What Went Well/What Didn't Go Well

In Travel Reminders for our Future Selves, Peter Rukavina writes:

At the tail end of our trip to Europe at the end of August, on the flight home, Oliver and I talked about the value of creating a list of what went well (so we can remember to do it again) and what didn’t (so we can avoid or work around it). We weren’t talking about macro issues, like “go back to Amsterdam again!” (which is a good idea in its own right), but rather things like “remember that you need to have €20 of balance on your Dutch transit chip card to be able to take the train.”

The idea mirrors the practice of we programmers to add comments to our code as a guide to others (and to our future selves): here be dragons, watch out for this pothole, this might seem like it won’t work, but it does. And so on.

Before each significant thing I do, like a trip, a date, or a running race, I try to write down expectations and fears of what's about to happen. Afterwards, I check to see if those expectations and/or fears were met, and I write down what went well and what didn't go so well. An example: During my last day trip to Stratford-on-the-Lake, I had a couple of hours to kill before the performance I was going to see. I thought it would be a good idea to pack a lunch, and it so happened that I had leftover breakfast from the diner the day before. I wish I hadn't brought it, because there was a pub with a mighty fine burger (with bacon, peanut butter, and potato chips inside). Having the leftover breakfast flop around in my bag all day wasn't a disaster, but absent a restaurant where I'm going, I'm not doing that again.

The day after, I wrote that in my Day One journal, the hope being that I'll look at my 'day trip' tag and see that again and make the right call the next time.