At the start of this year, in lieu of a new year’s resolution, I made a list of 16 things to do in 2016. Having written about them here, I figure it’s time for an update as the year draws to a close.
Strictly speaking, I achieved 11 out of 16 things – not an amazing result. But some of them I achieved several times over. And I’ve tried to note down other things I’ve done during the year that could easily have been on the list. They weren’t, but still.
1. I made at least two new friends. Maybe more!
3. I wrote a few songs, although I’m not sure how to judge whether any of them were “reasonably good”.
4. I haven’t gone a whole day speaking Swedish from the moment I woke up (it’s very difficult to remember that you’re supposed to do that when you’ve just woken up) but I’ve spent whole working days speaking Swedish. I think that counts.
6. I did break my running records for distance, duration and pace. I haven’t broken them over and over again, but that wasn’t on the list.
8. I visited my Granny in Bath. I also (bonus list item!) visited my sister in Nottingham.
10. I registered with a doctor, although I still haven’t managed to make an appointment.
11. I led a solo project at work. Possibly several depending on your definition.
12. I read Lena Dunham’s memoir (didn’t love it) and am currently reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. It’d be a tall order to finish it within 2016, but it’s not impossible…
14. I organised the kitchen larder. It re-disorganised itself within about a week.
15. I visited a new part of Sweden: Bohuslän on the west coast. It was incredibly beautiful.
Bonus list items!
17. Wrote my first Swedish copy
18. Went to the dentist
19. Played my ukulele as part of a group
20. Ended my UK phone contract, finally
21. Went to Eurovision (well, the dress rehearsal)
22. Acquired a wake-up light and a light therapy lamp to get me through the winter without complaining about it being dark every single day
23. Travelled to a new foreign city (Barcelona ❤❤)
24. Met my niece Olivia (I didn’t know she was going to exist when I made the list…)
So here’s what’s been left undone…
2. Travel to a new country
7. Create something functional or beautiful
9. Learn to drive on the right
13. Learn all of the dominant 7th chords on the ukulele
16. Sort out my finances and savings
I made some progress towards most of these. The only thing that seems a little sad looking back is that I can’t think of anything I’ve created; made with my own two hands. I don’t know what I was imagining I’d create but it’s still disappointing to realise that the answer was nothing.
I’m not sure what to do with these unfulfilled goals. Do they roll over to 2017, or do I leave them be and start fresh with a new list? I haven’t figured out yet what goals or resolutions I’m taking into the new year, so stay tuned, I suppose.
My intent with 16 for 2016 was “if I do all of these things, it will have been a good year”. But 2016 has given us all a reality check. It wasn’t a good year at all and no amount of list-ticking could have changed that. The world watched, apparently unmoved, as Syria fell into ever deeper conflict and misery. Beloved celebrities died young and unexpected at an alarming pace. The UK and the US made some horrendous political choices. Terrorist attacks and mass shootings continued unabated.
So as I consider what I want to tick off in 2017, I’m going to try to keep in mind the small things that we can all do to actually make it a good year. Or a fractionally better one, at least. I encourage you to do the same, if you’re inclined to make new year’s resolutions. Here’s to a happier new year for all of us.