new year lists of fun

Do you make resolutions? For years, I tried . . . I’d come up with a long list of things like losing weight, eating healthier foods, working out more . . . and it never, ever stuck.

Then, a couple of years ago, I heard Gretchen Rubin talking about how she makes lists for the new year. She focuses on fun things, activities that will bring her joy, plus maybe a few tasks that need to be done in order to make her life easier. I started using her technique in January 2021, and I’ve really enjoyed the process.

This year I had some down time on a long car ride, and I thought about what activities or events brought me the most joy in 2022. And what new things would I like to try in the new year? I focused on renewing and strengthening relationships and enjoying free or low cost activities nearby. What events would be really fun but might be a little inconvenient?

I bought some scrapbook paper at Michaels and wrote down the list. Committing it to paper is always a good start!

This year, I’m hoping to take a trip with my dad, go to the roller derby in DC, visit Cape May, teach a yoga series in a nearby church basement, visit dear friends who live a few states away, and spend 15 minutes outside every day. I also want to take ballroom dancing classes with John, take some interior design courses on the web, and have a picnic on the Mall. None of these are hard to do, but I need motivation to plan them and then get out of the house and make them happen!

I also thought about which activities in 2022 brought me joy and connection — my tennis lessons and my weekly prayer group — and I made the conscious decision to continue those.

Looking back at my lists from 2021 and 2022 made me laugh out loud! Apparently I’ve been wanting to have a picnic on the Mall, go swing dancing, and bike to Purcellville (a nearby town) for the past several years. I need to get on that ASAP!

But it’s also rewarding to see that I wanted to take tennis lessons — and then I signed up for them and LOVED it. And I took a trip with my dad in 2021 (which was on my list), and we had so much fun that I want to go again in 2023. And I took the girls camping in Shenandoah in 2022 and already have reservations to do it again this spring.

So, what about you? What new, fun things do you want to try this year? Is there a park or a restaurant near your house that you’ve been meaning to try? And what do you want to carry over from 2022? Let me know in the comments!

I’m going to hang my 2023 list in my bathroom so I can see it every day! I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

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