Getting Intentional With The Memories You Make

Kiera Liu journaling in a cozy chair
I'm Kiera!

I used to be a memory hoarder.
That all changed when I inherited collections from generations past. 

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It’s a New Year and we’re busy reflecting and setting intentions to kick off growth and improvement in 2024!

Join our discussion of intention setting in the New Year and how important it is to get intentional with the memories you choose to make and keep. 

Learn our method for reflecting on the past and planning the future and how we’re simplifying memory keeping this year. 

Also join us for our first in person workshop of the year ⁠https://www.flourishandfoundryshop.com/event-details/curate-your-legacy

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One thing for sure, I am never getting rid of that intro. I just love having that little moment in time timestamped here for me to remember every time I sit down to record a podcast episode with you guys. I just want to remember my why. It’s so important for me to remember that I’m doing this because I want to capture some of these timestamps in life and I want to help you do the same. Today’s episode is all about getting intentional. I’ve been doing my reflections on last year and projecting what I want to do for this year, and it’s really got me thinking about what I want to bring forward into the next year and what worked and didn’t work last year. I’m sure you are all on the same boat if you’re listening to this. You’ve probably listened to a dozen podcasts about people’s reflections of last year and intention setting for the year, and maybe you’ve even heard a few people throw out what their word of the year might be. 

I don’t know if you subscribe to that or not or if you’re totally against resolutions, but something about the new year always gets me thinking that it’s a great opportunity to shine a light on what’s working and what’s not, and really just make sure that you’re staying on track with where you want to be. So I kind of love a new year in a fresh start, even though I just started fresh in September when I feel like the new year really starts because that’s what my birthday is and that’s when the kids go back to school. So I’m curious, are you team back to school or are you team New Year’s for when you come up with your resolutions? Either way, we’re here. Let’s use this episode to start getting intentional about what we do in the coming year. We’re coming off of winter break here where I was home with the kids for 12 days straight, just ruminating on my thoughts about last year and getting ready for this year, and I am just ready to rock and roll with diving into what I did to be able to look at what happened last year and how I’m starting to plan what we’re going to do next year. 

Here’s what I did. Basically, I took my master things and stuff mind dump, handy dandy Google Doc and started writing out the main categories of life that I have. There’s a couple different things that are happening in my life in particular that might be good examples for you to get started to think about. So I have a few hats I wear. I’m a mom, I’m a business owner. I have a coupled branches of my business. One is working with small female owned businesses, helping them with their content creation. Another is working with families that I’ve had as clients for over 10 years and helping them document their families as they’ve grown. I do in that I work on album making and capturing photos for the families and then the funnest part of my job is really working on growing frame of life and helping more people across the world manage their photo collections and what they want to actually document in their lives and carry forward as their legacy for future generations. 

So there’s those hats. And then I also love to volunteer locally in my community. I feel like it’s such an important thing to be able to move the needle and show change in the world at a local level first. So I’ve leaned into volunteering for a few different organizations locally and getting involved in my kids’ schools, so I get pulled in that direction as well. And then we have our podcast here, so there’s a lot of different areas that I wanted to take a look at and start writing my thoughts down about what worked and didn’t work last year. So I took that Google Doc, opened it up and then wrote down each of those categories and then just gave a basic high low of each of them what stands out in my mind. Just looking back generally about my experiences that I loved with each of those positions I have and then what I didn’t love so much and I want to use the things that I didn’t love so much to be able to tweak what I bring forward next year and also focus on the things I did for what I also choose to add to my life. 

This coming year, it was really helpful to do this exercise. I started noticing why I felt so exhausted last year. I feel like by the end I was just clawing my way to the finish line to get to 2024. I don’t know if that’s something that you relate to, but man, it feels like a lot of people are in this boat. The world is coming back alive since the pandemic. I feel like travel schedules are backed up with spouses and navigating that is a whole new world where it’s a lot to just start getting life back together and finding systems that help support your family. So man, oh man, there is a lot that we are working on here on the home front to make things move a little bit smoother. Next year I’m actually really excited to share about some of those things. We have invested our time into organizing systems in our home. 

I hired a organizing company to come down into my basement and help me tackle the explosion of toys and make room so I could get to my washer and dryer to do laundry, which I so very much love. Not really, it’s just something that exists and I have to do all the time, but it was an incredible experience and I learned in that by creating space and removing clutter and creating intentions with what you’re doing with your space, you can help make systems move a lot smoother in the home. So I am really doubling down on that in this next coming year, making sure that we get the whole family on board with what needs to be done in that I don’t shoulder at all on my own. I’m actually learning a lot through the book. Fair Play by Eve Rodsky. It’s also on Instagram at Fair Play if you want to take a look at it and you’re looking for more systems for your family. 

It’s been insanely eye-opening to actually look at all that goes into managing home life and life with kids and life with work and looking at what that means. They have this kit that has all these cards that you can physically deal out to see all of the responsibilities that you carry on a daily basis. And when I did that, I was just blown away by how much goes into regular life that you don’t actually think about that you’re doing all the time. So I’m really getting a lot more conscious of what’s happening every day and what I can actually physically get accomplished so that I don’t set these demands on myself that are not attainable or reasonable or even possible physically and I can feel like I’m actually making progress towards stuff when I get more intentional about what I’m doing. So that is where we’re going to be growing this year and working towards. 

