I like the exercise of writing in corporate-speak, even for my personal accomplishments. Something about "Surpassed August weight loss goal by 2%" makes me smile.

I recommend developing this habit; it has certainly served me well. Whenever I need a pep talk, it's easy to review a list of all that I have managed to achieve lately. And on a few occasions they've proven useful for answering questions like "What year did we publish that book?", and other trivia. Since they're your lists, feel free to pat yourself on the back and add anything you'd like to acknowledge.

With a new year approaching, there's no better time than now to get started.