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Happy New Year Categorized Intention List

Somehow, it seems like Christmas was weeks ago, and in just the week since then, we’ve had a whirlwind of visitors that have kept us busy. Although I’ve never been one to hit the New Year with gung-ho enthusiasm or pressure to make resolutions (back-to-school seems to do that more for me), it does bring a push toward reflection and productivity. Some of the things I wanted to do this past week I haven’t been able to accomplish due to company (a wonderful problem to have–I love time with my people), so yesterday morning I straightened out some unrest and anxiety by sitting down and making a list of intentions for the year. I’ve found just creating time to write down the things on my mind relieves a lot of anxiety and is the first step toward actually getting them done. My list isn’t really specific resolutions (that list is much smaller) but more inspirations for when I’m feeling “slumpy” throughout the year. Keeping our bucket lists on display in our home this year has worked really well for helping me stay motivated and actually checking things off (we checked off almost every single thing we wanted to do from all three of our lists–summer, fall and holiday–this year), so I like the idea of keeping this list on display–near my desk or on the refrigerator to help my little easily-overwhelmed-and-often-distracted brain stay on track and accomplish bite-size pieces of productivity, balance and fun. And if I’m feeling like I’m in a slump in a particular area, it’s all categorized. The older I get and the more I understand myself and the way I work, the more I’ve realized I need categories and compartments for my carnival brain.

I hand wrote this list so I can add fun little illustrations, but so many of you asked for it on Instagram (after trying to take a screen shot and zoom in–ha, sorry!), I figured I’d write it out here if you’d like to borrow any of these and print them off.

I’ll be cleaning up some blog things here and refreshing this space with a new design this month, so stay tuned for more to come.

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And HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR! Onward we go, friends.

Be Present
Take a technology break
Read a book to the kids
Take a nature walk (leave phone at home)
Journal with pen & paper
Do a 5 minute meditation
Read a poetry book and highlight something meaningful (been loving this one on my coffee table lately)
Write a hand-written letter to a faraway friend/relative

Be Healthy
Floss every day
Carry a water bottle, keep it full and drink it frequently
Schedule annual doctor appointments
Say “No” to sugar
Alcohol only on weekend
Eat something green
8 hours of sleep

Be Active
Go for a run
Watch a 1/2 hour show while lifting weights/sit-ups
Lead the kids in a fun workout with music
Yoga/stretch session
Go for a bike ride
Take kids to tennis courts
Go for a swim
Attend a Saturday local boot camp workout

Be Social
Arrange a girlfriend breakfast
Meet a friend at Target and walk the aisles together
Text 3 friends randomly
Do an “I’ll bring you dinner some night/you bring me dinner some night” swap
Have a family over for dinner
Reach out to someone new
Organize a book club (even if it’s just for one book)
FaceTime a faraway friend

Be Creative
Keep a sketch pad by your bed
Have an art afternoon with kids and display the finished products
Paint a room a new color (be daring)
Make an inspiration board
Take an afternoon adventure to do some street photography

Feather the Nest
Change the bedsheets
Rearrange a room
Clean a bathroom
Organize a cabinet
Make the bedroom a restful haven
Buy a candle
“Turn down” the beds before everyone goes to sleep
Buy fresh flowers or eucalyptus and arrange small bouquets for display around the house

Be a Learner
Read a new non-fiction book (reading this one together with a friend right now–outside of my comfort zone–but fascinating and important)
Sign up for an online course
Watch a TED talk
Find a new informative podcast
Subscribe to an artsy magazine  (try UPPERCASE–pricey but ad-free and full of creative ideas and inspiration, CLICK for photography inspiration–I get giddy when I open the mailbox to see it arrived, FLOW–another pricey one but each issue is literally a full-blown book to be saved forever, or DUMBO FEATHER–an an inspiring collection of creative change-makers telling their stories)

Be Responsible
Clean out e-mail box
Unsubscribe to a retail company e-mail list that’s weighing you down
Cross off two to-do’s from your procrastination list
Put all upcoming appointments and school activities in phone calendar
Do a 20-minute sweep through the house/closets and fill one garbage bag with things to donate
Vacuum car
Fill up on gas
Get an oil change

Have Fun
Have a pillow fight before bed
Start a kitchen dance party
Wear a dress on a regular day
Jump on the trampoline
Plan a themed dinner party…for just your family
Try a new hairstyle


Leave a Comment
  1. Danielle Woodruff says:

    Fill up on gas! Definitely something you need to work on in 2018. You can do it!!!

  2. Catalina cano says:

    Hi Kelle,
    I love you blog and I would like to be your penpal for the hand-written letters. I live in Santiago, Chile and I would like to send you a postcard or letter from my country. Thank you!

  3. I’m tired just reading all that!!

  4. Jodie Kingsbury says:

    Love your blog. I love reading all of your posts but this one is one I should follow too especially the health part. I tend to neglect taking care of myself and instead to everything for the kids.

  5. Check out the “Gather Journal” it’s amazing.

  6. I have been a daily flosser for five years now and one trick the dentist gave me originally was to keep floss on the coffee table. You can floss on commercials during your fav show each night and it won’t add any extra time to your nightly routine.
    Now I just do it before I brush, but to start out, that was helpful.

    • I love that idea! I’ve bought every fancy flosser, flavored floss, damn-near 24-carat GOLD floss, throw them in my bathroom drawer and STILL forget to floss. And I’m trying to remember more now because Nella doesn’t have much space between her little teeth growing in, so I want her to be a flosser. New Year, Floss, We’re doin’ this!

      • google waterpik. Game changer:)

      • Definitely recommend the coffee/side table floss location- grew up with my dad flossing while he watched the news (he’s a dentist) and now I do the same (I’m a dentist too). And yes, stay on top of miss Nella’s gums/teeth- my patients with the extra chromosome tend to have periodontal issues. If you are looking for another non-fiction book, try Hillbilly Elegy (a memoir) or Why We Sleep
        Happy new year

  7. I really loved this post and am thankful for your list! It has so many of the same things as my list, but you articulated them so much better. One thing I am trying is to not put all my investment in getting it all done at once. I want to play with my kids more, but my piles of have to’s pile up. So I am doing a “chore” then play a little. That’s probably my big big goal. Happy New Year!

  8. We love drive way dance parties! Impromptu, turn the music up, turn the headlights on and dance in the high beams in the dark! love, love, love

  9. that’s a really great list.. i like how you broke it down into categories..
    Happy New Year!

  10. My favorite was the “Be Responsible” category…….I could use some goals in this area as well. :)

  11. Thanks for this list. Very nice to know we have lots of ways to them that we loved.

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