UPDATE: The printable below has been updated to include a label for 2017 and 2018!
Happy New Year friends! It’s the time of year for setting intentions and this is one I think even the busiest, mom-iest of us might be able to tackle in 2016.
I’ve always been quite a journaler, but since having kids, some of those more time-consuming daily intentions have been replaced by other daily rituals–like keeping my kids alive. Still, there’s something I really miss about how flipping back through a journal can trigger memories that have long since been forgotten.
A former creative director I worked with used to call this “life within the cracks.” Is the little things that comprise our days, months and years that often just dissolve from our memories in favor of the big, broad strokes. The way you and your husband became obsessed with a midnight snack and ate it every night for a month straight (ahem…we’re those people) or the day your son insisted on wearing his pajama pants to school (backwards, of course).
So in 2016, we plan to keep a memory jar and fill it with the details that matter to us this year. We’re starting with an empty jar and over the coming months, we’ll load it up with memories to reflect on come December 31. (It’s really strange to think about being all the way back around the sun again for another December 31, isn’t it? Too soon. Let’s instead just linger in the expansive possibilities that newborn 2016 holds.)
My hope is that the jar serves as a time capsule of sorts that will transport us back to specific moments in 2016 that mattered to the humans we were at that point in time.
MEMORY JAR IDEAS
I think the key to having a jar that’s overflowing with memories at the end of the year is having some ideas ahead of time about what you plan to document. I put together a free printable with lots of helpful prompts that you can download to make sure you never lack something to write about. If you’d like instant access to this subscriber-exclusive download (and all the other past and future freebies!), just enter your email address at the bottom of this post.
A few categories your memory jar could include:
-moments that made you proud
-compliments you receive
-things you’re currently curious about
-the things, large and small, you’re grateful for
-the Nexflix show you’re most obsessed with
-your child’s favorite joke, food, toy or person of the moment
-something nice you did for yourself
-something nice someone else did for you
To make a “journal in a jar” like ours, you really only need a few supplies:
– a large mason jar
– accessories to decorate the jar (We used baker’s twine and a button.)
– 2017 memory jar printable label (I included a 2018 label in this PDF so you’ll be all set for next year too.)
– glue or tape to attach the label
– scrap paper or our Memory Jar Ideas + Prompts printable (Subscribe in the box below to get instant access.)
Simply download and print the label, cut it out and attach it to your jar. Then head off to make some memories!
If you’re looking for other creative ways to document your life this year, check out these ideas:
How To Keep a Journal Without the Guilt
Make a Creative Baby Book Alternative Part I
Baby’s First Year Journal Part II
Snazzy blog photos can make it look like some people are doing it all (effortlessly!) while others of us (me!) are barely holding it together. So whenever I can, I like to introduce a little reality check in the form of a very un-Pinterest-worthy detail from my perfectly imperfect real life. My hope is that it’s a helpful reminder all of us that NO ONE is nailing it all the time.
I was writing this post this morning in our living room while baby Quinn played next to me on the floor. When she started to get fussy, I picked her up and snuggled her only to realize afterward that somehow she had managed to poop all over the rug while she was playing. Usually, I try to include a photo in these Reality Checks, but I figure you can use your imagination about this one.
Needless to say, this messy event is definitely going in our Memory Jar 😉