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Don't Set New Year's Resolutions. Create a Time Capsule Instead

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Make each new year special by revisiting the year just gone.

A time capsule drawing thanking year 2022.

Ah, it’s this time of year again when everyone but lazy is busy drafting goals.

Not me.

Truth be told, New Year's resolutions stress me out. They feel forced. It's something I am expected to do because the world and it‘s uncle is doing it.

Apparently, 43% of us don’t stick with resolutions set in January. Majority of us abandoned this mission by February.

I, personally, don't want to give power to fullfil my dreams to this ephemeral magical night.

I want to be in charge of my goals and dreams. And I want to set them whenever I feel like it or whenever I have a new bonkers idea. That's pretty much every day.

But I still want to make New Year’s eve memorable and magical because I love the idea that we are stepping into a new year that might bring amazing things and opportunities.

So this year I've been inspired to create a.... drumrolls.... time capsule.

The idea popped into my head while frantically scrolling through the Playful Notes website for things to do with my kids during New Year's bank holiday. The site recommended a time capsule as an activity to do with your kids.

So I thought - what a great idea to do it for myself! To mark the year that is about to vanish into oblivion. To note my achievements and remember things I did that I would have forgotten by the next New Year's Eve. Things that were important to this year's me.

I had this strong realisation that my version of 2022 might have different dreams and aspirations compared to me in 2023.

My biggest dream in 2022 was to get more sleep as we welcomed our second baby into this world. But next year, I'll probably be after some “me time”, as we all know what toddlers are like. An unstoppable energy ball mixed with insatiable and danger-prone curiosity.

What to include in the New Year's time capsule?

As this time capsule is about me in 2022, the good, the bad and the ugly, I decided to include the following:

  • Things I am grateful for.

  • Dreams that came true.

  • Things that didn't work out.

  • My worries and concerns.

  • A note to my future self.

How to create a time capsule?

  • What you might need?

  • What objects to include?

  • What material to use?

It's not about the tool, device, or physical container to keep your treasured objects from the year that is about to end. It's about purposefully reminding yourself about something you experienced, lived through and cared about. It's about memories, those fleeting thoughts and ideas that seem so big and so important today. It's those things that we don't even associate with ourselves once they are no longer the focus of our attention.

So the time capsule is about capturing the past in a way that might be useful to your future self.

But as an inspiration, I am listing a few ideas below.

A shoe box

A shoe box where you could put your reflections as well as anything else that you can think of.

Photos, old postcards that you cherished this year, anything that helps you to associate an object with the year that's just gone.

An envelope

It could be an envelope that you could seal. If you have time, you could even create a seal with melted wax or clay. Or it could be an envelope that does not need closing, but just for safekeeping.

Folded or rolled paper

I have a lovely image of a rolled paper with a ribbon containing a snippet from my old life. A forgotten hello from my past. I would want it to be special.

But it also could be as simple as a sheet of paper folded once or twice. Because what's inside matters the most.

A treasure map

Again, if you are not short on time, you could create a treasure hunt for yourself.

Because the chances are, you would have forgotten all the puzzled and riddles you had used to hide the capsule by the time it's Christmas next year.

So you could have so much fun guessing your own puzzles.

Digital time capsule

To make things easier, you could create a digital time capsule and hide it in a special folder on your computer. Then put a reminder in your phone to open it on a set date.

Alternatively, you could create it as an email and schedule it to be sent to you on a set date in December 2023. Imagine receiving an email from your past self. How wonderful would that be?

What to include in your time capsule?

Depending on whether it's a physical time capsule or a digital one, you'll include different things. But regardless of how you create it, ensure you include things that have mattered to you this year.

There is no point in adding random objects as young kids do. Have you ever seen a letter to Santa from a toddler? It's stickers on stickers drowning in glitter.

The aim of this time capsule is to capture the memories of the year that's gone.

  • What made it special?

  • What made you laugh or cry this year?

  • What else do you want to note down to remember?

Where to store your New Year's time capsule?

It's a tricky thing to store something that is not meant to be opened for some time.

Because we, adults, are just like kids and we will be tempted to open something as soon as we discover it. So thinking about where to store a physical time capsule could be a task in itself.

And at the same time, you want it to be unique and magical. You want this anticipation of opening something long forgotten. Remember re-reading your old journals and diaries? Juicy gossip, right? It reads as if someone else has written it.

Bury it

It's an obvious one. As that's what you do with a time capsule, right? Find a nice spot in your garden. Use a metal box to keep it in to ensure it withstands the weather and the birds and whatnot.

But what if you don't have anywhere to do it? Or you don't fancy doing it?

Somewhere high

Super high shelving units come to mind when I think of hiding something from myself (like chocolate) or my kids. Maybe leave yourself a reminder as to where you left it because you might successfully forget about it.

With someone trusted

You could leave it with friends or family members if you trust them. Alternatively, use something with a lock so no one can open it but the key holder.


For my time capsule, I will complete the printouts I have created, especially for this occasion. You can download them if you subscribe to my newsletter.

I will then roll them, add a ribbon and put this special package together with my Christmas decorations. That means I will open it when it's time to decorate my tree for the following year. It also means that I won't be tempted to read it beforehand because Christmas decorations are kept in an attic and are not retrieved until it's their time to shine. And another reason is that I will not forget to open it as it will be there with my baubles and fairy lights.


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