First, a big middle finger to 2021 for taking Betty White literally days before her 100th birthday. Her passing is the most 2021 thing that could happen in 2021. Betty, you were an icon and lived the good life. Rest now.

As for 2022, I’m not doing resolutions this year because I always look back on them and think, “Damn, what a failure I am.” Not saying that I didn’t have good intentions because I do want to be more healthy, to sleep more, to exercise, all those other great things. The problem is (and has always been) that I’m not intentional with things, life jumps up, and suddenly, I’m eating a box of Pop-Tarts with a Diet Coke in front of me, bing watching Avatar episodes. Not that this is all a bad thing, but it’s hurtful to the psyche and I’m not all about that right now.

However, I came across a post from a site called No Sidebard titled, “End Your Year Intentionally with These 10 Questions”.


Absolutely. If I cannot begin a year with intention, perhaps ending it was some wouldn’t be a bad thing. The article itself offers up some good ideas for why looking back on your year helps us to see forward with our lives. That one gave my brain a good test, but in the end, it makes sense. If we are able to look back on our successes, failures, and be mindful of how we are doing each, it gives us some idea on how to change going forward.

So here are the questions:

1. What makes this year unforgettable?

This year was unforgettable our trip to Boston. It was an amazing time that we had together and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. It made me realize just how much I’ve missed trying to do right by my profession. I love teaching, but I love my wife and my family that much more.

2. What did you enjoy doing this year?

I loved writing here. I feel like the more I write, the more comfortable I become writing. I like the fact that people respond to my writing. I also loved the traveling we did this past year. Whether our big vacation or the little places we’ve gone. Finally, I enjoyed reading. It’s amazing the different perspectives I’ve uncovered by reading blogs, books, and magazines.

3. What/who is the one thing/person you’re grateful for?

I am grateful for my wife. She’s my rock and my best friend. The pandemic brought us closer together and it shows when we are together. What thing am I grateful for? This seems silly but Twitter. I’ve got two separate feeds, one for more political/educational things, the other for Hawkeye/coaching types of things. Both have connected me with some really awesome people! 🙂

4. What’s your biggest win this year?

My biggest win was reconnecting with my brother and my college roommate. I took a class from Frank Garza and one of the things he had of do is to have a couple of people in our lives answer some tough questions about those in his session. My brother and I haven’t been close for a while and we talked through some things. Are we all the way back? Nope, but it feels good to have more communication back and forth! My college roommate went through some tough times personally during the pandemic and we had a chance to meet his girlfriend (now fiancé who is freaking awesome).

5. What did you read/watch/listen to that made the most impact this year? I’ve got one podcast that made an impact on me called the WashedUp Walkons. Just three former Iowa football players who have managed to connect with a fan base on a really personal level. The guests they bring on offer up insights both into the program, but more importantly, the life lessons of being part of a the program. Laughing, crying, and growing.

6. What did you worry about most and how did it turn out?

What did I worry about the most? School. So much school. This year, I’m seeing 120 kids a day and trying to keep up with the grading and planning and all that goes into what we do. And I’ve not been doing a good job of it. Between this and Covid, lots of worry. What’s it gotten me? Overweight and out of shape. My phrase from 2020 “I only can control what I can control”. I need more of that in 2022.

7. What was your biggest regret and why?

This one is tough because I don’t have many regrets in life. Choices are made and we deal with the consequence, good, bad, or otherwise. I guess my biggest regret was allowing people into my life who really don’t belong. I watch some really awesome TikTokers (lame I know) but one of them made the comment, “Access to me is a gift.” This is a statement full of truth.

8. What’s one thing that changed about yourself?

I’ve had to learn the hard way that my job has dominated my life for way too many years. This past year, I’ve learned to set of some boundaries. Hard boundaries, which lead to the worrying stated above, but I feel better about me as a person.

9. What surprised you the most this year?

What’s surprised me the most is how watching others being happy brings me joy. Maybe it’s getting older, maybe it’s having my kids now as pretty much adults, but just seeing others laughing, smiling, being happy in their own lives makes me happy. That wasn’t always the case. I’ll admit, social media is a giant farce and the happy I see there is manufactured. What I’m talking about is seeing parents with their kids, watching the joy of people celebrating great plays, reading how people have made a difference, all of it makes me happy,

10. If you could go back to last January 1, what suggestions would you give your past self?

The one things I’d suggest to myself, just keeping going. I’ve struggled with the motivation to just keep going forward. I’ve not stepped back, but have felt like the forward progress I’ve made has been eratic at best. I’d keep myself pushing forward, working towards some goals I’ve come close to getting, but never quite been able to achieve.

This has been an experiment, and honestly, I feel better about the past year. It was a turd of a year, but this activity has shown me that even in awful times, there are positives to be take from them.

What about you? Have you been reflective, intentional about 2021? Do you plan on resolutions for 2022?