Ending on a high note: A ‘monthly’ review

I’ve decided that the idea of monthly reviews is flawed. And no, that’s not just me trying to get out of writing them, or making excuses because I’m not particularly good at this. It’s an honest assessment.

There’s a lot happening at the beginning of a month. First of all, normal life doesn’t stop or adjust in order to fit in any ‘beginning of the month’ tasks. Second, there are quite a few ‘beginning of the month’ tasks! That’s the time for budget check-ins, and since the bank prints statements on a monthly basis, it’s a little more complicated to try and change that timing. It’s also the time to set up a new month’s planner- and for obvious reasons, that can’t be changed. Those two things get done much more often than my monthly reviews do.

There’s a second major problem too: The conflict that arises when I’m writing a monthly review in the middle of the next month. It often feels either too late, or fake. I’m writing about how I haven’t made progress on something, because I hadn’t in that specific month, but I have been working on it since that month. Or I’m writing about goals for the next month… a month that is almost half over. It’s weird.

I think the idea behind monthly reviews is great. I’ve written this 8 million times, but I need accountability. I’ll forget my goals if I’m not referring back to them on a regular basis. So, while writing monthly is still going to be the ultimate goal, I’ve also decided to remove the ‘monthly’ from these reviews. Whenever they happen, they happen, and they’ll encompass everything that has taken place right up until that moment, and goals on a going-forward basis.

I think that just makes more sense.

Where do you come from, where do you go?

Since we’re only a month out from the end of the year (yikes!), I’m not going to spend time rehashing what I’ve accomplished this year- that’s what December is for! Instead, I’m going to create a list of all of the things I want to wrap-up before the end of the year.

It’s kind of like a Christmas list… just more work.

The List

  • Read 5 more books (I’ve already completed my #52in52, but that doesn’t mean I get (or want) to stop reading!)
  • Finish 5 Grad School profiles, and have another 5 ready to be written up. The project will re-launch in January!
  • Check at least 5 things off the writing list!
    • Possibilities: Digital equity, NODA conference notes, CACUSS conference presentations, online orientation, online accessibility, tech trends in student affairs, research in SA, dealing with data, gender and university presidents
  • Submit an article to SA-Exchange
  • Write year-end suite of articles (book wrap-up, year-in-review, 100 Things, 2020 goals)
  • Complete accessibility online course
  • Travel to Seattle
  • Volunteer (in the Christmas spirit!)
  • Pass Star 1
  • Complete 6 Fitmas classes
  • Use CARSA membership twice
  • Cook one new meal
  • Wrap-up 100 Things project
  • Finish fine-tuning website (category/tag review, redirect old site, add header, write about page, update photos)
  • Plan for 2020

For transparency (and as a reminder to myself…), all of this is on top of a whole bunch of work, staying on top of my grad school class, and wrapping up the soccer season(s).

A short reflection

I can’t decide whether this list is realistic or not. There’s admittedly a LOT of writing on the list (I think about writing all the time, even if I’m not doing it). But I also think the writing is the only stretch goal on this list; everything else should be more than possible.

Here’s to ending the year on a high note!

Featured image by Andrey Konstantinov on Unsplash

Nicole Crozier

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