2006: The year to come?!

Here in Japan (and elsewhere, I’m sure) they have a tradition of listing the 10 biggest news events at the end of each year. At the school where I work, we all spend some time at the year-end party (or in Japanese: Bo-nen-kai: lit, forget-the-year party) not forgetting, but remembering those events which impacted us over the entire year. This is not a ‘best 10’ list, as the events may be either good or bad.

With younger kids, most of the events listed are within the last 2 or three months. That is to say, if we do the exercise in December, they may list the Halloween party of October but are likely to forget the ski trip at the beginning of the year.

It is times like these when a journal or diary comes in handy!

When the kids look over the event calendars of the last year, they really get a sense of all they have accomplished and enjoyed—or even overcome—during the past year.

Two years ago, as a journaling technique, I started to write my ’10 biggest news events’ for each DAY. It seems that if reflection is good once a year, 300 times that amount of reflection could lead to some pretty good insights.

As many resolutions do, my experiment did not last past January. But it occurs to me that if we woke up and wrote 10 goals every morning, then reflected and recorded the 10 biggest happenings of each day, we could really make some daily progress not only in achieving our goals, but also in reflecting on the events that happen to us, how we respond to them, and even more importantly, the events that we cause to occur.

Here is my challenge: Try it for one week. When you wake up: look over your yearly goals and then make daily ‘things to do’ from that. As you turn in for the night, list (on a datebook, for example, or in a diary) the 10 biggest things that happened to you today.

If you find yourself struggling to find 10 (you will), persevere. One of the best things about the ‘Rule of 10’ is that you will also start to appreciate the smaller ‘big events’ in your life. So, if number 8 on your list for January 10th is “ate a delicious dinner” so be it! Those are the small ‘big events’ that make up a life.

--For another perspective on year-end reflecting, as well as year-start goal- setting, see my friend Charles Burke’s sizzling edge blog for December and January at http://sizzling-edge.blogspot.com

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