What’s Your “Top Ten of the Year”?

top 10Are you as tired as I am with the annual year-end Top 10 lists? Top songs. Top newsmakers. Top gadgets. I even saw the Top 10 hashtags that started a conversation. I don’t need, nor am I interested in hearing about someone else’s best books, TV shows, or movies of the year. I know what I liked and I don’t need to put them in order by how good they may have been.

Instead of trying to rank the various forms of entertainment that we’ve enjoyed, the end of the year is a good time to reflect on your personal Top 10s. These are the things that had a direct impact on your life. Some you may be proud of, others are opportunities for improvement. Either way, this personal assessment can serve to improve your happiness, development, confidence, and productivity.

The following is my Top 5 list of personal Top 10s:

Top 10 Accomplishments for the Year

When we reflect on a year, it’s important to start with our wins. These aren’t necessarily the accomplishments mentioned on the performance review your boss wrote; the focus is on the things that impressed you. I hope this is a long list. Feel free to split it between personal and professional, or, if you had a really good year, make it two separate Top 10 lists.

Top 10 Ways You’ve Helped Others

As the research shows, helping others is a fast track to sustainable happiness. What are your selfless deeds? Did you teach someone how to do something? Did you address a friend’s uncomfortable personal habits before it escalated and had an adverse impact? If you aren’t impressed with this list, a few other Top 10s may provide guidance for next year.

Top 10 Ways You’ve Been Helped

I like this list for two primary reasons. First, it reminds me whom I need to give special thanks. This ego check can serve as a gentle reminder that I didn’t do it by myself and that I need to show appreciation to those who took time out of their busy schedules to lend me a hand. Second, it gives me ideas on ways I can help others next year.

Top 10 Things You Wish You Had Known on January 1, 2014

The singer Helen Reddy once said, “Hindsight is wonderful. It’s always very easy to second guess after the fact.” It would be great to have avoided learning the hard way, but that’s not how it works. This list exhibits the ways you’ve grown in the last 365 days and can show further ways to develop your skills for the next 365.

Top 10 Things You Need to Start Learning on January 1, 2015

With all this reflecting on the last year, we need to generate action items. This Top 10 list will help you draft self-development goals. Be realistic but don’t be afraid to stretch yourself.

Our companies close out financials at the end of the year. We should do the same with our own mental inventory. Write your Top 10s before the holidays begin. This way, you can start the new year with a clear mind and appreciate the Top 10 list of 2015 vacation ideas.

I’d love to hear what’s you’re proud of from this past year. Use the comment section below to share.