2017: The Year of… Rest?
Grendel is a great role model for me.

2017: The Year of… Rest?

Written by Emilie

Topics: Goals

I like to end and begin most years by looking back and looking forward. That makes this my official “infamous goal-setting post” of 2017.

Looking Back on 2016

I know a lot of us are grateful to leave 2016 behind. The social and political climate has obviously had an impact on my life, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about today. This post is about my year, which at times, felt oddly out of sync with what the world was experiencing. In other words, a lot of big and joyous things happened for me in 2016. But the best word I can think of to describe 2016 is FULL.

In the last 12 months I:

  • Signed a publishing contract with HarperCollins to write a book about making a living as a multipotentialite
  • Wrote said book (it’ll be out in stores May 2!)
  • Gave a few big talks in California
  • Hired the wonderful Joel Zaslofsky to be the COO (Connections and Operations Officer) in the Puttytribe so that he would help make our community more amazing for our members and begin the process of developing our new Puttytribe 2.0 platform
  • Planned my wedding and got married!
  • Travelled to Australia to give the closing keynote at the ProBlogger Training Event and to go on our honeymoon
  • Made a last minute decision with my wife to move to Canada and then moved right after Christmas

So yeah. Full year.

There were many moments of bliss and pride. But if I’m being honest, there was also a lot of fear and stress. Fear always comes with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, so I’ll take it. The stress, though understandable, was not all that wonderful.

I spent much of 2016 looking forward to a time when I could finally take a break and BREATHE–just wanting desperately to get there.

I took steps to relax and to clear out my schedule as much as possible. I stopped replying to every email and began saying no to almost all interview requests and speaking offers. Letting these “things I should be doing” go was a huge weight off my shoulders. I still feel bad sometimes for not replying to a sweet multipotentialite who has emailed me with a dozen questions. But focusing on writing the book and writing blog posts (not to mention taking time for myself) will help more multipotentialites in the long run. I can’t do it all and unfortunately everything has an opportunity (and emotional) cost, so I have to make choices.

Cut to Today

2016 is over and here I am on this picturesque island in British Columbia in one of the most comfortable houses I’ve ever lived in. After a stressful and rapid move to Canada and a stressful and momentous year, I am ready–for lack of a better word–to just, CHILL.

And so, I am officially declaring 2017 the year of rest.

It’s kind of ironic because I have a ton of work ahead of me, with the book coming out in May and the launch of the new Puttytribe 2.0. But you know what? I’m actually really excited about those projects. That work doesn’t feel stressful. It feels manageable and exciting.

And it’s AROUND the work that I plan on resting.

In other words, if I get a decent amount of work done one day, I’m not going to pack more work into my day. Fuck efficiency. I’m keeping my expectations low as far as the amount of work I accomplish each day. Other things are more important right now (and will, ironically, make my work better anyway).

With my free time, I will read or go for a hike or spend time with my wife. Maybe I’ll make some art or take a class or otherwise better myself, but self-improvement won’t be the goal. The goal will be rest… Passivity even. Which I’m just not sure I know how to do anymore.

In our productivity obsessed culture, “rest” is not considered a good thing. I’m going to challenge that. And anyway, I don’t think my form of rest will look like me collapsed on the couch for eight hours with a bowl of chips in my lap. That actually sounds pretty boring.

I’m not going to set any specific goals for what I’ll do in my free time because not setting goals is exactly the point. I want to learn how to not have a goal or purpose or something that I’m running toward. I want to stop feeling addicted to social media (i.e. other people’s approval) and to distraction. I just want to learn how to just be.

Here’s to a beautiful, restful and creative new year!

Your pal and fellow multipotentialite,


Your Turn

Do you have goals or intentions for the new year?

em_bioEmilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites build lives and careers around ALL their interests. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.


    • I am at the same point! I had many life different life changes along the last 3 years. Since 2014, I came to Canada from Brazil to study English, met my husband, got married, immigrated to Canada, change careers, bought two dogs and now a house. I am SO thankful for everything that happened the last 3 years but I also feel like I got to a stage where I am always exhausted and think it is time to enjoy and rest. So many times we focus on the action and don’t put enough time in enjoying our achievements. 2017 the year of rest!

  1. Congratulations on all your great achievements in 2016, and even more so on allowing rest to be a priority this year. I recently realised I find it hard to picture what an actual day off would look like and am trying to figure this out. I’ve just gone freelance and am spinning a number of plates (true multipotentialite style) and factoring in time for rest is so important to me. I look forward to hearing more about how your time to just be is going. I’m sure it’ll benefit your life and work in numerous ways. Ellen.

  2. Bonjour Emilie,

    Your article was really inpiring. I like the paradox productivity verus resting. It is so true that having productivity habits can lead sometimes to a feeling of being overwhelmed. I felt this in 2016. I believe it’s all about balancing this out. Creativity comes from the moment when you factor time for rest.

