• Britt Riner

The One Tradition We Keep Alive EVERY New Year's Eve

Updated: Jan 14

“Old Year’s Proud List” -- Have You Made Yours?



This one’s just for you, Mama and Daddy.


We are already hearing chatter about New Year’s Resolutions, and with all the lamentations about 2020, 2021 has a lot of pressure to be better. While reflecting on ways we can improve is a fruitful exercise, it’s equally -- if not more -- important (particularly for Type A, recovering perfectionists -- we would know!) to think about all the things we’re proud we did (or didn’t do) this past year, all the ways we grew and helped others grow. These are not the things that went just as we planned (because not much did!) but rather how we responded to them or simply just survived them. Walking through long, dark valleys is an accomplishment just as much as summiting tall mountains is. So, what’s on your list?!


Think about all the things we’re proud we did (or didn’t do) this past year, all the ways we grew and helped others grow . . . Walking through long, dark valleys is an accomplishment just as much as summiting tall mountains is.

Writing down what a good job we did can feel a little uncomfortable, and it can feel even more awkward to share it with others, because we’re not used to talking about ourselves this way. To help kickstart your List, may we suggest a few tips:


  • Choose the right environment and the right time to reflect: Take a walk, or sprawl out on the sofa; have a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine; wake up a little extra early, or put the kids to bed a little extra early… do what you gotta do to carve out a special space and that extra time for this rewarding task.

  • Make your list using paper and pen: we love any opportunity to do the good old fashioned pen-to-paper style of documentation. Use stationery or a notebook that makes you feel good. Use a pen that writes like butter. . . you know what we mean!

  • Use mental prompts or timelines to trigger the Old Year’s positive milestones and moments: Months of the year, Books, Movies, Family, Friends, Community, Health and Wellness, Birthdays, Phone Calls, Zoom Calls. . .


Now, to help normalize it, the Primerrily Crew dares you to take on the same challenge we are taking on with each other: Make your “Old Year’s Proud List” and exchange lists with a friend! Clink some glasses -- even if only virtually -- and shout some “atta girls” (or atta boys) and “way to go sisters” (or way to go brothers) your friends’ ways. Still a little shy? Send it to us at crew@primerrily.com so we can celebrate with you


The Primerrily Crew dares you to take on the same challenge we are taking on with each other: Make your “Old Year’s Proud List” and exchange lists with a friend!

Still stumped on the type of things we’re talking about? Here are some things that are going on my "Old Year’s Proud List." As you can see, it’s a variety -- but so is the spice of life!


  • gave my husband my blessing to sign up for another round of the U.S. Navy Reserves

  • sent Valentine’s Day cards (always a push; I’ve given up on Christmas cards a long time ago)

  • gave birth to my third child

  • survived the "fourth trimester" (least favorite time in my child’s life! True confession!)

  • taught my daughter how to read her first words

  • launched Primerrily!

  • made ridiculous memes during quarantine that at least made a few people laugh

  • joined a virtual Bible study

  • forgave a family friend who really us let down

  • won my re-election to public office

  • made time for my husband even when I was really tired at night and just wanted to sleep

  • sat by my father’s bedside as he breathed his last breaths

  • started practicing yoga again

  • started seeing a therapist again

  • wrote a eulogy for my dad

  • put Christmas lights on the house all by myself while pregnant and the kids were running around (a triple feat! No worries, I did not climb any ladders) and bought my first “grown-up” garland for the front door, which I’ve wanted for years

  • wrote this list for another year


We opened this post with a note that this one was just for you, but really, when you “pour into yourself,” you have something more to pour into your kids. So even if you’re hesitant to list your Old Year’s Proud for yourself, do it for your kids. And maybe even ask them what they would add to your Old Year’s Proud List. We have no doubt you’ll feel even more proud (and get a good laugh) after hearing what they’ve got to say. P.S. For the lay historians out there, archive this list in a file so it doubles as a personal/family time capsule!


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