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Long before I was a copywriter, I was a bartender.

And before I was a bartender, I was a short-order cook.

It was in the upstairs kitchen at the Count of Antipasto in Ann Arbor, Michigan where I learned about inventory.

Before each shift, my best friend Steve and I would go through the inventory. We’d check in on the shredded mozzarella, the turkey, the vats of muffaletta sauce — the shelves upon shelves of canned and bagged stuff.

Full fridge.

Full pantry.

Ready for the rush.

Which brings me to you in 2023.

Not next year, although it’s looming.

No, let’s take a look and see what’s in your fridge.

Your pantry.

What have you done this year to stock up. (And yes, be ready for next year’s rush.)

Indeed, after you read this, I would love if you took inventory.

Here are a few ways to do so:

What did you accomplish? Think about it – and write it down.

Did you make anything – what was it? Write it all down.

Books read? Shows watched? Songs discovered? Write them down.

What did you set out to do last January? Did you make anything happen from your list? Write it down.

Places visited? Write it down.

New friends or contacts? Write ‘em down.

Physical things? Pounds lost? Muscles gained? (Or vice versa, that’s ok, too.) Write it down.

Dates? Date nights? Coffees with a contact? Write ‘em down.

Work wins? Did you gain any new clients? Did you add a skill? Write it down.

Indeed, whatever happened over the last 12 months, now is the time to think about it, remember it and write it down.

You see, it’s so easy for us to drift through our days and feel like we are accomplishing nothing.

But you’re better than that.

You just need a moment stop and see what’s in the pantry.

Take a look.

Write it all down.

And get ready for the rush.

Rob Schwartz is the Chair of the TBWA New York Group and an executive coach who channels his creativity, experience and wisdom into helping others get where they want to be. This was originally posted on his Substack, RobSchwartzHelps, where he covers work, life, and creativity.

Banner photo by Guillaume Bolduc on Unsplash.

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