    You really inspired me with your TED talk. I was so thrilled about this topic that I decided to shoot a video on the topic. I have mixed some of your concepts with French cooking, true multipotentialite’s style.

    To all multipotentialites, here is the link to the video:

    Meet my special guest at the end of this video!

  3. Melissa says:

    I find this interesting because I am hoping 2017 will be a year of action. I just discovered this site and the fact that I am a multipotentialite. I had struggled so much with focus and decision making regarding my interests and now that I know that it is ok to be me I am looking forward to just getting on with my life. I wasted so much energy in trying to choose that I burnt myself out with that alone and ended up taking the last half of 2016 off for rest.

    Congratulations Emilie on all of your fabulous things that happened in 2016 and here’s to a restful 2017 for you!

    • Emilie says:

      That’s awesome, Melissa. It’s so interesting how we all have radically different goals based on where we are. Enjoy your year of action! Those can be a ton of fun. :)

  4. Gabi says:

    Yes, rest does sound wonderful. I think it is something we multipotentialites need to find. Using our talents and gifts without ending up a burned wreck because of our desire to do everything is a challenge, to be sure. An island getaway sounds wonderful. I have often thought and dreamed of opening a retreat center where people can come and find rest and maybe a bit of an escape from the urban life. If they wanted to do something there would be opportunities for creating and doing, but mostly rest, meditation, and nature.

  5. Polly Styrene says:

    There must be something in the air. I’ve spent the last few years scaling back my lifestyle so I can afford to indulge my multi-potentialite self! Sold my big house, being very conscious with regard to consumption and not defining myself by possessions. 2017 will be my first year of being able to put the corporate world behind me, regain my fitness, get better at tennis **just having the TIME and freedom to play during the week is like paradise!**, finally learn to play my autoharp and piano and spend time with a screenwriting meet-up group and develop my projects. And when the feeling takes me, I will re-establish myself as a freelance proposal/bid writer (my corporate identity). Oh god, I’m so glad. I feel like I’ve sprung myself out of a trap. As a society our goals can sometimes be very financially oriented. I am aiming for “enough” so I can have a dimensional life.

  6. Kim says:

    Woo Hoo! Congrats! I’m finding more and more peeps who don’t think I’m totally lost for not having, or wanting, a Facebook account (or anything else besides email). I cut the *cable* on my TV last year and, really, the only thing I miss is live local weather reports. And, believe it or not, I don’t have time to sit around on the sofa. I’m creating art for my own pleasure and quite content. I think, slowly, people are finally beginning to realize that perpetual economic growth is unsustainable, constant striving is counter-productive, and we all just need to relax a bit and enjoy life more.

    • Maryske says:

      No TV, no smartphone, and definitely no facebook account or twitter account or anything like that. It’s heaven! (Although I do have a portable dvd player (used a few times a month) and do get lost on youtube occasionally…) Instead, I enjoy reading, writing and music, and sometimes drawing. Or just *dreaming*.

      Now to see if I can convince my boss to scale down my job so I’ve got the time I *want* to spend on those things, instead of squeezing them into the cracks…

  7. Tricia says:

    I retired from teaching math last week, and have committed to being an artist. The name I am using now in print is my artist name, a variation on my given name. I have begun working through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and ordered my artist supplies. My creativity has been constipated for a decade, my sewing machine and paints untouched. I have decided to take part-time work that does not have to do with producing. I am, by nature, process oriented so I need a job where that is a plus. Somewhere along the line pieces of me got left behind and I need to recover me for my well-being. Our town has a monthly outdoor art market, so eventually I will need to work up the courage to put my work out there for sale. I welcome the changes ahead.

    • Hi Tricia.
      Congratulations on your retirement!
      I too am working through the Artist’s Way, having heard about it umpteen times over the last 20 years. I’m not an artist yet I long to be more creative in my work/blogging and teaching. I started the morning pages on Wednesday and am finding it to be a great start to the day. How are you doing with your artist’s dates? I have yet to make one – a broken wrist precludes me from driving so being out on my own – apart from taking a walk – is challenging!

      Wishing you every success in your new way of life and please shout if you want encouragement :-)


  8. April says:

    My goal for 2017 is almost identical: slow down. My 2016 was hectic as well, with starting a small farm business with my husband, taking a new full-time job (in a different field), dealing with some big emotional stuff, freelancing, being the primary earner and, honestly, still adjusting to being married to a man who seems to have endless energy and endless ideas. Which is awesome! And tiring! I also love to accomplish things, but I’ve been letting that overshadow my need for quiet, contemplative, soak-it-in time. I am craving less multitasking, less rushing, less should-ing all over myself. Here’s to some intentional less-is-more.

