2022 | The Look-Back

Another year over, a new one just etc, etc. At the risk of sounding like screeching cliche, this year went fast. I feel good that this year has come to a close – with all its delights, challenges, opportunities, miseries and repeated episodes of Bluey. It wasn’t easy, but I think, especially amidst the mess and turmoil, there is a great deal to reflect on. And this practice of new-yearly self-reflection has been so valuable for me. It has been inspired by James Clear’s Annual Reviews, and guides me to take stock of what the year held for me – particularly how I was able to live in alignment with my values, move towards goals, live with intention and just have a bloody good time.

I’ve made some additions to the practice this year, and I invite you to use this framework too, to reflect on your own year that’s just hit the rearview, and set intentions for the year ahead.

2022 In Three Words


What Went Well This Year?

Raising A Baby

Parenting is waaaaaaay more everything than I anticipated. I ignorantly assumed that I would be able to seamlessly slot a little kiddo into my busy life with zero compromises, and hasn’t it been a rude shock to confront reality. It’s a strange gig, because you never really know if you’re doing it right, if you’re doing enough, if you’re priming your kid for extensive years of expensive therapy, etc. But I take my role as mother very seriously, and I invest a great deal of effort to consistently show up as a calm, engaged, fun and aware parent. I think that it’s important to acknowledge my efforts on this front.

In the year coming… I’d love to prioritise creating memorable and engaged moments as a family, honouring important milestones and capturing memories regularly throughout the year.


This year saw my departure from The Indigo Project, and into a permanent role with Support Act. I loved all the work I got to contribute to working with Support Act, as well as staying connected to the music industry with my current expertise and past lived experience. Here were a few highlights…

  • Copped my General Registration as a Psychologist (wiew!) ~ got the email while I was watching the sun rise over the ocean. Pretty mega moment for me, and I was grateful to get to celebrate with my bestie who got his rego just two weeks before.
  • I moved into a permanent role with Support Act, creating a range of workshops and programs which I am very proud of. I presented a number of live panels at Support Act’s first mental health in music conference, Head First, I represented Support Act at Splendour in the Grass, hosted live panels at Bigsound 2022, presented Support Act’s programming at state parliament and launched Creative Minds – a 1-Day Creativity Workshop, facilitating it in cities across Australia!
  • I attended my first ever in-person conferences, Purpose, Bigsound and Happiness & Its Causes.
  • I presented at Creative Mornings, Sydney.
  • I hosted my own Perfectionism workshop on Zoom.
  • I also continued to contribute to a number of articles and publications, for Refinery29, ZeeFeed, SBS Australia, ABC News, Popsugar & The Music.com.au.
  • I launched a bunch of new merch with Heavy Mental, including my own gratitude journal The Daily Greats, and my self-care magnet sets, the Make It Happen Menu‘s.

In the year coming… I would like complete my phd (huge life goal), and continue to contribute to important projects with Support Act, as well as help empower and train other mental health practitioners to deliver workshops and presentations.

Friends & Family

My people saved me this year, I can safely say. And the more I learn about social psychology, the more I understand that the people around you are not just a nice little bonus – they literally shape and support your sense of self. My parents and their ongoing support with Levon allows me to show up for my work and uni in ways I can be proud of. I am incredibly grateful for them. My husband and his dedication and persistence inspire me daily. I have a beautiful group of friends who I can rely on, celebrate with, rant to and count on through thick and thin. I am very, very lucky.

I also made a lot of new friends this year, in the psych realm, which has been incredible. I trepidatiously launched SHRINKS, a bi-monthly gathering for mental health practitioners, where I was able to cultivate and enrich connection with great people doing cool work in the mental health space. It’s something that I am so proud of kicking off in 2022.

In the year coming… I would like to tell people I love them more often, so that no one is a stranger to how much they mean to me. I would also like to make more friends in the Academia realm who can help to support me and keep me accountable for my phd progress.

Healthy Habits

My habits have been so helpful in sustaining me and allowing me to regularly dip into self-care and accountability. The habits below are ones that I have been building on over a number of years.

My DuoLingo “German” streak is now at 1009. That’s almost two whole years of commitment. I still feel like I can barely string to words together, but alles in ordnung, it’s about the process not the product.

Daily Meditations using the Waking Up app, where I am now a Lifetime Member. I love this app and all it includes. I try my best to do a 10-min meditation every day. It’s a deeply supportive asset in my digital arsenal. Currently I’m at 414 mindful days, with 7.7k mindful minutes.

