(This photo was taken at Gorges State Park in North Carolina. It was the beginning of my painting retreat weekend when I had a little time to hike and explore. The day I took this photo was quite stunning. Warm sun, clear skies, gorgeous colors. I chose this photo next in my review because it reminds me how much I loved fall this year. I discovered a love of the seasons changing, the cooler weather, the beautiful colors. I sought out pretty much any place with evidence of fall, which, being from Vegas, can be difficult to find. I think maybe it’s representative of my journey this year. I’ve been focusing on making lots of changes, getting myself ready, preparing for a new season in life. And it makes me smile.)

So I’ve been thinking about how I want to continue this review. I feel like there are SO many questions, and they’re not necessarily hitting the specific things I want to focus on. So I’m going to switch this up and do it my way.

Here’s how I want to do my reviews in the future. I want to spend some time writing about and celebrating what went right. I want to spend some time writing about what felt crappy and celebrating my strength. I’ll then create a list of goals for the year. And, of course, I’ll choose a theme word for the year and create a vision board that reminds me of my goals and theme.

At the end of each quarter, I would like to read through my End of Year Review, and I want to make a list. The list is a Continue, Stop, Start list. I’ll list the things I would like to continue doing (these things are going right, and I want to keep it up), the things I would like to stop doing (these things are not serving me, and I want to stop them), and the things I would like to start doing (these things would make the year even better).

I feel like making the End of Year Review a little smaller makes it more manageable (and more fun), and doing quarterly reviews with Continue, Stop, Start lists will be incredibly useful in keeping on track.

Yup. That feels right.

So. Since I started this review with the list of questions, I’m not going to do separate “good” and “bad” writings. I’m going to do one free write, just in case the review questions didn’t hit everything that’s on my mind about the year. And then I’ll continue with the goal setting and so on.

I’m sharing this in case it’s helpful to you in creating your own year-end review. And also so I don’t forget this plan!

Anywho. I’m doing the free write below. Feel free to read along. 🙂

2016 Free Writing

Last year I had a goal to focus on vitality and health. I did 50% great with this. I wanted to continue my yoga practice and grow with that practice. And I’m happy to report I feel SO good about my practice this year. I’m focusing not only on strength, but also on flexibility and meditation and general wellness. I’ve stopped worrying about those little physical imperfections I perceive about myself, and I’ve simply focused on how I feel. Do I feel good? Awesome. I no longer stare at my butt in the mirror, checking for cellulite when I get out of the shower. (I’m just being honest here because, yes, I used to do this a lot. And just a note — yes, I have cellulite. I’ve had it since puberty; it’s genetic; and I’m never getting rid of it. So there.) I’ve worked to stop being concerned about how my eyes are starting to show my age. I’ve stopped worrying about these little, stupid things. Instead, it’s about being able to do the things that bring me joy. It’s about being healthy enough to climb a mountain and keep up with Charlotte. BUT…even though I’ve been 50% great, I haven’t made so much progress with regards to food. At the beginning of the year I tried going vegetarian again (something I did several years ago for quite a while and found fairly easy). Let’s just say, it didn’t work so well this time. I fell off the wagon about a month in. Maybe two. I’ve been thinking about this food stuff since I’ve noticed so many fairly young people dying lately. (Okay, so they’re celebrities, I don’t know them, and most of them had drug problems, but still.) I’m thinking about my own mortality. And How I sort of want to live forever. And thus, I need to get a bit healthier. My eating habits are about 50/50. 50% healthy and 50% less so. I need to take care of my body better by feeding it more real food. I’m not sure there will be any goals about this in 2017, just a general awareness that will hopefully lead to some better choices.

I spend too much time on social media. Facebook is a useless time suck these days in which I pretty much just read political articles and find myself getting mad. I’ve cut back tremendously on my Facebook time lately, and it feels good. I need to cut back more (and not slip back into bad habits when I have free time). I love Instagram, but I also find myself wasting time on there. I click that camera icon far too often, just to check if anything new has happened (a post, a like, a comment). It’s pretty silly. I want to spend less time on social media in 2017 and find a way to use it productively. I actually do like to keep up with friends via FB and IG; I just need to be more regimented with myself in their use.

I want to focus on kindness in the coming year. Kindness to others. Kindness to myself. Patience is another of those words that feels really right these days. I want to continue self-care rituals. And rituals in general. I would love to bring some rituals into my art making. I want to burn sage and buy tarot card decks and create a little altar in my art room.

Speaking of my art room, it is in need of some organizing. I need to get that together so there is space for an altar. I’m fairly sure I need to reorganize the art room every six months. But, man, it always needs it. There is always a better way to store art supplies!

I want to invest in myself and my art business and build something sustainable. There is so much more to say about the art business, but I will save that for another post.

Okay. So this is where I’m leaving this free write. I could go further, but I feel like I’m a little aimless at the moment. After all of today’s writing, my brain is a little fried. I think I’ll read some and then call it a night. Thanks for joining me on this crazy adventure!