  9. Rick says:

    Most Excellent !!!

  10. Nina Jones says:

    I am changing my area of employment. I am leaving fundraising after 16 years in the biz and moving into teaching- and NOT teaching fundraising or nonprofit management. Yay Me!
    The nonprofit world has not been kind to me no matter how good I was at my job. So I am moving on. Trying to find a better balance for working for money and creating art, being a wonderful new wife, and generally being a kind person.

  11. Faith says:

    Thanks for sharing Emilie I always enjoy hearing what my soon to be Fellow Canadian is up to!

    I think we tend to go in cycles. Those cycles may or may not correspond to things like our ‘personal year’ number in Numerology. So when I discovered last year was a year of reflection and healing and introspection for me, I was determined to have it be anything but that!

    It ended up being exactly that much to my frustration. :)
    If you are feeling it is a year of rest for you, I bet there are energies that will support you following your desires. Plus WOW look at what you accomplished last year! When you honour your unique energies again this year, you’ll have just as much to feel great about at the end of the year.

  12. Craig says:

    You’ve accomplished and “survived” a huge amount of life last year and definitely entitled to a resting period. It’s terrible how in our “productivity” and economically obsessed world actually taking time (down time) for yourself and “doing nothing” is almost seen as a crime.

    Yay for time out!

  13. Katy says:

    After burning out in my last job, I *had* to rest in 2016. I did gardening, house painting, dealt with some serious health issues (operation, therapy, rest) and did some art courses (funny how with space and time we often turn to art to heal). I was lucky enough to be able to take the whole year off work and I really recommend it. I became myself again. Friends and acquaintances remark on how well I seem. I have renewed energy, enthusiasm and am creative again. I have also embraced my multipotentiality and am learning how to work in healthier ways, incorporating things that I love to do.

    Rest isn’t doing ‘nothing.’ Sometimes it is vital to take stock, to reflect, to reset and to discover. Rest well!

  14. Sharon says:

    Rest is never wasted – sure beats burnout! This year I am going to try to work out what I want the rest of my life (or at least the foreseeable bit) to be like and what I want to do as a career. I have been trying to work this out for the last 25 years, but this year I am going to use the self-knowledge I gained in 2016 and hopefully make an intelligent choice this time. All the best to everybody for 2017!

  15. Maddie says:

    I hear you. After a 2016 which included births, deaths and marriages; 2 burglaries (ain’t we lucky); a time in hospital followed by a barrage of tests to have a year-long health issue chalked up to ‘Just one of those things’; a longer but successful time in hospital for my Dad, although he starts chemo later this month.
    Crowning it all, I check my passport (I’m in Australia, he’s in the UK) it’s no longer valid – so I can’t get home if Dad does have problems post-op. Talk about fraught! Paperwork is all in progress now, lesson has been learnt, I’m heading back to the UK in March / April.
    2017 for me is about Strength and Joy, I keep coming back to those words, they’ve been my mantra off and on for a while now. I think I just need to keep them going, rest up when my body needs it, eat well, sleep often and cut back on the red wine and coffee. But it’s red wine and coffee!
    I’ve only just found y’all, god I wish I’d found you YEARS ago. I’m working my way through the articles online, brought Renaissance Business and am looking forward to what the future holds. Literally for the first time since my teens, instead of being in despair that people think I flit between things. I’m 42 in a few weeks, the answer to life, the universe and everything! Much love x

  16. Kristi says:

    Hooray, Emilie,
    REST is best! My goal for 2017 is Restore.

    I’m the seamstress/Gardener who still has aspirations of filming the silent “Damsel Tied to the Railroad Tracks” film, featuring my costumes and teaching people how to make compost. Woo~hoo!

    I hope to restore: health, personal connections & get back on track in 2017! Thanks for being so inspiring. :)

  17. Kiara says:

    Completely agree! 2016 was a crazy year for this Multi-Pod! I quit my big job, sent myself to Uni, and my eldest completed her final year of high school, plus a few other life-changing moments also occurred! 2017 – the Year of REST! Thank you for sharing and inspiring others.

  18. Hi Emilie
    Congratulations on all that you packed into 2016 and I honour your recognition of the need and desire to rest.

    Last year I shook off the last vestiges of ME/CFS which stopped me for three and a half years. Learning to say no was a real struggle and my recovery was definitely a process. It was tough and scary and I’m glad I had the opoortunity to reflect on the stupidity of the productivity hamster wheel I had created for myself.

    I also do a review of the past year and vision for the coming one. This year my words have been Grace, Balance and Focus. I have started a little regime for myself which includes morning pages (Julia Cameron – The Artist’s way and either cycling on my turbo trainer or Qi Gung before I start work. After lunch I have a rest and mid afternoon I go for a walk with our mini Schnauzer, Islay. I’ve only been doing it for 3 days but I notice that it enables me to focus better, I definitely have balance and I hope I am more gracious!

