Forget The New Year To Do List. Make A Ta Da List
by Lynette Sheppard
December 30, 2012 - 11:14am

New Year’s resolutions can be a setup for judgment, stress, and failure. While the “clean slate” of January 1 can certainly inspire us to set goals and intentions, it can also overburden us with expectation.

I used to approach my list of resolutions for each year with equal parts excitement and aversion. I fretted about what I had not accomplished the previous year, which added stress rather than reducing it. I eventually switched my list of resolutions to a list of intentions. This kinder, gentler list has put me more at ease. Still, I felt I was missing something.

Then, some years ago, Dewitt and I added a new list for December 31st. We wrote “done” lists - lists of what we had already “done” in the year just past. We started with accomplishments, travels, and completed goals.

We made our separate lists; then sat down and reviewed them together, frequently remembering and adding others. Great conversations about our lives and feelings resulted.

It wasn’t long before the list morphed - into what Dewitt aptly named the “ta da” list. It wasn’t just milestones and accomplishments we were re-viewing. Insights, new knowledge, and self-revelations made the list. Life moments that we experienced throughout the year.

Simple things that touched us like providing “hospice” care for our rescue kitty with feline AIDS or the butterfly we rescued from the highway in high winds who died anyway, leaving a most beautiful shell of herself. (She still sits on my desk.)

Visits with friends, great books we read, double rainbows, and walks made the list. We took time to notice the losses as well, while celebrating what we still have.

I still craft intentions and to do lists for each New Year. I like having a framework, a vision for the coming twelve month period. Even more, I look forward to going over our ta-da lists each December 31st. Honestly? That is my favorite New Year’s eve celebration.

Join us this year. Compile a list of all you’ve experienced during 2012. In this eye-of-the-storm lull between Christmas frenzy and New Year’s celebrating, let’s all ruminate on the past. Give yourself a great, glorious pat on the back for all that you have done and been this year.

We can work on those walloping To Do lists later. (You make one every year too, I know you do!) For this year end, shout Ta Da out loud and celebrate all the moments you’ve enjoyed for the last twelve months.

Amy Yamamuraon January 3, 2013 - 12:11pm

This was fun to read! I was thinking just the other day how I look through my years in photos as a visual reminder of places, people, events, etc... almost one year ago I was reminiscing on my 2011 year with a smile thinking it was such a great year and how grateful I was. But 2012 was a different story, it was a year of tremendous life challenges and seemed different, darker, from years past... until just the other day. I decided to glance through my 2012 pictures and what I saw was amazing. In them I saw powerful intimate moments, vulnerable moments filled with a depth, love wiping tears away, moments of being wrapped in blankets of love.

Then I read Lynette's article and I realized, my 2012 was not dark, it was beautiful and, full of "Ta-Da" moments. It was through the most imperfect and vulnerable heart I see a new kind of ta-da... and you know, I really like it. Thank you Lynette :0)

Oh thank you, Amy! Your sharing brought tears to my eyes. Talk about celebrating - I think you expressed it so beautifully. Hugs, Lynette

Happy New Year Lynette! Each January 3, since 2013, his comes up on my news feed as an "on this day" memory and I love the reminder. Such a great reflection. For the last 2 years since, I often wake up and when my feet hit the ground I give thanks and spread my arms upwards and proclaim "TA-DA!" It jump starts my day each time :) *my family thinks I am crazy, in a good way hehe OXO!

Fabulous, Amy! I think you and I are both crazy - in a good way! Have a terrific 2016!

Thank you so much for sharing this idea with others, Lynette! I have alternated between TO DO and Ta-Da lists the past few years, and this year I never got to either of them - this reminded me that it's not too late - it's never too late, to start that list now...

Miriam Jenningson January 23, 2013 - 5:34pm

We do something similar. We create a "goals list" for the new year and a blessings list" of the past year. The blessings list allows us to put into perspectivde things that weren't as planned but became blessings any way.

Every time I look at Dewitts pics I am inspried--to photograph and to live.

Blessing to you both.

Competition is high and too many networks are working in that category. i am glad that we a have a well educated and experienced team to carry on our educational network. We need more freelancer for our new network which is perfect place for students to get free demos and free tips in the shape of weekly emails and newsletters.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.