Have you ever felt like a year just passes you by? There were many years when I felt like this. Stuck in the monotony of daily life, of school, of working. I put my happiness on the back burner. I was more focused on my goals than I did on my own well-being.

It’s easy to become like this with the pressures of daily life. But I would encourage you to not stay on this path for too long. Without finding joy and caring for yourself, you will burn out. These practices aren’t just for pleasure but are supportive for regulating the nervous system, cultivating mindfulness, and practicing self-compassion.

When I realized this, it became important to me to bring meaning back into every year. To create space for joy again.

If you are feeling similarly, that’s okay. This article is a great place to start.

I am going to share with you some ways you can bring meaning back to your year again. These practices aren’t new years resolutions, you can start them at any point in your year and still see the same benefit.

1) Slow Down

I want to remind you that my intention here is not to get you to set 100 unrealistic or unachievable goals for this year. Instead, I would love for you to connect with what brings you joy, and find little ways for you to incorporate more of that into your life.

One way to tune into that pleasure is to slow down. Our lives are so short, and we don’t realize how quickly they pass us by. Focus on that slowness. Feel it. Sit with it. It will help ground you more in the current moment. Keep this intention in mind as we move forward to other ideas.

Practices to try to encourage slowness: 

  • Reading books
  • Less screen time
  • Mindful eating 
  • Meditation
  • Sketching & Painting
  • Knitting
  • Crafting or Scrapbooking
  • More Vacation or Time Off

2) Journal

Recently I have been loving the idea of embodying “main character energy”. As silly as that sounds, we sometimes don’t see ourselves as the central character in our own lives. Except we are! Starting a journaling practice can be a great way to begin doing this. Start talking about yourself more. Write down your stories & opinions. Explore your inner emotions and desires. Tuning in and listening to all that is going on in your mind is a great way to find the meaning in every day. Maybe something happened that inspired you? Maybe you learned a life lesson? All of this can be reflected upon in your journal. What a fantastic way to document those experiences.

If you're looking for some journal prompt examples, head to our other article on "What are Journal Prompts?" or download our FREE How to Start Journaling PDF. 

3) Make a “this year” Bucket List

Many people make bucket lists of things they want to do in life, but they never make a plan for how they are going to get there. If you want to make the most of the year, I would encourage you to pick a couple of those dreams and start working toward them. For example, if you want to go skydiving once in your life, maybe this year is the time to book that! Focusing on just this year instead of your whole life is the perfect way to make those dreams actionable. You are the creator in life, so it’s time you step up and start acting like it.

Things that made my bucket list this year:

  • Taking at least two trips to a new place
  • Begin writing a guided journal
  • Make a new friend

4) Watch the Sunrise or Sunset

This practice has been one that helps me regulate my body, and also helps me bring awareness to each passing day. The orange and yellow hues are actually good for you to experience, prompting the body to produce melatonin in the evening. I recommend going for a walk around golden hour, or watching it through a window without turning on any artificial light. Watching the sunrise or sunset is such a simple and free practice that can really enhance your daily life.

5) Grow your Network

If you’ve had the same friends forever and aren’t connecting with anyone new, it may be time to get out of your comfort zone and grow your network. I’d recommend joining an interest group, such as a book club, sports team, BumbleBFF or taking a class where you can meet new people. I’ve also seen retreats specifically for solo travellers, and this can be a great way to make new friends. Bringing new people into your life is a great way to create meaningful relationships that spark joy for you. You never know what memories you’ll make together.


I hope you found these 5 ideas a good starting point for making the next year more meaningful for you. Let me know if you have any other suggestions in the comments. I'd love to know what makes a year feel more meaningful for you.




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