Coasting to the End of the Year

In some ways this year has gone way too fast, even though at times this summer it felt like it was creeping along.  I said to someone recently that I wanted to relive my first year of this decade (my 60’s) since I feel like I missed it with COVID, but then realized, I’m fully into my 61st year. Time to take stock!

Maybe because I did them for so long in my career, at this time of year I feel the need to do an end of the year review.  I set up a two main elements back in January:  Courage as my WOTY (Word of the Year) and a 21 for 21 Action Plan (link here) which included new experiences tracking (goal 101), new recipes tracking (goal 52), and books read tracking (goal 52) plus a number of my Putting Positive Psychology into Practice Tenets.

My innate negative nature (I do work on the positive!) makes me view the misses first when I do an Action Plan review. I know I need to give myself some grace – COVID resurgence, Red Tide out of control, and we did have the Big Move.  But still – the misses. One of my misses is I didn’t hit my 101 new experiences goal; I am at 85 with just over a month to the year left. Among those 85 are some amazing things (like the Sand-ovations this weekend – see my selfie with a crab kite!). I will continue to plan and do new things next year. (I’m working on getting a group to do a belly dancing class in January!) Other misses include: I didn’t create my signature dish, host outdoor dinner gatherings on our patio, nor do many day trips.  I think all three things will be on next year’s plan.  I didn’t learn to play chess; this activity has been on my list for years – what’s preventing me from doing it? I have not activated the “Someday I Wills” (that was a BIG part of my WOTY!) and again I do not know what is preventing this – especially getting out on my SUP.  I have not planned our next “post-COVID” trip (but do hope to begin that thinking soon).

But even with that surge of negative thinking, I’m very happy with how much of my 21 for 21 Action Plan I did accomplish!  Beyond completing the Big Move, we also updated the kitchen and I planted a bunch of portico pots, learning about local flora along the way.  I’ve kept up with yoga and Zumba, continued my morning journaling, worked on my mindset shift (working on being positive), and executed regular connects with friends near and far.  Recently I’ve started a new area of learning – feminist writing. I have a conundrum here: do I publish controversial blog posts on this topic as insight in this area can be polarizing?

All in all, I’m calling this a 19 of 21 “completion” rate!  And if you’re wondering, my tracking shows 40 new recipes and 100 books read so far this year, so more reading than cooking during this on-going pandemic.  I’m going to continue my end-of-the-year review with these favorite journal prompts I found:

  • What 3 words best describe your year?
  • What 5 things are you most grateful for this year?
  • What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
  • What new skills did you learn / topics did you learn about?
  • Did you form any new good habits this year?

I’m not sure if I’ll do a 22 for 22 Plan or return to my retirement lifestyle vision framework: Active/Body, Connected/Heart, Creative/Soul, Contemplative/Mind. What’s nice about 22 for 22 is you can check things off and I love check lists! What’s nice about the framework is the link of activities to my vision statement.

I have all of December to finish my end-of-the-year review (including “celebrate the wins” – number 21 on my 21 for 21 list!), contemplate which approach to take for 2022, and to decide on a WOTY or not. 

Do you have an end-of-the-year review/new year plan approach?

Picture credit: a rare selfie. At the local beach Sand Sculpture Festival with fun kites everywhere, too.

17 thoughts on “Coasting to the End of the Year

  1. If you ask me, the move alone is accomplishment enough for this year, Pat! I do like to look back over the year and see what I’ve accomplished or learned…and if there is anything particular that I’d like to focus on for the coming year. I really like your five prompts and am going to use those for this year’s review. Thank you for sharing those. Happy December!

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    1. I’m using the prompts as well as another approach I found on a bullet journal site. I keep a kinda bullet journal, and the recommended things on reviewing last year’s are: things to keep, things to stop, things to start. It also has you looking at “triumphs” and “revisions” – I like those terms! So, gonna try that as well. Will see how it goes.

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    2. One of the elements of practicing positivity is to reminisce about the positive experiences. It’s like your gratitude posts! I like this time of year and doing the looking back.

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  2. Your diligence applied to your life as you go forward into a new place for living in retirement is admirable. Yay for a selfie on the beach!! Thank you so much for linking up your blog post for Life This Week. I hope to see you next week, for the last of my Taking Stock posts. Do join in, with a post on or off prompt. Denyse.

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    1. Thanks Denyse. I’m actually taking a week (maybe 2) off from posting – but enjoying looking at the Taking Stock posts. I’ve never used the term diligent myself, but yeah, I think it does describe me!

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  3. I love the idea of 22 for 22 list Pat as I like to tick things off too. I like your way of reflecting on the year and I turn 61 in just a few weeks too! You’ve certainly done well this year all things considered!!

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    1. Deb, I think I’m leaning into the 22 for 22 approach again. It was not all big goals to tick off though. Many of the 21 items were how-to-live-my-life in a day to day way. But that’s helpful I guess to tick off too!

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  4. Wow!!!! What a fabulous “job” you have done! I mean really, given Covid, red tide, and the Big Move you have done a lot!!!!! 100 books????????? I think I could say I’ve watched 100 Hallmark movies!!!! Does that count?
    And write away about the feminism stuff. Most of us would love it and those that don’t well, if they can’t take a joke……….. You might need to toughen up your skin just a little because you probably are going to get your haters, but those that hate usually have some serious self issues and it really has nothing to do with the people they hate on. Maybe you could give a heads up in the beginning of that type of blog about the topic so if they don’t want to read it they could move on. Or a second blog? Or maybe an auxiliary to this blog sort of like the Throw back Thursdays? I would love to read your thoughts and info especially if it is going to relate to retired or older women and feminism.
    I say, WRITE ON!

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    1. LOL on the Hallmark movies. You do realize I have no idea how to turn on the TV, right? It’s set up with 3 different remotes… sound system, internet linkup, and TV… maybe? On Thanksgiving Day, I had to have Tim find me the Macy’s Parade to watch. Sigh – I know that sounds so bad. I should learn the damn system… but I just read another book instead!

      Thanks for the idea about a heads up in the lead in for writing about the feminist reading I’ve done..and yeah, I’m going to try and craft a couple of posts in this space. My first insight “dump” from my readings (5 books so far in this space, i think) is 4000+ words… so yeah it needs a lot of crafting into some readable posts!

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  5. You’ve done well Pat – but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from you. I don’t have any big goals I’m trying to tick off, or things that I need to evaluate. I’m just really happy within myself, extremely grateful for my lifestyle, and letting life happen one day at a time. I’ll look forward to your wrap up post.

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    1. Leanne, I do love your living each day focus and my daily life is becoming more and more like that. The 21 for 21 (or 22 for 22) are not all big goals…many are about living daily life in a way that makes me happier. As I’m a list-lover, this helps me stay “on track”, and encourages me to grow in the ways I want to grow. Yeah, that feels like one tick for a 22 for 22 list!

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  6. Great post! You should be proud of your accomplishments . I encourage you to post your feminist writing. I will certainly read the posts. Most of us become more radical and daring as we grow older. Why hide your thoughts?

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement. Radical and daring are two terms I have never used for myself! I will definitely try and compose my thoughts here… it might take some time to narrow it down to some coherent posts – my first insight dump is over 4000 words.

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    1. Thanks Janet, I was surprised myself as I looked back over the year, because for much of it I felt out-of-sorts. The uncertainty of the continued pandemic now is making me question how to proceed into next year’s plans. I saw the term “Covid anxiety” and that’s exactly where I am… a bit fearful to plan too big!

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