Mired in the reality of life’s daily grind is the reality that things happen so fast, we’re prone to forgetting key events that happen along the way. I call those Milestone Moments. They may be huge wins. Or, they may be simple cherished memories you hold dear to your heart.
Moving fast does not have to mean forgetting, though.
An intern at work reminded me of this a few years back. Rather, he made it known to me. Here’s how…
Documenting Milestone Moments
Some people keep extensive diaries. For people like me, that never worked. I never wanted to commit the time, nor did I want anyone to come across what I had written and peruse my innermost thoughts. Taking pictures and posting on Instagram or Facebook is nice. But, can you honestly tell me that you occasionally walk down virtual memory lane to review them like a photo album? Neither do I. Even if you do, though, there’s still the likelihood that you don’t want to share with the world, and face it, some moments simple are not “Kodak” worthy.
Still, how can you preserve cherished milestone moments without committing a ton of time or exposing it to the world?
My dad had a pretty simple way of documenting such moments. He kept a simple wall calendar – the kind that sports teams and banking institutions give out on an annual basis believing it will induce loyalty and increased exposure. On that calendar, he would list a quick 1-2 word blurb to memorialize important events.
I was reminded of this when the intern shared a printed Excel spreadsheet with our team. It had two columns, each split into two sub-columns. Within each sub-column was six boxes (24 in total). He explained that there were two boxes for each month, one to be filled with personal highlights of that month, and one for career highlights.
He then challenged us to fill it in.
No easy task.
Preserving Milestone Moments
Following this exercise, I created my own sheet so I could have it electronically. I then set a reminder on my calendar to alert me at the beginning of every month to fill it in. At the end of the first year of doing so, I was able to look back and take a lot of satisfaction in the many things I accomplished and was blessed to experience. It also serves as an ongoing, living reminder of some of life’s most cherished milestone moments.
It’s not a long and drawn out narrative for everything. Just a quick blurb to state how my daughter did with her dance competitions, where and when we vacationed, or other cool events I was blessed to participate in. I also have notes of career achievements, like big projects, special recognition, and the like.
Reserving Milestone Moments
I’ll confess now that the last three months have been a whirlwind in several areas of my life. I realized I was three months behind and started going through my calendar to fill in my blanks. When I was complete, I started looking ahead to the current month. Too early to really put anything, I nearly saved and closed the file.
However, I did something unique, I added two notes. Neither one has been accomplished yet. However, they are two things that I am absolutely determined to see become Milestone Moments in my personal life. While I don’t intend to do this every month, these are two things that I have allowed to hold me back from moving bigger things forward.
Why not wait until I accomplish them? The simple answer is that I know myself. It would be easy for me to shrug my shoulders and say I can plug it in “next month” when I actually do it. It’s going to emotionally kill me if I have to remove them because I didn’t follow through.
Chad Gramling is a author and historian who's “refining life, on purpose.” He regularly blogs about his experiences and how God is leading him at <a href="htt;?/1glories.com">1Glories.com</a>. Connect with him on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/1Glories">@1Glories</a> or <a href="Facebook.com/1Glories">Facebook.com/1Glories</a>