Why You Need to Create Your Own “Top 10” List

If you are reading this, you have been given an incredible gift (and no, I’m not referring to this column!). You’ve lived another year. An entire year. You’ve experienced moments filled with laughs and tears, shouts and hugs. It may have been a difficult year financially or personally, but no matter what, it’s been a year you have survived. Whatever challenges you faced, you persevered.

The last few days of the year can bring great joy and relaxation — time with friends and loved ones. But this can also be a time of anxiety when you are scurrying from one party to another and from one mall to another. I love this time because it allows me to think back over what I’ve accomplished, experienced, and contributed.

This is also the time of year where you see the ubiquitous “Best of” lists for nearly everything — books, movies, things to do, songs, cars, iPad apps, YouTube videos, fashion moments, Tweets, and more. Everyone has a “Top 10” list . . . everyone that is, except you. I say skip the other lists and instead take some time to reflect on the only list that really matters.

Choose a couple of the list ideas below and have some fun:

  • Most proud? What are you most proud of in the last year? It’s been a rough year for many, maybe even for you, but if you think back I’m sure you can find at least ten shining moments.
  • Things learned? What did you learn this year? Did you have any breakthroughs?
  • Mistakes made; lessons learned. While my list would certainly exceed just ten, focus on the big mistakes you made, and more importantly, what lessons you learned from them.
  • Regrets (if any)? If you could turn back the clock, what would you change?
  • Friendships made? List new friends and what you appreciate most about their friendship. Be sure to share your list with them.
  • Proud didn’t do? It’s not just what we do that matters, it’s often what we don’t do. What didn’t you do last year that you are proud of?
  • Toughest decisions? Were there decisions you agonized over? What did you learn from them? Why were they so difficult?

Make your top 10 lists and share them with friends. And if you haven’t already, make sure you write yourself the one letter than can change your life and make 2011 your best year yet…

Update: I just read Seth Godin’s Top 10 of 2010. Check it out — it’s inspiring .

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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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