If this is something that interests you, I’d love to hear about it. Certainly send me a DMM over on Instagram at Frame of Life project. I’d love to hear about it. And if you are on the same journey, I know many of us can relate as memory makers in our family and people who have kids and young families and are trying to stay afloat and document the moments, live the moments, plan, the moments, do all the things. So we are in this together and I want to share some of the systems that I’ve gotten already in place that you can start trying now. One of them is looking at the year as a whole before it starts. So we are currently in January right now. I like to take out a couple pieces of paper or a big sheet of paper and split it down into 12 months and look generally on one side like the big events that are coming up or travel plans that we have or school vacations that need to get filled or camps that we need to sign up for, and really just looking at the year as a whole so that we can start to plan what we’re going to be doing throughout the year earlier and getting an idea of what memories we might want to capture. 

I noticed last year I’ve been very good at doing daily delights. That’s going through my camera roll, highlighting my favorites by selecting the heart on them and then deleting the rest This last year that totally fell by the wayside and I lost control of it. I just couldn’t keep up and I have a ton of photos in my camera wall right now, but what I learned is that when I get more intentional about what I actually take photos of, I don’t have so many photos to go through. So I’ve actually paired some of that overwhelmed down by taking less photos, but also making sure I’m documenting the moments that I want, I’m leaning in and the unique things that my kids are doing in times of their lives that I don’t want to forget and I’m making sure that I capture those either in voice memo form, capturing the sounds of them or taking a photo of them and writing a note about it and saving that note in their folder that I have in my notes app. 

Or I’m just making sure I get a regular photo of it and having it on my camera and saving that on my photo collection tracker so I at least know where it was that I documented that moment in that time or whatever that milestone was. When you’re looking at your year at a glance, you can kind of start building those things in. For example, we’re planning out our vacations for next year and I know we’re going to be going to Florida and we’re going to be going to the Cape and we’re going to be going to the Kentucky Derby. I can’t wait, but there’s some big things that we’re setting up for our family, and it’s a great point for me to think about what I want to capture at each of those things. We’ve been to many of these places before and I don’t need to take a million beach photos of all of the things. 

I can take my camera one day to the beach and get a couple photos of both of my kids in their element, but I want to give myself the reminder that in the very beginning I should just go live it out a little bit, feel the ocean breeze that hits my face, watch the kids playing in the sand, enjoy that, and then when I have a chance, take the camera out and do it. And once I get those pictures, let it go and be done. I often like to do that really early in the vacation, just get my camera out while everyone’s excited. Everyone wants to have their picture taken, get those pictures out of the way and then you can enjoy the rest. It’s really been helpful to be able to know that I’m documenting, but yet I’m also being able to be present in those moments. 

Another benefit of having this, you’re at a glance with all of your planned vacations and planned big events or birthdays that are coming up. You can already start to track dates that your photos might be inside your camera roll, so when you go back at the end of the year, you can find those pictures fast. I every year make a photo calendar that I send to the family. It is literally the favorite gift that everybody gets every year. We have so many requests for it that I am printing eight or 10 calendars every year and it’s a lot, but it’s kind of awesome that people love to see the pictures that we get intentional about taking. So I make sure that I get a photo every month of my kids together and at a place, so now I can start planning ’em out. And I know when we were on these certain vacations and when we were doing different events by looking at my year at a glance, so I really recommend trying this out. You can pinging me. I’m happy to send you my template I have, or you can just do it in whatever planner you use or a Google Doc that you can just go back and reference. Another really easy way to go back and look at your year from the past start reflecting, trying to remember what you even did is to pull up your camera roll. 

I’m really more familiar with Apple products, but I know in Google Photos you can do the same. You can zoom out and look at the year as a whole and then it shows you by month and you can really quickly start to remember some of the events that took place just by looking at a high level overview of the pictures. It’ll help you to be able to start reflecting on what happened and then start selecting your favorite photos to keep for the next years as we go forward. It is just something that we got to practice and get better at and do one little step at a time and trust the process as you go. We’ll get better as we do it. I am hosting an in-person workshop for the very first time this year and I’m so excited about it. We are going to be getting intentional about the memories that we document. 

I’m envisioning this workshop to include brainstorming what our overall legacy is that we want to leave when we leave this world. Like a mission statement that can be your guiding star for how you move forward with what you choose to bring into your life and what you choose to do and how you document it so that we are more intentional as we go and we’re not taking so many pictures and we’re just going back and curating the moments by what we want to leave behind and the memories and all of that. We just reframe it for the way that we want to feel. And you can just basically put a new lens on and look, scan your whole past and the future, what you want to do by looking at it through the lens of how you want to feel and what mark you want to leave on the world. 

And the way we’re going to do that is using a workbook that helps us think about the key moments of our lives, the pivotal moments that have changed us for the better, for the worse, really looking at what happened in life and how we got to where we are, and then thinking about what we want moving forward. So I’m really excited for this workshop. If you’re local to Boston, you can join us. It’s going to be on January 25th. That’s Thursday, January 25th. We’re going to be at Flourish in Foundry, their new location downtown at 30 Tremont Street. And I would love for you to join us. There’ll be a link in the show notes if you want to get a ticket to that. There’s very few tickets available. It’s going to be just a small group of us getting together, really setting intentions and getting creative for how we want to move forward in our lives and supporting each other along the way. I am just so grateful that you guys are here, are faithful listeners and followers of this journey and helping me document life and helping you grow these amazing families and futures, and I’m just really, really grateful. So I can’t wait for more in the new year. Thanks guys so much. I will see you next time.

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