* Crossed out embarrassed because it felt like a harsh word choice. Some alternatives: critical, dubious?, or maybe “a little bit skeptical…”

* Big fan of Austin Kleon; his books, his blog, his newsletter.


There’s a palpable rhythm at the end of a day, week, month, year. Something about an ending that overlaps with a beginning in a predictable, steady beat. I love that short moment in time when remembering and reflecting butt right up against the chance to begin again, and look forward. The friction creates a refreshing kind of momentum. I feed off that. And yet, I opted out of January this year.

2021 wiped me out with it’s ongoing pandemic, and miscellaneous crises, and The Holidays. By the time January 1st rolled around my mind-body-soul begged me not to reflect, or push a bunch of ‘resolutions’ on myself. So I didn’t. I postponed all of that self-improvement business to February instead; Lunar New Year.

It was decadent. Rather than barreling through The Holidays and sprinting straight into self-improvement, I was able to recharge and take my time. I tweaked a few habits in January. I tossed around some new ambitions. But for the most part there was no self-improvement pressure. Clay did this same, and this morning at the breakfast table, we agreed that Lunar New Year is the way to go.

So yesterday was New Years, take 2.

I kicked it off by doing a pretty studious end of the year “audit”. I spent an hour or so skimming through last years planners and journals. I took inventory of all the big events and memorable moments. I listed all my prominent successes, and short comings, and influences.

This past year was a giant hurdle for me. When describing it, I tend to use words like brutal, and exhausting. It’s true, 2021 was like that. But until today’s exercise, I had kind of forgotten about that string of really good days, those accomplishments, that risk I took, or how I managed to remain consistent with habit XYZ even on the big bad brutal days.

Most of you are a month ahead in your resolutions and intentions, but regardless of your heritage, it might be a nice refresher to take advantage of this second New Year.

I used a year-in-review booklet that I found online. Here are a few sample questions:

The wisest decision I made…
The biggest surprise of the year… (one of mine is that we didn’t go backpacking once!)
Who are three people you influenced the most?
Who helped you achieve your successes and how?

You can download the full version here!

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