Due to years of following an academic calendar, I still incorrectly use the term “last year”.

In the academic world, Spring 2019 is a separate academic year from Fall 2019. On the flip side, Spring 2020 is a different calendar year from Fall 2019. Come fall, you are a grade older and a “year” wiser. Come spring, you feel older because everyone celebrated the passing of time.

In school, there are semesters to clearly mark the transition between time periods. Each transition period forces reflection and the reevaluation of priorities. It’s this transition that forces the feeling of being older and wiser. When you look back at yourself in the last period, you feel like you were so naive.

When referring to events that happened in a similar time of year, I will still refer to them as happening “last year”. Literally speaking, I’m inaccurate and it’s confusing for others. It’s a habit I’ve kept without realizing it.

While I have no problem with this, I realize that up until now, I haven’t built in the mental transition that a semester creates. My subconscious is already trained to make 6 months feel like a different year - except there’s no notable event to transition with.

I like the idea of the semester because it creates more cycles than society naturally gives.

More cycles => more reflection => more learning => more progress.

In my habit tracking, I tend to adjust what I track each quarter, but I don’t do anything to clearly mark the passage of time. To give myself more time cycles, I will think about how I can create and celebrate more transitions. What seems to make sense right now:

Major (every 6 months): Take 1 -2 days of self-reflection
Minor (every 3 months): A half-day of reflection