I read 40 books! Not as many as last year, but some chunkier, more dense books so I’m not going ham with comparisons. Lots of social psychology in there, a few unfinished ones that I just didn’t vibe with. A few fiction books in there, and some parenting ones. ~ Journal articles not included ~

  • Work, Parent Thrive – Yael Schonbrun
  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin
  • Willpower – Roy Baumeister
  • Life Is Hard – Kieren Setiya
  • Deep Work – Cal Newport
  • When Things Fall Apart – Pema Chodron
  • The Gardner and the Carpenter – Alison Gopnik
  • The Sweet Spot – Paul Bloom
  • The Web Of Meaning – Jeremy Lent
  • Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain – Lisa Felman Barrett
  • Getting Things Done – David Allen
  • Creativity – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • The Highly Sensitive Person – Elaine Aron
  • Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) – Caron Tavris
  • The How of Happiness – Sonia Lyuomirsky
  • The Social Animal – David Brooks
  • The Road to Character – David Brooks
  • Radically Condesned Instructions for Being Just as You Are – J. Jennifer Matthews
  • Social – Matthew D Lieberman
  • Mindwise – Nicholas Epley
  • 10% Happier – Dan Harris
  • How Emotions Are Made – Lisa Feldman Barrett
  • Wired to Create – Scott Barry Kaufman
  • Living an Examined Life – James Hollis
  • The Creative Curve – Allen Gannett
  • Storyworthy – Matthew Dicks
  • The Stoic Challenge – William B Irvine
  • The Power of Bad – John Tierney & Roy Baumeister
  • Death – Joan Tollifson
  • The Plot – Jean Hanff Korelitz
  • Designing & Leading Life-Changing Workshops – Ken Nelson
  • The Status Game – Will Storr
  • Bittersweet – Susain Cain
  • Therapeutic Improvisation – Michael Alcee
  • All That’s Left Unsaid – Tracey Lien
  • It’s A Shame About Ray – Jonathan Seidler
  • The Self Explained – Roy Baumeister
  • The Hatred of Poetry – Ben Lerner
  • How to Write A Lot – Paul Silva
  • The Anthropocene Reviewed – John Green (unfinished)
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking – Daniel Dennett (unfinished)
  • How to Be You – Skye Cleary (unfinished)

In the year coming… I would like to continue committing to these healthy habits. I will also be tracking a regular writing goal of 250 words daily. And commit to regular yoga classes throughout the week.

Savings & Contributions

Continued to make progress with savings, as well as investing money too (compound interest ftw).

In the year coming… I would like to continue saving regularly, but also give myself some space to acknowledge this year will be spent investing in future dr-me (with a good deal of unpaid work), and so it’s understandable that making money-moves won’t be top priority this year.

What Challenged Me This Year?

Phd Progress

Pitiful. Time to get my ass into gear.

In the year coming… I need to write this thing. Just. write. it.

Saying Goodbye

This year, we said goodbye to my childhood home, parting ways with a great deal of history, and leaving behind a treasure trove of memories. It was a sad moment, and confronted me for a variety of reasons. One of my best friends also moved across the country and, while it was a wonderful opportunity for her, it was sad to know she wasn’t 10min down the road for deep d&ms, stupid Macca’s runs and horror films anymore.

Health & Vitality

I feel like I was constantly ILL. Coming out of constant lockdowns, and with Levon in his first year of daycare, countless health maladies visited our household with frightening regularity. My mental health also took a wallop, with a number of low periods where my self-care practices didn’t seem to cut the mustard.

In the year coming… I have booked in to see a nutritionist. I am also booking back into regular therapy sessions. I will also track yoga sessions x 3 each week, and would also like to organise & meal prep, so that we’re eating healthier food more regularly and we’re modelling a healthy and balanced diet for Levon.

Drainers / Sustainers?

Reflecting on the things that drained and sustained me, I can better understand how to limit my exposure to, or support myself around the things that challenge and drain me. I can also understand what helps nourish me and sustain me!

Consecutive Solo Parent am’s & pm’sMovies & Good TV
Grocery ShoppingYoga, Dancing & Movement
Last Min Dinner ScramblesNature
People PleasingSkin Care
Mum GuiltDeep Conversations
CleaningDinner Parties with Friends
MessinessFancy Hotel Stays
TantrumsWords of Affirmation
Non-CommunicationThings to Look Forward To
Managing EmotionsBooks & Music

What did I learn from this year?

Bad is stronger than good

There is no even-trade between good and bad moments. With the excess weight negative moments carry, you have to go out of your way to create a surplus of good. They say the ratio is around 4:1 (obviously depending on what type of negativity your seeking to balance out). I recognise that my mind has the tendency to focus on the bad, the imperfect, the challenging and the painful. So I need to take extra care to make sure my days are bursting with goodness. I’ll do this by committing to my Daily Greats with more regularity, as well as spotting and speaking out about five star moments, when I’m living them!

Meaning is often more valuable than pleasure – and more interesting too

Cultivating meaning whilst you’re moving through the midst of things can feel brutal, boring, challenging and event paradoxically pointless. But meaning is one of those wonderful things that allows you to look back and feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment. There was a lot of meaning-making throughout this year and while it definitely hasn’t been easy, I am very grateful and proud of the effort I have invested in living in alignment with my values and the person I am [becoming].