Notes on the new year and the old

A list-letter bidding 2017 goodbye.

I. On resolutions

When I was younger, new year resolutions were singular. Just one to start off the year, like “Exercise,” “Read every day,” or “Spend more time with friends.” They were habits that faded out into January such that the rest of the year had no resolve.

As I aged and learned how much a year could actually hold, resolutions turned into plans. These were events I plotted in a year, like the amount of passion projects I could do and the number of books I would read. New year promises were quantifiable, measurable, concrete.

In 2017, the year I started my life over and learned about relating goals with sentimentality, I came upon a combination of the two. I set purposeful resolutions, I did it for each area of my life, and I assigned measurable goals beneath each.

It’s so pleasant to be guided more by life-giving resolutions and a bit less by concrete, committed plans. It instills in me a more forgiving mindset that plans are malleable, and intention or purpose is what makes a fulfilling year.

II. On adjourning

My last passion project for 2017 (which in odd ways I consider my first for 2018) just ended. Adjourn was a wistful 5-day journaling challenge to end the year, where we answered prompts to view the year as a whole. In summary, we asked:

  1. How did 2017 look as a picture? What moments stood out and stayed?
  2. Re-experience and narrate two moments of 2017 as richly as you can.
  3. Arm yourself with questions as to what made 2017 the year that it became.
  4. If for a moment we believe that everything that happened in 2017 happened for a reason, what might those reasons be?
  5. What one thing do you want to change or achieve in the first quarter of 2018?

In retrospect, there were a dozen questions I wished we’d included for reflection. Such as who contributed to the meaningfulness of 2017 and have you thanked them? Who are you after everything the year has put you through? Where did you urge yourself most to show up? What overwhelming fears did you shrink away from? When did you give your all and when do you wish you had given more? How has 2017 hurt you and how have you encouraged yourself to heal?

Anyway, I don’t think there’s ever a right or wrong time to ponder on the past as a pool of lessons. The name “Adjourn” was the lovechild between adjourning, the act of suspending; journey, the road traveled; and journal, the act or medium of documenting. I hope to suspend, document, and travel more often this 2018.

Read my journal entries for Adjourn here.

III. On where the magic happens

Finally, I’m quite shy about my plans and projects for this year, so I only shared them in an email to my love letter list. You can still hop on as I talk about them in the future (the ones that will happen anyway), but I’m also urging a conversation on what I can create that will be of help to you. One of my lowkey, repeating messages this year is that I just want to make magic for people. Last year it was all about self-serving, ego-stroking achievements, but this year I want to be of value.

Let me know how this can work.

Signing into 2018 with love,

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One response to “Notes on the new year and the old”

  1. BLOBS Avatar

    Ohh parang I should do these questions soon! wachoteeenk?

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