Week 49/2021: let’s just call the whole thing off

Week of 6 December 2021

Let’s just call the whole thing off.

I hate this week.

21 for 2021 update

I’ve been looking at how much of my list I didn’t get done this year. With less than a month to go in 2021, I’ve completed five things, am working on 12, of which I only expect to finish one, and there are four things I haven’t even started. Okay, so one of the things was to work through a further list of 33 undone annoying things and I actually completed (or deleted because they ceased to be necessary) 18 of them, which means I have really completed 23/54 things, which reads a whole lot better than 5/21.

I have, however, felt a little disheartened by updating my progress each week with a bigger list of things I didn’t work on than of things I did. And there are lots of reasons for this, including changing priorities over the year.

I did do a lot of other things that weren’t on the list at the start of the year, which I’m happy about, and this list isn’t meant to be something else to beat myself up about at the end of the year if I don’t finish. It’s more a guide for things I hope to make progress on over the year.


This week I listened to Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft’s podcast, Happier, which is where the 21 for 2021 idea came from. I think it was 18 for 2018 and I think the idea originally came from one of their listeners. In this episode, Gretchen and Liz talked about starting to consider their aims for 2022.

Gretchen said when we identify an aim, we think about how we might achieve it, which might take a while, so it’s good to start thinking about 2022 now. She suggested that once you get an aim in mind, you can start to be on the lookout for information that will help you achieve it, which you otherwise might have let slip by.

For example, you might decide you want to take up yoga but you’re not actively looking for a yoga class. Then you see a flyer for a class in your area, or someone mentions their yoga class to you, and because you’ve already planted the seed in your mind, you might then follow up that information rather than let it pass.

In the podcast, Gretchen and Liz spoke about the two tools they’d be using to help them achieve their aims.

One is a 22 for 2022 list, which they describe as “a list of one-time actions we need to get done and can cross off”. Looking at my 21 for 2021 list, I can see a lot of ongoing projects that are significantly more work than “one-time actions”. My annoying undone things list more accurately fits that description, so that gives me something to ponder as I start to consider my 22 for 2022 list.

22 for 2022 is fine for things you can cross off a list but Gretchen observed that for habits, we need a different approach. She noted that 40 per cent of what we do every day is shaped by our habits, so they are very powerful instruments that we can use to make changes we want to make.

She says most habits fall into one of the “Vital 9” categories:

  1. Energy: exercise and sleep
  2. Productivity: focus, work, progress
  3. Relationships: connect and deepen
  4. Recharging: relax and rest
  5. Order: clear and organise
  6. Purpose: reflect, identify, engage
  7. Mindful consumption: eating, drinking, spending, scrolling
  8. Mindful investment: save, support, experience
  9. Creativity: learn, practice, play

I think this is a good framework to review my current habits against, as well as to identify any new habits that might help me achieve things I want to achieve in 2022, which might not be “things” for my 22 for 2022 list.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to sit down with myself and review my year, work out what I did well, what I didn’t do so well, and what I want to achieve in 2022. Then I can identify what I can do to help me get there, whether it’s adding a thing to the 22 for 2022 list, putting a new habit into place or getting rid of an old habit. I think this will be helpful. Gretchen said that often, when people really strongly want something, they underplan. They think their desire for the thing will help them to execute but she says we do better by making the thing concrete and turning it into an action.

So. I have a plan to make a plan.

I sound like The Government, don’t I?

The 30-day voice course (thing 3)

I started the course! I got through the first four days. It’s going to take me longer than 30 days, but I think that’s okay. It will give me time for the activities and exercises to sink in and cement themselves as regular practices.

Kramstable’s videos (thing 8)

I worked on one of the older videos this week. I still have come cutting to do on the second video I wanted to complete this year, but it’s close!

My mother’s story (thing 9)

I didn’t get any new information from my mother this week so I can’t really say I made any progress on this project. I need to set aside some time to start writing.

Brainsparker (thing 17)

I went into my notes and tidied up my summary of the first nine modules. Because the final modules won’t be available until next year, there’s not much more I can do on this thing, so I’m calling it done.

21 for 2021 summary

  • Things completed this week: 17
  • Things completed to date: 5 (1, 11, 17, 18, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 2 (3, 8)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 10 (2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16)
  • Things not started: 4 (12, 15, 19, 21)

What else did I do this week?

A close up of a daisy in a daisy field
A little bit of sunshine

What I’m reading this week

  • Wrest Point: The Life, The Times and The People of Tasmania’s Hotel by Graeme Tonks and Mark Dibben
  • Rustication by Charles Palliser

Habit tracker

  • Days I went for a walk in the morning (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 4): 0
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 4): 0
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 3
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 0
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 5 work days): 5
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 5): 4
  • Days I shut my computer down before 9.30 (Goal = 6): 6


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