Making Peace with 2019

I recently mentioned I was keen to be making peace with 2019 (in my Monthly Mantras post) and today I want to write more about that.

2019 felt like a big year. I didn’t give birth, move house, move from one side of the world to the other or lose anyone close to me (each of these fit into the definition of a “big year” for me). And yet it still felt like a lot happened last year. And I feel that needs to be reflected on.

So I’ve been doing some reflection exercises and I thought I’d share some of that with you.

Making Peace with 2019 Self Portrait with sun flare

Reviewing and Reflecting on 2019

I started with a review of the year. Deciding to follow the format suggested by Elise Joy in her email newsletter, I drew out a template in my Bullet Journal for the review back in December but ended up stalled for weeks. I think I had to get into 2020 before I could complete it! I recently finished it by taking it one month at a time.

For each month I went through my Bullet Journal and wrote a quick summary of what I did and what happened each month. Then I noted down how I felt that month. It’s interesting to see how much happened in 2019. And that there were definitely some up’s and down’s throughout the year.

I’ve also been journaling in my Morning Pages. My Morning Pages don’t have any defined structure – I just aim for 3 pages each day when I can. It’s usually whatever is on my mind, reflecting back and planning my days. I have found myself reflecting back on 2019 some days. I find Morning Pages a good way to get things out onto the page.

Other good exercises to help you reflect are:
  • Keeping a gratitude journal and writing down something you are grateful for at the end of each day
  • Writing Happy Lists (things that make you happy so you can bring more happiness into your life!)
  • Thinking about what you want More, Less and the Same of in your life going forward (or what you want to Stop Doing, Start Doing and Continue Doing) – I have an example here
  • Dreaming about your Ideal Day and then working out what small things you can start adding to your current days to work towards the ideal

What Happened in 2019?

So what happened in 2019 that made it feel like such a big year? Here’s just some of the things we did last year…


  • Had some building work done on the house that took a couple of months
  • Tried to rehome a rescue dog but unfortunately she wasn’t able to be around children (we didn’t know that when we took her in)
  • Visited family in Devon and Scotland
  • Visited New Zealand as a family for the first time since we left in 2016
  • Celebrated 10 years of marriage

And I:

  • came up with the idea of Find the Good in 30 Days, created all the content and released it throughout April
  • Learnt to sew and got stuck in with lots of projects
  • Got my Style Analysis
  • Attended writing, blogging and stationery events by myself and got a lot out of them
  • Reached 1000 days of yoga and meditation
  • Had some health stuff to deal with (that I’m still dealing with now)

Amongst all of this we did all the daily life stuff as well relating to school, work, family and home.

Making Peace with 2019

I think that 2019 was a full year for us with lots going on. There was always something happening or preparation and planning was happening for future events. When we travelled it was to visit family and/or friends and it was jam-packed. We didn’t get much down time. And when we did it felt enforced (because we were poorly or exhausted!).

Now that I’ve been able to reflect back on everything I can see that there were highs and lows (as there should be) and that we achieved a lot. It wasn’t all bad. It’s good to look back and find the good!

Looking back on 2019 has helped me work out my themes for 2020 and where I want to focus my time and energy currently.


I’d love to hear some of your favourite exercises for reflecting and how you’ve been making peace with 2019.

Making Peace with 2019 pinnable image