The Year That Was: 5 Annual Review Posts You Should Read

As December came to a close and January kicks in, I looked around for inspiration on how I could structure a post summing up the year that was or looking forward to the upcoming year. Especially since I just wrote about having a bit of a block about how best to do this. I often find myself with tabs open across my browser and when I did this exercise just now I found a few really moving posts that I wanted to share because we can all use some inspiration to get into the right mood for 2011. Right?

Here are my favorite posts from some of the best of the best and why I love them.

  1. Danielle LaPorte’s it’s been very real, 2010: a white hot retrospective

Words with resonance. Testimonials that made me glow. And a couple surprise wildfires. Here’s a glimpse.

Danielle rocks. She has a way of writing, of creating and of being that just makes me excited. Her simple post of highlights from the past year show me that this “summing up the year that was” can be simpler than I thought while still deeply gratifying.

  1. Felicia Day’s Five Things About 2010

I know I’m the guiltiest of all for setting unrealistic expectations for resolutions (Last year on my list were: Learn Chinese, and Trapeze Lessons. Huh?) but this year I decided to, before making a list, look back on 2010 and figure out what things I actually LEARNED as a human being.

Felicia took her year and summed her accomplishments into lessons she learned. I love this! It allowed an entire year of experiences, hardships and triumphs to be put into five lessons. Too often I think we do something and move on without thinking about the consequences or what we learned from the experience. Felicia encouraged me to think not about specific experiences, but what I learned from them.

  1. Gina Trapani’s 2010 Lessons Learned

Don’t waste your time on stuff that doesn’t matter. I learn and re-learn this lesson every single year, and I swear the universe will continue to flog me about the head and shoulders with it till I get it right.

Gina is brutally honest with herself and poignant in how she writes about it. I really related to her reflections on having thought life was going to go one way and instead it went another way. I admired her honesty, but also her ability to unabashedly take credit for her success. That’s hugely important and a good reminder to step up and step into what I did well last year.

4.** Jade Craven’s** How I Kicked Arse In 2010

I bloody rocked it this year. At times everything was crumbling around me and I persevered. I shone. I kept on going when my mind and body were screaming at me to give up.

Like whoa. Jade packs all the punches and true grit of a survivor. I’m rooting for her as much as I’m in awe of her as much as I just want to sit and share a meal with her and gab. How many people can make you feel this way? Reading her post inspired me to think about the BIG triumphs from 2010 because the embracing jealousy and learning to love are the real lifelong deal.

5.** Chris Guillebeau’s** 2010 Annual Review: Looking Back

Last year I identified 2010 as the year of scale and reach. In previous years I had the Year of Convergence, the Year of the Revolution, and the Year of the Cantaloupe (long story). In 2008 I started AONC and built it to a respectable level in the blogging community.

Where would a post rounding up annual review posts be without highlighting Chris’ series on Annual Reviews? Chris was a huge inspiration to me and I was honored to be highlighted in the book he published this year, The Art of Non-Conformity. His dedication to his craft, his book, his blogging and, as no surprise, his review of the past year are the defacto start to reading about how to reflect upon the year that was.

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