Looking back helps me see how far I’ve come, so I can focus on looking forward.

Like many people (especially women), I often feel like I haven’t done enough.

To celebrate everything I’ve done over the first half of the year, and hatch plans for the second half, I decided to make a list — 12 things I’ve accomplished over the past six months.

Why 12? A dozen seems like a nice number. It signifies completion. It works out to two things a month. And, like a carton of eggs, the contents won’t always be perfect. Some might expire. And some might break.

When I worked in big brand companies, I often heard that “If you can’t measure something, it doesn’t really matter.” I don’t believe that always holds true, but I have found that by forcing myself to document past accomplishments and history, the future becomes much clearer.

I made a list of my small and big accomplishments for the first half of the year and then put them into categories.

  1. PASSION. Wrote 20 posts for Thrive Global (including this one). Published a few articles on LinkedIn and wrote a bunch of paid stuff (see #3). (I had made a commitment to myself a few years ago that I would write more in the second half of my life.)
  2. FAMILY. Celebrated my grandbabies’ birthdays. Not such a Bad Nana after all.
  3. WORK. Engaged with six clients, including some new ones.
  4. WANDERLUST. Traveled to nine different places.
  5. TEACHING/INSPIRATION. Spoke at one event and did one radio interview; booked three more gigs for the fall/winter.
  6. CULTURE and POP-CULTURE. Watched many (too many to count) movies and TV shows and read a lot of books. Saw a couple of baseball games, a storytelling slam, The English Beat, and Joel Osteen. My tastes are definitely eclectic.
  7. MENTORSHIP. Had coffee, drinks, and meetings with countless young men and women and dispensed career and life advice. Learned a lot from them too! Just volunteered to host a Cirkel salon in Phoenix. Cross-generational collaboration is one of my other passions.
  8. VOLUNTEERISM. Worked at the Food Bank and raised money for the Arts.
  9. TRADE SHOWS AND CONFERENCES. Yeah, it’s sort of a quirky love of mine. I really enjoy seeing new products and listening to speakers. I’ve been focusing on food, tech, and food-tech.
  10. SOCIALIZING. Continued to meet lots of people (in business and life) in my new home and reconnected with some old ones back east. Being the new kid is rough at times, but I’m adapting. I also hit 12K connections on LinkedIn for what it’s worth. I prefer quality over quantity.
  11. LEARNING. Immersing myself in new tech is a priority. Mastered a couple of new apps. Watched the debates so I’ll be politically well-informed.
  12. SELF-CARE. Spinning, pilates, slow-mo weight lifting, vitamins, good financial habits, spa days, and regular flossing are just a few of the things I’m doing to stay vibrant for now and in the second half. I was recently told I look younger, so it must be working.

Looking back at my list, I can see clearly what I need to do more of — and what I should do less of.

But enough about me.

Now is a good time to celebrate Independence Day and the start of the second half of the year, liberate yourself from the “I haven’t done enough” mindset and make your own Dozen List.

You can use my categories or create your own. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Even if the first half of the year was full of cracks, you still have six more months to get amazing (and liberating) things done.


  • Nancy A Shenker

    The Silver Hair Playbook: How to Be a Bad Ass >50™

    Nancy A. Shenker is a marketing innovator, brand builder, writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed rule breaker. Over the course of her 40-year business and marketing career, she has been a C-level executive, an entrepreneur, and a mentor to hundreds of small businesses at all stages. Founder of theONswitch marketing, Nancy was formerly a senior executive for major consumer and business brands, including Citibank, MasterCard, and Reed Exhibitions. She has written four books, and publishes a women’s entrepreneur community (www.sheBOOM.com), as well as AI/machine learning/robotics site www.EmbracetheMachine.com and travel and lifestyle site www.BleisureLiving.com. She also wrote a column for Inc.com called Bots & Bodies (about the human side of tech) and is a contributor to a wide range of consumer and business media. She recently won the "Killer Content Award" for a major project for a fast-growing technology company.