    Wish you and restful and reflective 2017 in which all your goals manifest.
    Sarah x

    PS: I’d benefit from modelling your way of being comfortable outside your comfort zone. That’s my challenge for 2017!

  19. JoEllen says:

    Returning to the practice of Tai Chi and Qi Gong with a comletely different motivation….my own health. Last time it was solely to teach others so something I loved was a total stressor. Will practice and if I am ready to teach this year, I will. Otherwise, I will not be rushed. Singing again and insuring that my current job is still feeding my career goals are also on my agenda. I easily fall into the trap of building others’ dreams while mine quiety slink away. Don’t want that, again.

  20. Mary says:

    Thanks, Emilie, for this great post! I like your thoughts on how to rest by trying not to have any goals behind it. My main goal for 2017 is to finish my PhD. And since I really needWant to focus on that one, my only other goal is staying healthy – physically and mentally by not taking on any other projects. Loving to learn new things, this’ll be a tough one for me.
    To you all the best with your year of rest! I am looking forward to reading your book :-)

  21. Shell says:

    Hello Emily and fellow Multipotientialytes:)

    First off, I send the Light and the Warmth of much Love to Emily. Also many positive thoughts for your Dad. I had a sister who had Melonoma. It is a tough time for sure with the chemo treatments, seeing her in pain, being tired a lot, sick, and looking like a cute little elf. However, she won the battle. I had many cool experiences and learned important lessons through the time as well. What an amazing experience it was when she texted everyone form her doctor’s that she was cancer free! I hope and wish for the same for you!

    For those off Facebook, high five! Me too! One of the best things I’ve done for myself was quitting that. The time and sanity I have gained from it was so worth it!

    I, like a few others here, plan on looking into a new job. I am grateful for this site to show me it’s normal to get bored (or learn all you needed) from a job and want to do something else. Definitely my life. Time for a new one. Hoping to find something where I can be alone more and not do repetitive things. I’m also an Introvert, so doing a job with other people always takes the most of my energy.
    I’ve been frustrated for I feel all my creativity has dried up! I’m hoping more alone time at work will give more energy for creativity to flourish. Also want to do more yoga and meditation to center myself and open my mind again.

    Emily, congratulations on your wonderful year of 2016! Enjoy your rest year. It is funny how resting does looks bad in our society. How even just having alone down time looks bad. It still happens when people ask me “What are you doing/did you do this weekend? What did you do for the holidays? What do you do for fun?” Etc. People don’t know how to except my answer of “Reading, meditation, Yoga, enjoying a trail by myself, a movie by myself, chilling,” etc. It’s like you’re supposed to have gone on trips, be in a triathelon, Volunteering for a few groups, doing parties, etc. for your life to be legit. Crazy ?.

    I wish you all a wonderful year full of Love and Laughter, whatever you decide to do with your time. Namaste

  22. Isabelle says:


    Thank you Emily for this inspiring post!
    I feel that too often we forget to rest, and at the same time forget to savour that we have accomplished things, that some items can be crossed from the to do lists…
    2016 was kind of a year of preparation, where I consume a lot of info (books, TED, puttylike.com,… :) ), got myself emotionally and mentally ready for the next step, gathering my strength … so 2017 is a year of beginnings: launch my renaissance and business, and a coaching / therapist activity: both excited and afraid (read: terrified)!

    Have a very happy 2017 fellow multipods!

    NB: thank you for your understanding on my potential English mistakes, I am still learning the language!

  23. Hiphomestead says:

    I recently wrote 3 words on my dry erase board of how I want this year to go:


    That’s all I want every year. Best of luck to you in achieving your existence.

  24. Janette Adams says:

    Thanks Emilie, and congrats on last year . After some time away from my teaching job due to stress and having an amazing creative experience thenfinding your community , I have decided to make major changes , have started a vision board and daily journal avoiding social media. Heading to my 50th birthday, daughter away at college it’s now or never … will keep you all updated . Thanks to everyone in this community so glad I have found you

  25. Pura says:

    Best wishes to you and all multipotentialites for year 2017! This year I m planning to apply for a job. It s been such a difficult decision which career path I should choose, as I am back to squre one everytime. After completing my business admin diploma (which seemed a generalised subject
    ) i v decided to go agead and find my path ehile I m at it. Not knowing where you want to ho it scary but I m being brave ,optimistic and yes, taking action ! Thnx for the insparation e’one :)

  26. John Roff says:

    Thanks for this resonating reminder and subtle confirmation. My goal for the year is to Be Still. That’s all.

    Peace to you all.


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