For the past four years instead of new years resolutions, I’ve made a list to help bring intention, thoughtfulness and whimsy into the year. I make these lists without the pressure the everything must.get.done. Instead I try to pick a mixture of little tasks that I’ve been putting off (get my sons birth certificate, get dental work done, etc.), things I want to try (new hikes, new recipes, new travel destinations), and then some broader goals like decluttering, start meditating. Yesterday I shared my 2022 wrapped and what got completed on last years list. You can also read about the origin of this idea in my 2021 post, here!
The week after Christmas and before the New Year is inherently made for reflection. It’s hard not to look back at the last 12 months, no matter what they held for you, without some kind of pause. Most of our years are filled with a mixture of ups and downs. Last year I shared my tradition of making a list for each year (20 for 2020, 21 for 2021, etc.) I wrote about the origin of this idea and what kinds of things fill this list in a post here . But the idea is that broad, overarching resolutions are ineffective and typically lose their shine rapidly. Filling a list with a mixture of small tasks, fun things, and bigger goals and checking in on the list through out the year is a great alternative to resolutions! Admittedly coming up with over 20 items can feel a little daunting so you could easily have the same effect with a list of 10 or 15 things. Below I’m sharing my 2022 list & some other milestones that happened!
22 in 2022
Get family photos taken – Done! And SO happy with how they turned out!
Read 12 books – To my own surprise, I ended up reading 20 books this year!!
Trip to NYC – This did not happen – but we did go to DC and had a kidless weekend away in Sonoma
Build a neighborhood free little library – YES! Did this and it brought me so much joy!
Day dates with boys – I was not very consistent with this but did do some
Switch to clean makeup – Done!
Run a 5k – I actually laughed when I looked back at my list, I have no memory of wanting to do this!
Go to the dermatologist – eek this did not happen… BUT I did get all my dental work done this year & went to my routine cleaning & have no new cavities or issues!
Find a PCP – yes!
Do 3 Day Refresh – maybe in 2023
Get pictures off old macbook Done!! This was huge, pulling about 7,000 photos off my college computer!
Do a 30 minute meditation monthly – I didn’t do this monthly but I crossed a huge meditation milestone of meditating for 500 days! And I did complete two different meditation courses this year.
Take boys to Tilden / BADM 3x – We didn’t make it to either place once 😦
Plan and Plant a spring / summer garden – yes the summer of tomatoes!
Pay off mazda YES grown up stuff
Take Juno on weekly walks – We didn’t do as many adventures as I’d liked but she got way more exercise than last year so calling it a win!
Make an album of now – did not do this.
Paint master bath / add shelving – nope. still have paint samples taped up lol.
Take a social media Sabbath each week – YES! I did this most of the year and loved it!
Go to a National Park – Arches in UT, was a major highlight this year!
Try therapy – didn’t happen. thought about it a lot. lol.
Shiplap entry way – also no.
Despite half of my list being incomplete, 2022 was a year that has some amazing memories, lots of fun and some tremendous personal growth. I hit a huge meditation milestone of 500 days, something that seemed impossible when I started! I left my kids and went on a solo girls trip! I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone & taught two group exercise classes. I put down my phone and picked up books, reading 20 books this year. I learned to use a jigsaw & nail gun and built a little free library for our neighborhood. We spent more time with family & cousins, we hosted birthdays and I kept decorating themed cakes. I drastically purged and simplified our home and belongings, everything from clothes, kitchen gadgets, to digital clutter. Oh and I survived a road trip with two toddlers from California to Utah!
The last few months of 2022 have been a barrage of high fevers, cancelled plans, sick kiddos, trips to the pediatrician and urgent care; pushing me to my outer limits. But reflecting on the year reminds us that it is so rarely as simple as a “good year” or a “bad year”. There were thousands of amazing moments this year and endless things to be thankful for. The purpose of the yearly list isn’t to have every single item checked off. Instead it’s to bring intention, thoughtfulness and fun, into what you want your year to hold. So that December doesn’t roll around and you realize you floated through the year, reacting to what was thrown at you.
A vital part of growth is allowing ourselves space to reflect. Being able to look back on moments that brought you joy, made you proud, things you may have handled differently etc. If reflection doesn’t come naturally – sometimes reading some simple prompts can open the gates of inspiration! Below are some prompts to get your reflections started.
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my 23 for 2023 list! I’d love to hear what goals you crushed in 2022, dreams you have for this year or if you make a list yourself I’d love to see it!!
Nearly all of us have made New Years resolutions only to watch them fizzle out before February. The end of the year can stir up all kinds of feelings. Whether your year was filled with great change, new additions to your family or maybe your year was filled with setbacks or grief, or maybe like most of us, a little of both. Sometimes it can be hard to look back and try to set goals especially if maybe your goals haven’t changed much. I love reflecting on the year, and thinking about what I want to take forward with me into the new year, but the idea of making resolutions is kinda bleh. A few years ago I was listening to a podcast where they shared the idea of instead of making resolutions creating a list for the year (20 for 2020, 21 for 2021 etc). Often times resolutions don’t strike us as fun things, although they certainly could be. The list is a way to reframe resolutions. You can fill your list with anything you want. Maybe it’s a list of 22 recipes to try this year, or 22 hikes. Or maybe it’s a list of half fun half tasks. They even suggest leaving a few spaces blank so you can fill it out with throughout the year when you get inspired. I personally like to fill my lists with some fun things, a few larger goals for the year, and easy things that I’ve been putting off but that can be crossed off in a day. The goal isn’t necessarily to get every single thing crossed off the list. It’s more just about thinking of what you’d like to accomplish in the year and adding some whimsy! I figured I would share both my 2021 & 2022 lists to give some inspiration!
