The end of one year and beginning of the next offers a unique opportunity to both reflect back and plan ahead. Because I’ve been a journaler and list-maker since I was very young, I’ve always loved this time of transition and chance to start fresh.
If you read my life-changing books post, then you know that much of my reading has led to the same conclusion: prioritize the people and activities that are most important and fulfilling and spend your time connecting with those people and doing those activities.
What better time than now to reflect on things that make us feel happy and end the year feeling positive and grateful?
Here are five simple activities that I’m doing this week of vacation while I’ve (mostly) stepped away from my emails, driving, and other day-to-day activities that get in the way of reflection and planning. I hope you’ll join me!
Write a Reverse Bucket List
I saw this on Pinterest and knew I had to try it! Rather than writing a traditional bucket list of things I’d still like to do, this is a reverse twist on the activity, a kind of “life gratitude” list. I listed some of the events and achievements that have already happened in my life. It was a fantastic way to realize that, although there are still things I’d like to do, this has already been an amazing life, and I have so much to be grateful for.
I started with a regular list written on paper, but later I may add photos and create a small book of some of the cool things that have happened in my life.
100 Family Memories
I love this annual activity, which I describe in detail here. It’s so much fun to try to remember all the things – big and small – that happened this year!
Pick a Quote of the Year
This is something that sounds super fun for a quote-loving, reading, and writing nerd like me! I have a humungous quote board on Pinterest, and I subscribe to Real Simple’s Daily Thought. I really enjoy reading and collecting quotes. I’m going to spend some time reading through my favorites, then I’ll write down one that best reflects or represents this past year. While I’m doing this, I’ll also find a quote to guide me for the coming year. Instead of writing goals for the year, I’m going to write out a quote that will remind me how to live and be, and I’ll keep it posted prominently as a reminder.
Pick One Word
If a quote is too much too think about, how about picking ONE WORD to guide your next year? I picked one last year, and it’s been a helpful reminder all year to remember to breathe!
On New Year’s Eve, everyone in my family will reveal our One Word for next year. Simplify and explore were two that other family members picked last year that I thought were fantastic, but there are so many options.
Remember Your Favorite Books
There are many book lists of the most popular books from the year.
What about listing out some of your own favorites?
I’ve written about some of my favorite parenting books from this year, older ones that have inspired my parenting, and others that have caused me to change something in my life. I love lists of books!
Books are just another way to reflect on a life that’s been full of great stories and ideas.
If you’re not a reader, you could also list your favorite music, TV shows, or movies from the year! Can anyone say THIS IS US? (I love that show so much!)
There you go. Three simple activities that help reflect on this past year and launch into the new one with a sense of gratitude.
Are you going to join me in trying any of these year-end activities? I’d love to hear what you think!
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you being part of my community.