Many of us are wary of New Year resolutions. Resolutions can be hard to nail because we don’t know what the year will bring or maybe are heart was not down for that resolution in the first place. I enter most new years softly, playing down resolutions. This year, I’m doing so with intention (not resolutions!) and an armful of soups and my new year toolbox.


Soups, pools,… whatever you prefer to call them, these choices help me stay soft. I’m packing about five soups this year. I’ll share two here.

Mantra Soups

I’ll start each day dipping into my soups of mantras and affirmations. They are part of my morning routine but I can also turn to them when my spirit takes a dip or to steady myself when I lose my footing.

To-Do Soups

I made several soups of to-dos. Two are for the homes my partner and I share and each of these soups has 52 ingredients, one to-do for each week of the year. The “ingredients” vary in level of required effort so that on weeks when all the energies align (mine, the weather, the resources), I can knock out big things. On weeks of inclement weather or low energy, I can still find something to tick off the list. My hope that is on December 31, 2023, I’ll look into these pots of soup and feel good that I’ve burned through at least half of the to-dos, maybe even most of them.

My New Year Toolbox

“Toolboxes” should be designed and filled uniquely for each person. Ours would never be identical, so this isn’t a how-to lesson. If something resonates, great, use it as inspiration to fill your toolbox.

I carry forward a couple of tools each year: vision boards and weekly dailies.

Vision Board

I no longer make physical vision boards with poster board, glue, markers, and magazines. My vision boards are digital now, because I am more comfortable creating compositions in photoshop and because I like having the vision board as wallpaper on my computer and phone.

Weekly Dailies

I fill out my Weekly Dailies journal each morning before morning pages. In my Weekly Dailies, I track a whole gamut of data from delight, intake (food, water, alcohol), movement, words written, meditation, blogs, declutter… I don’t track these things for the data. The data provides awareness. If I reflect on the previous day and struggle to remember something that gave me delight or realize I didn’t move at all, I become more aware and I promise myself to do better.

Of note, I don’t carry the last year’s journal into a new year. The old journal goes up in flames as part of my release ritual, and I create a new journal (tweaking it as needed) for the new year.

This year, I’m adding one new tool to the toolbox: workshops.


I’ve signed up for programs that focus on breaking negative patterns, aligning with my intentions, and raising my vibration.

What I want to achieve is clear in my mind, my heart, and even my awareness, and I work towards my goals every day. But 2022 was rough and I emerged with a heavy heart, more anger than any soul should carry, and in general a low vibration. Hence, the workshops to focus on aligning my emotions and vibration with my creative and personal goals.

Go Softly into 2023

However you tumble into this new year—with or without resolutions—go in softly, flexible. I have no stated resolutions for 2023, but I do have intentions:

  • to measure the moments in delights and joys.
  • to take in my days with awareness and purpose.
  • to make sure each week includes something just for the fun of it.
©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2023.