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What I’m leaving in 2021 and 7 habits I’m bringing into 2022

As 2021 rolls to a close, I can’t help but reminisce about this past year. The victories and losses. The plot twists and happy surprises. Hard conversations and joyful banter.  

A lot can happen in a year. Actually, a lot can happen in a day. Each moment can bring a myriad of new, exciting experiences or one that can shift our entire life path and shake us to the core.  

Throw kids into the mix and each day will undoubtably be a roller coaster ride (where are my teen parents?).   

Life is like that.  

I asked through Facebook for folks to describe their 2021 in one word (or GIF). It wasn’t surprising that everyone who responded has had a wild ride of a year.  

I hear ya! 

There was a lot of identification to the Facebook post responses I received. I found myself nodding at each of them with compassion, empathy, and agreement.  

We, as a collective, have been through A LOT.  

So, in this blog, I wanted to share what I’m leaving in 2021 and what I intend to bring into 2022. 

Things I’m leaving in 2021: 

  1. Choosing Self-Criticism and Doubt – This goes hand-in-hand with perfectionism or negative self-talk in general. Thoughts like: Is my work good enough? Did I show up for my kids as best as I could today? This isn’t good enough … As much as I’d love to leave these behind and never look back, I can acknowledge this will not be 100% successful. Here’s the hope shot: I have become aware of how these traits show up in my life today, and where there is awareness, there can be change. So I will choose to be more forgiving to myself, releasing the need to choose these unhelpful thoughts.  
  2. Complacency – There’s a distinct difference between complacency and confidence … It’s the level of smugness. Yeah, that ego-driven self-assuredness feeling. The one where I feel self-assured because I did some things and can coast (and yeah, I Googled the definition of complacency because I thought it meant something different). When I lean into how I would like to move in this world, I desire to have a comfortable and quiet confidence.   
  3. Comparison – The saying is true: Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison has stolen moments I could have been joyfully present with my kids or others. It’s stolen the sense of pride I could have experienced by completing a project. It’s stolen parts of me that I can radically accept today. So to you, comparison, you can stay in 2021. 

What will I bring into 2022? 

  1. Giving myself a break – Both physically and emotionally. I’ll be the first to admit that I am really hard on myself, but in 2022, I am choosing to radically accept myself. Flaws and all. Mistakes happen and it’s a part of being human. The whole concept of living life to the fullest is to live life to the fullest. The ups and downs, twists and turns. I am choosing to extend myself grace today, just like I extend grace to others. 
  2. Find a reason to laugh, every day – The more I look into the secret to a long and fulfilling life, the more I see how laughter plays a big role in it. Apps like TikTok or Instagram reels have an abundance of comical (and incredibly talented) creators. My teens are hysterical. The beautiful souls I have in my circle “get” my humor. Dad jokes will always get a chuckle from me. Humor is the spice of life I want more of in 2022. Bring it. 
  3. Releasing expectations – I’ve noticed when I enter a situation or experience with no expectations, I am most likely pleasantly surprised at the outcome. While it’s important to hold accountability, releasing the expectation to the outcome makes for a happier experience.  
  4. Schedule time for self – No excuses. Showing up for kids and life can be exhausting so I am deciding to make an intentional effort to take care of me. Tired? Take a nap. Emotionally drained? Go out for a walk. Meditate. Breathwork. Journal. Therapy. Yes, I need it to be that simple and yes, I need to schedule it in. Daily. My future self will thank me and the people around me benefit. After all, happy momma, happy life, right?  
  5. Choose experiences over material items – The past two years has taught me a solid lesson in mortality. Life is fleeting. When I leave this earth, I will be leaving all of my material items behind and once those are all gone, the memories will linger. This is the year I want to travel more. Experience different things. Expand horizons. With and without my kids.  
  6. Self-discovery/healing/recovery – This is an ongoing thing I will bring into every year. The growing and healing never stops so long as I’m alive. Being sober for this length of time has allowed me the space to do the healing that I had masked and numbed behind the alcohol for so long. I get to show up for myself today, fully and present. Even though it’s messy, it’s a beautiful thing.  
  7. Saying NO more – Even typing that makes my stomach knot up, but this is a habit I will be bringing into the new year. While it feels uncomfortable, I know that the more I practice it, the easier it will be. And the less guilt I’ll experience by saying no … maybe. Something has to change. I’ve noticed that I lean more towards overextending myself and by the end of the day, I am TIRED. The to-do list will always be there but time is a precious commodity and one I choose to be more intentional with.  

So, that’s what I’m choosing to focus on in 2022. If you have an awesome dad joke or would like to share your list, reach out through Single Parent’s Project or through Facebook messenger. Let’s laugh and grow together in 2022! 

Beth Montgomery
Beth Montgomery is a single mom of teens and is a Jill of all trades who lives in the Harrisburg area. While she wasn't born anywhere near here (or even in this country), she calls Central PA home (for now) and writes about her journeys through adulting... with kids. Visit her online at or connect with her on the socials.

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