Unraveling – Goodbye to 2018

I want to start by saying that this is going to be a long post. These reflective posts are how I make sure to live my life intentionally. They matter to me and I love being able to look back on them in future years. I know that this might not be interesting to many (if not any) of you, so please feel free to skip it. If some of you find it interesting, all the better.

This particular exercise is following Susannah Conway’s Unraveling 2019 sheet. You can download it right here. I split the reflective questions looking back on 2018 in and the questions to help clarify goals/dreams for 2019 into two posts. This is part I, the 2019 post will show up later this week. All questions are Susannah’s and are copyrighted to her.

Before we start unravelling 2019, let’s take a moment to look back over the last twelve months. Maybe there were lots of changes for you in 2018. Maybe it’s been a year of growing or nesting or exploring or letting go. Whatever’s happened this year it’s got you to this point, right now. Exactly where you’re meant to be. Pick up your pen and let’s do some digging.


  • First of all, did you have a word for 2018? Yes, my word was strong.
  • If you did, how did your word help to guide you through the last 12 months? Can you think of any specific examples? I spent more days in the exercising than not this year. More than I ever have in the last 8 years. I dropped commitments that weren’t serving me. I created and held onto my boundaries. I took risks and made mistakes.
  • What did you embrace in 2018? I embraced my new job. I tried to show up for it with my whole self. I went to work many days, I  worked hard at defining and executing on the job.
  • What did you let go of in 2018? I let go of several commitments that weren’t serving. Many of them to do with the kids’ schools. They were taking so so much of my time and they weren’t serving me.
  • What changed for you in 2018? My perspective on exercise definitely did change. My work changed. My schedule changed. My daily routine went through several iterations.
  • What did you discover about yourself in 2018? I discovered that I need more structure. When I let go, I let go all the way. It helps me to have some designed structure so I can live my life intentionally. I also discovered that if I can’t make peace with myself, or even more, if I can’t step into the reality of who I am and completely own it, nothing else matters as much.
  • What were you most grateful for in 2018? My husband is up there at the top of my list. 2018 was a hard year for me, I went through a long period of sadness and my husband was (and always is) my biggest champion. I am grateful for all the exercise I did this year, too. I am grateful for the vacations we’ve had. The memories we created.
  • When did fear hold you back in 2018? I think it’s holding me back a little now. In defining what I want to do next, in understanding my capacity and my desires. It also holds me back from going out and socializing often.
  • Where did you practice bravery in 2018?  Many moments of this job has been bravery. The travel I did recently was also bravery. Much of the exercise I did this year was bravery.
  • What surprised you in 2018?  The job offer. Also how the sadness came out of nowhere in May and wouldn’t let go.
  • What made you smile in 2018? My husband. My kids. Moments of connection.
  • What conclusions did you reach in 2018? That I want to step into who I am and love myself and accept myself unconditionally. That’s more important than anything else I want/need. This is my most important “task.”
  • Let’s think about your ACCOMPLISHMENTS in 2018. List three things that went really well this year — personally or professionally, what are you most proud of? For each accomplishment, consider the following: What skills helped you make it happen? How has your life changed? What have you learned about yourself? How did you celebrate or acknowledge your accomplishment? (If you didn’t, how could you next time?)


    • I took a new job. I took a risk.
    • I helped both my kids with school and learning new things.
    • I got physically stronger.


  • Now let’s look at your CHALLENGES. List three situations that have tested your limits and patience this year. The big or the small — whatever challenged you the most in 2018 (there may be more than three so go with whatever comes to mind first) For each challenge, consider the following: How did you deal with the challenge? Did you discover any new tools or allies that could help you again in the future? How has your life changed? What have you learned about yourself? (If you’re still working through a particular challenge, what outcome would feel good to you?)


    • I got really sad. And I couldn’t snap out of it.
    • Food still continues to be a challenge. I’ve tried new things this year but honestly, nothing is really sticking so far.
    • I think my biggest challenge is still being kind to myself. Every other challenge I have stems from that.


  • Describe your favourite day, moment or occasion of 2018 in words and pictures. What did it taste like? Smell like? Sound like? Who was (or wasn’t) there? Where were you? What were you doing? What was awesome about it? And most importantly, how did you feel? One of my favorite parts of this year was our vacation in Europe. Making the whole thing work end to end was magical. I loved being a part of it. I loved the memories. I loved all of it.



  • Gentleness alert! Did anything happen in 2018 that needs to be forgiven? Maybe it was something someone did or said to you. Maybe it was something you did or said to someone else — or to yourself? Maybe you feel you let yourself down in some way. Here’s the thing — we are all beautifully fallible human beings doing the best that we can with the tools that we have, so where can you give the gift of forgiveness to yourself or to another? I think it’s time to put the sadness to rest. The part of me that blames me for never being able to measure up to myself. To who I feel others want me to be. To who I never feel like I can be. I think it’s time to let it all go. Everything. And just make peace with me.



  • So we’ve dug into our accomplishments and challenges, remembered our favourite moments and considered who we need to forgive. Now I invite you to close your eyes for a moment and think about 2018 as a whole. As you cast your mind back over the last 365 days, consider the gifts that 2018 offered you on your life’s journey…What stands out the most? What really mattered? What stands out the most is overwhelming gratitude. What mattered most are the days with the people I love. The moments of joy, gratitude and contentment. Simple pleasures. New experiences. Here’s some of what happened in 2018:


    • I helped Nathaniel get better at math and found him a Tech Challenge team.
    • I helped prepare David for the SSATs and explore high schools.
    • I took two trips to Sydney, one to Tokyo and one to Zurich for work.
    • As a family: we went to Tahoe, Orange County, San Diego, Joshua Tree, Rome, Pisa, Forte dei Marmi, many cities in South of France, Girona, and Barcelona
    • I changed jobs.
    • David and his team won Outstanding Device Performance in the Tech Challenge.
    • I mentored several women in my organization.
    • I am taking an AP Physics class with David.
    • I exercised every single week this year.
    • I still don’t drink any soda or drink coffee with caffeine.
    • I go to bed 10pm and wake up 6am every week day.
    • I read multiple college essays for multiple friends’ kids.  
    • I make hundreds of healthy lunches for my kids.
    • I took several online classes including: OLW, Draw and See, Close to Home, Wholehearted Artist, and Sketching Faces.
    • I have started making simple scrapbook pages again.
    • I read over 280 books.
    • I did the whole30 in January, 30 days of Yoga in February, 30 days of Body Pump class in March and did Couch25K in the summer. I took classes in barre, body pump, yoga, pilates, and ran.
    • I helped David apply for the CDB Scholarship.
    • David won third place at the San Mateo Science Fair.
    • I supported my friends and a few others who were going through a tough time this year.
    • I supported several Life Coaching clients this year.
  • Describe 2018 in 3 words: grateful, struggle, brave


  • If the events of 2018 were made into a film or a book, what would it be called? Keep Going.
  • Before we finish with 2018, take a few minutes to write out anything else you need to say to the old year in the box below. You might like to say some goodbyes and thank yous…Thank you


Thank you 2018. Despite being not the best version of myself for many months of this year, I am very grateful for so much of this year. I did so much work getting stronger this year and I am really proud of the person I was: encouraging, supportive, present and hard working. I showed up again and again despite where I was and how I felt. I am very proud of myself and grateful for all the gifts of 2018. I am ready to welcome 2019 as a stronger and more grounded version of myself.



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