An informal list to be sure but do you make a list of observed birds and write it down for the year? I've just started my fourth year making a list of birds actually observed by myself in the yard, at the park, grocery shopping, on a trip, wherever. Put my initial 2020 notes together today and started my list and already have 25 observations (confirmed ID's).
Note that I'm not a bird counter or extreme bird enthusiast who goes out of my way to find more species, or willing to sit out in some remote spot for days on end to catch a glimpse of some feathered critter just so I can add another notch to my list but it is fun and at the end of the year, it's amazing just how many species you may have tallied. I do use a bird app on my phone (Merlin) and have a couple of good bird books I refer to on occasion.
Just curious if anyone else does this as a non professional?