21 in 2021
Take the boys to the snow!
Go to the dentist – did this with 8 days left in the year!
Night away with Chris
Take the boys to the beach
Meditate / gratitude daily
Take Will on day dates (I want to do more of this in 2022 – we only did a handful of these this year)
Read 10 books (currently reading book # 10)
Create 2020 photo book
Holiday photo frames
Get family photos taken – had these scheduled but bad weather had us cancelled. 2022!!
Swim lessons for Will
Have a spring garden
Host at our house
Redo boys closets
Find a PCP
Go to Yosemite
Less than 5 hours screentime / day
Get Johnathans birth certificate
Hike LimeRidge – This was a 2020 roll over! Made it happen this year.
Overnight BFF trip – This did not happen this year but will happen in 22!
22 in 2022
Get family photos taken
Read 12 books
Trip to NYC
Build a neighborhood free little library
Day dates with boys
Switch to clean makeup
Run a 5k
Go to the dermatologist
Find a PCP
Do 3 Day Refresh
Get pictures off old macbook
Do a 30 minute meditation monthly
Take boys to Tilden / BADM 3x
Plan and Plant a spring / summer garden
Pay off mazda
Take Juno on weekly walks
Make an album of now
Paint master bath / add shelving
Take a social media Sabbath each week
Go to a National Park
Shiplap entry way
I’d love to know how the ending of a year makes you feel? Do you enjoy reflecting on the year? Is it hard to come up with resolutions? Or do you take a spin on resolutions and do something whimsy filled like a fun list?
I think most of our lives are more complex than just “good year” “bad year”. 2021 for me was filled with seeing more family, getting to take our boys on adventures, finding a new world of calm and presence through meditation. Turning inward and looking at barriers and old wounds that are holding be back from being the happiest version of myself. There were also moments of grief and struggle. We lost my cousin this year. And in October I laid with my son in a hospital bed for 70 hours while doctors decided if he needed to go to the ICU. None of us are immune to the sorrow that life will inevitably throw at us, but we are capable of looking for light & allowing that light to come in. I’m always brought back to a quote by Milan Kundera from his book The Unbearable Lightness of Being “The heavier the burden the closer, the closer our lives become to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. what then shall we choose? Weight or lightness”. No matter what 2021 brought to you, I hope you are able to find light & take that light in 2022 with you!
Cheers to a New Year! Oh & if you make a list I’d LOVE to see it!
2020 is here! I’m really excited for this year, I’m turning 30, Chris & I will celebrate our 5 year anniversary, we’ll add a new baby to our family, just so many good things! Last year I was inspired by the Happiness Podcast by Gretchen Rubin & made a list of 19 things in 2019. It seemed a lot more feasible than making vague resolutions & I made my list with both small one time tasks or events, as well as some bigger longer term items. I didn’t cross everything off, but I did quite a bit & it was fun to keep looking at it throughout the year. This year I did the same thing for 2020. So today I’m sharing my list.
Go to the dentist! proud to say this got done Jan 2nd! I’m terrible at going to the dentist & it was embarrassingly overdue….
Try to eliminate single use plastics
Celebrate Juno’s 1/2 birthday – dogs aren’t around long enough to only celebrate once a year.
Fix my headlight – another embarrassingly overdue issue.
Complete Barre Blend – the 6 week program I currently started
Eat less meat – I’m trying to eat at least one vegetarian dinner a week & go veggie for lunch!
Go away just Chris & I – our only nights away since Will was born was when Chris was in the ICU, not ideal.
Stop buying paper towels
Do seasonal crafts with William
Get our cars detailed
Charge phone not next to bed
Read 6 books – I read a book in 3 days over Christmas & it totally inspired me!
See Marin light house
Have a year round garden / compost
Limit phone use to less than 2 hours / day
Celebrate my 30th birthday
Complete our 2019 photobook
Have this baby!!
I feel pretty good about this list & that I’ll be able to tackle most of the things on here or at least try! This year I’m really trying to focus on sustainability & decreasing waste so you might notice a handful of my things on the list revolve around that. There’s also lots of fun stuff including a new family member, which is just still WILD to think about.
Growing up I spent a handful of New Year’s in Rio de Janiero on Copacabana beach, where my mom is originally from. Brazilian tradition involves wearing all white on New Year’s Eve to symbolize peace and renewal. It also includes putting flowers into the ocean as a gift to the goddess of the sea & to bring good luck into the new year. These traditions date back to the 1500’s. Ever since I’ve lived in San Francisco I’ve made it a point to take advantage of my close proximity to the ocean & walk out into the water on new years. There’s something so peaceful about going to the beach & thinking about the whole year to come.
I’ve spent the past five new years working in the ER. I always choose to work NYE for a few reasons: 1. it’s endlessly entertaining in the ER 2. I love my coworkers & we bring a ton of food & decorations & have lots of fun 3. I want to have Christmas off so I always volunteer to work on NYE.
Turning the page on 2017 & going into 2018 is so exciting. 2017 was filled with so many wonderful memories. We spent an incredible two weeks exploring Spain & Portugal, we enjoyed SF Giants spring training in Scottsdale for my birthday, we saw friends get married, camped in Timber Cove, found out in late summer we’d be having a baby & so much more! I’m excited & anxious for the year to come, I know it will be our biggest one yet! With everything on the horizon, it feels good to lean on old traditions. Even though this past weekend I’ve been combating a terrible head cold while working 11 hour nights I’m so glad we made a point to get to the beach & throw our flowers in the water. I can’t wait to do it next year with our baby in tow.
Happy New Year! I’d love to hear what some of your New Year traditions are, leave them in the comments below.