MyTopLearningsFor2024 – A Reflection on this Past Year and Hopes for the Next

Image source -

Well hello hello! It’s April from here with another blog entry. As we get ready to turn the page on 2023 and say hello to a brand new year 2024, I’ve been doing some reflecting on the past 12 months and thinking ahead to what I hope to learn and accomplish in the coming year. Grab a cup of tea (or is it wine at this hour?) and cozy in as I share my top 10 learnings and goals for 2024.

Take Time to Slow Down

Oy vey, 2023 was a doozy wasn’t it folks? So much going on both personally and globally that it truly felt like the days, weeks and months were flying by at warp speed. Looking back, one of the big takeaways I have is realizing how important it is to occasionally hit the brakes and slow things down a bit. All that hustling and bustling can wear us down after awhile if we aren’t careful. In 2024, I’m committing to scheduling regular “me time” where I unplug, take a relaxing bath, read a book – basically anything that allows my mind to stop racing and just be in the moment. My friend always says “birds can’t see wind” and I think that saying has really stuck with me.

Focus on What Truly Matters

One thing this past year has reinforced for me is the importance of prioritizing my health, relationships, personal growth and giving back to my community here in Marinduque. So many of us get caught up in busyness and chasing outward measures of success, but at the end of the day what really stays with us are our connections with others and nurturing our wellbeing. 2024 is about staying focused on the things that truly nourish my soul.

Simplify Where Possible

Life on our province has taught me the value of simplicity. In 2023 I really made an effort to declutter both my home and schedule, and it’s left so much more room for rest, recreation and time with loved ones. The relentless pace of modern life isn’t always serving us, so this coming year I aim to maintain that simplified mindset. Out with unnecessary tasks and commitments, and in with more stillness and appreciation for life’s basic pleasures.

Learn to Say No Gracefully

Another lesson I took away from this past year is that it’s okay, and even healthy at times, to learn how to say no. Now y’all know I love being busy and getting things done as much as the next gal, but I’ve come to realize that overcommitting myself actually ends up doing more harm than good. Not only does it lead to stress and burnout, but it means the quality of my work and attentiveness suffers too. Going forward, I’m making a commitment to thinking things through carefully before taking on new projects or obligations. It’s alright to decline if I don’t feel I can give it my best. I can say no with grace, and that is perfectly okay!

Express Gratitude Daily

With all the uncertainty and challenges of the last year, I also realized how important it is to maintain an “attitude of gratitude”, as cheesy as that might sound! Taking just a few minutes each day to reflect on the things I’m thankful for, from big things to small, has been shown to improve well-being and mental health significantly. Going forward, I plan to continue this daily ritual of gratitude journaling or listing out loud things I’m grateful for before bed each night. Science shows it really does rewire our brains for more positivity!

Say “Yes” to New Experiences

Another lesson from this past year is stretching outside my comfort zone and trying new things more often has enriched my life in unexpected ways. As scary as it may feel in the moment to do something unfamiliar, pushing those boundaries is how we grow the most. So in 2024 I want to continue seeking out experiences I’ve never tried before, whether it’s a new hobby, traveling somewhere off the beaten path or taking a class in a subject I’ve always been curious about but too timid to investigate further. You never know where saying “yes” may lead!

Move Your Body More

While self-care looks different for everyone, one area I think could use some focus for me in 2024 is movement and exercise. As couch potatoes at times, it’s all too easy to become sedentary. But getting the body moving has so many mental and physical benefits that I want to prioritize more, even if it’s just a walk outside after dinner. My goal for next year is to aim for 30 minutes of activity most days whether that’s yoga, pilates, jogging or even just dancing around my living room to upbeat tunes!

Spend Time in Nature

Living surrounded by beaches, forests and fresh island breezes is a daily reminder of nature’s restorative power. Things like improved mood, reduced stress and even enhanced creativity have all been linked to spending as little as 20 minutes outside each day. Still, I could do better about disengaging from devices and work more evenings and weekends to truly reap the benefits. Next year you can expect to see me setting stricter work-life boundaries so I have more time for outdoor activities, beach walks and eco-voluntourism projects with locals groups. Making it a priority to get my kids outside after school and on weekends is not only healthy for them, but will rub off on me too. I’m hoping to explore more nature trails, beaches and parks near us with picnics and adventures along the way. Fresh air truly is good for the soul!

Nurture Relationships

The importance of quality relationships was amplified for me during challenging times over the last couple years. In 2024, I want to continue nurturing the important people in my life by making more of an effort to stay connected consistently, whether catching up on a walk, game nights or getaways together whenever possible. Building people up and being present for others has this amazing way of fulfilling us too in the process. You really do get back what you put into relationships.

Get Back to Creative Expression

Creativity is so important for well-being yet one of the first things we tend to neglect under stress or busyness. But reconnecting with my creative side has been a true source of joy, so in the new year I aim to unplug from screens and electronics for dedicated blocks of time to channel creativity through activities like crafting, journaling, photography or playing music. I’d also love to take an art class if my schedule allows! Whether it’s a serious passion project or a simple doodle, that creative spark feeds the soul.

Give Back More Generously

Community and giving back are core values I want to practice living more fully in 2024. Acts of service such as volunteering time, donating goods, or supporting important causes cultivate compassion and lift others up during difficult times. I’m looking forward to finding meaningful ways my family can contribute our efforts or resources, whether it’s preparing meals at a homeless shelter, serving with a mentoring program, or fundraising for organizations we believe in. Spreading kindness costs nothing yet means so much.

Embrace Slow Cooking

I know I say it often, but slow cooking has been such a gift in my kitchen adventures here. Not only does it take the pressure off rushed weeknights, but I truly believe foods simmered over low heat are better for our health. They’re easier to digest and packed with nutrients extracted during the long, slow cook time. In 2024 you can expect even more of my easy one-pot slow cooker recipes perfect for our island lifestyle. Sometimes slow is exactly what we need!

Learn Something New

One of the joys of living away from the big city is I’ve gotten curious about simple living off the land. This past year I dabbled in gardening, food preserving and even tried raising backyard chickens. For 2024 I’d like to take one of these beginner skills to a new level through focused study. Life is too short not to feed our constant curiosity!

Let Go and Have Fun!

Last but not least, one major lesson from this past year is remembering to slow down, breathe deep and not stress the small stuff so much. Life is meant for living and enjoying each precious moment wherever possible so in 2024 I aim to adopt more of an attitude of fun, lightheartedness and letting things roll off my back easily. Whether it’s game nights with friends, dance parties with the kiddos, or road trips with no agenda, going out of my way to incorporate more joy, connection and genuine belly laughs is sure to lead to greater well-being and balance overall.

Well there you have it friends – my top lessons and goals as I look ahead to what I hope will be a wonderful 2024. I’d love to hear what you’re focusing on for the new year too – drop me a comment below! Thanks as always for tuning in and staying connected. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get monthly musings and tips delivered to your inbox. Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year!

Related articles

You may also be interested in

New updates right into your inbox.


Never Miss A Story

Get our Weekly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.
Cookie policy
We use our own and third party cookies to allow us to understand how the site is used and to support our marketing campaigns.