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.

I love your sentiments. It is always best to be thankful for our blessings and to look to God who the Source of love and happiness rather than to fret our lives away over what we cannot control. It is best to look to the Source and see what He is doing and join with Him, rather than demand He bless our plans. A team performs best when the players follow the coach instead of each member doing their own thing.

God bless!

Barbara Bozzoon December 31, 2012 - 10:28am

What a marvelous, uplifting idea!! This year has been such an amazing year for me personally because of my deeper pursuit of my love of photography. I have never had much of a hobby other than being with family/grandkids - which is awesome, but still left a void in my personal growth. This year my husband and I took an amazing trip to Yellowstone and I embraced every moment of capturing the experience in my new found hobby!! We also took a three week trip to visit family in the mid-west and went to our 50 year high school reunion. During that trip, I took the most amazing photo of a bee that had just left a flower and is totally covered in pollen!! My love of photography has grown even more since I have joined your Celebrate website. I look at each image differently now and see what it celebrates in my life. Thank you Dewitt and thank you Lynette for now giving me a resolution to seek and create more positive experiences in the new year, capture the images and share them with others! Happy New Year!

What a rich idea you two have cooked up; I love it. My photostream will provide the beginning outline and Facebook timeline will add details to what my memory conjures up!

Ronaon December 31, 2012 - 3:29pm

Well-said, and very insightful! I've avoided making resolutions every year just because of the things you stated. I think it's time to start a new tradition in my family, and use the retrospective to realize that I CAN accomplish things, whether or not I put them down on paper on January 1!

Georgia Raifordon December 31, 2012 - 8:42pm

It's a lovely idea to take time to remember outstanding moments that at the time might have seemed ordinary.

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