Chasing Down The Muse: Time for that annual self-inventory

There will always be more to do.

Even taking our own sweet time, as I wrote about last time, tasks just seem to keep appearing. Like rabbits. They keep on multiplying. There are just so many things we want to do, and it seems there is never enough time as the list keeps growing. This can be frustrating and discouraging. Even prioritizing often leaves us feeling “behind.”

As most of my readers know, I am a big believer in self-questioning and taking inventory.

Because the end of the year is drawing near (and those darned tasks continue to mount) it seems like a good time to assess. What was accomplished in the past year? What steps were made toward goals? What good was done?


There are myriad questions one can ask of oneself. Begin by dividing the task areas into chunks. Then, let the questions begin! Just what things did you manage to get done? Like the glass half full or half empty, it is a matter of focus.

What were “growth points” for you in the past 12 months? What skills did you learn or attempt or improve? What did you try that scared you? What was new to you that may have helped you to grow as a person?

What did you do for others? Did you mentor or help someone? Support a new cause? Looking at it from the other side, can you say that someone’s life was changed by your actions? Did you join groups or organizations that make a difference?

What did you do just for yourself? Self-care is often where it begins. Did you begin or continue a regular exercise routine? Did you change to healthier eating habits? Did you take time for just being with yourself, to enjoy who you are? Did you do something special that you love? Did you take a class just because you were interested? Did you get a massage or meditate or take a yoga class?


Did you meet someone new who has made a difference in your life, or who may? And, on the other side of this, did you meet someone whose life could be changed by your presence in their life? Were new alliances formed?

Did you take a trip to somewhere new? This could be small or large. A trip to a new museum would count. Don’t shirk when listing your accomplishments!

Everything we do offers possibility for stretching and growth and change. Trying new foods, new ways of spending (or not spending, as the case may be) — count it all as accomplishment.

What new resources have you discovered to help in any area of your life? Did you try new ways of self-promotion in your career or business? What areas did you explore that may not have panned out? Accomplishment can be about the explorations as well as the fulfillment of hopes.

What creative stretches did you make? Think hard on this one. You might be surprised.

Did you change any habits that were not working for you? Throw out things you didn’t like or that you no longer found useful or were saving for someone else? Closet-cleaning is a big accomplishment for many of us.

Did you do anything to enhance your home environment? It is amazing what a difference the small things here can make in our daily lives. Clean windows to a new roof — it all helps.

Did you read a book or see a movie or a play that impacted your life in some way? How? Have you done any follow-up because of this impact? Did you, perhaps, share the knowledge gained?


The questions could go on and on. I hope these few have started you thinking. The important thing is to acknowledge yourself for what you have done. Celebrate your amazing self!

Happy holidays to all!

CHERRIL DOTY writes, teaches, creates, laughs, lives and loves and can be reached by e-mail, or by phone at (714) 745-9973.