Are you a resolution person? I don’t necessarily make resolutions, but every January I get the itch to set goals. The new year is arbitrary, I know, but somehow to me it still feels like a good time to take stock and think about my life.
Last year I followed Gretchen Rubin‘s lead and started making a “21 for 2021” list. My final list numbered only 10, not 21, but I found the exercise to be really useful. The idea is to think outside the box and set goals, big or small. Last year, for example, I wrote that I wanted to get the COVID vaccine, spend quality time with my dad, hike a particular trail, and finish renovating our basement. Happily, I accomplished all of those tasks, and I enjoyed all of them (or, in the case of the vaccine, accomplishing that task made me more comfortable enjoying other things in life). Some of my other goals I didn’t accomplish, mostly due to ongoing COVID concerns, so I simply moved them to my 2022 list!
So far, my 2022 list includes taking the kids to Los Angeles, eating a dinner picnic on the National Mall, baking bread with my oldest daughter, taking the kids to roller derby, taking tennis lessons, and experimenting with Indian cooking. And I really want to take John and the kids swing dancing at a local joint that I frequented many years ago. Some of these experiences are substantial, costly commitments, but others, like the dinner picnic, are easy and inexpensive. On a different note, my list also includes getting the REAL ID (a holdover from last year), renewing my passport, and following a specific plan to reduce clutter in my home (more details on that soon). If I don’t accomplish all of these tasks or check all of these boxes this year, no problem. This exercise isn’t meant to put undue pressure on any of us. Instead, the goal is to identify some experiences that would bring us joy in the new year and then think about concrete ways to make those things happen.
What about you? Is there a trail you want to hike, a class you want to take, a book you want to read? Is there a bar or restaurant near you that you’ve been meaning to try but instead you default to your old standby? Are there any tasks, like renewing your passport, that could add joy to your life if you were to complete them? Let me know in the comments!