23 Hard Things in 2023 | The List

Written By: Katie

Jan 9, 2023

23 Hard Things in 2023 | The List

If last year was about crawling back to the light, this year is about living in it.

I made my list of 22 Hard Things in 2022 to feel alive again and combat depression, after years of self-loathing, panic, and emotional turmoil. Lots of things lead me to the moment I created my list, and you can see more about that here. Overall, tackling my list lead me back to joy and appreciation of my self and body for all that it can do. It reminded me that I was stronger and more capable than I had realized. It gave me back hope.

Later in 2022, I started to include my friends and family on my hard things. There was a part of me that believed this could have been where my list was leading me all along. Back to people. For the first time, I started sharing my whole self with them (even the sad parts), and in return they shared themselves with me. I saw some key relationships in my life transform and surface-level friendships deepen. It only made sense to me, to make a big part of my 23 Hard Things, experiences and things I could do with other people. They shared something they had on their own list and I asked if I could do it with them.

I’ve left several open spots on my list to start the year. I did this for a couple different reasons.

  1. I want to leave space to grow and change over the year. I learned last year that I’m constantly learning new things about myself. I want to feel free to pivot or add something new, challenging, or exciting to my list when I want or need to. The list is not supposed to be about pressure. It’s supposed to be about pushing past feelings of self-doubt to do the things I really want or need to do.
  2. I’ve started to build an incredible community of people on social media who are all doing their own hard things. There are so many stories of courage and strength. I want to get to know a few people from my new community and do their hard things alongside of them. Whether that’s virtually or in person – only time will tell. I want everyone to take that single ounce of courage and dare to finish last. But for a few people, I want to be able to say I’ll finish last, so you don’t have to and hopefully relieve some of the scary or daunting feelings associated with taking on something new.

Just like my hard things in 2022, this list is full of things that are personal to me. They are physical, mental, and emotional challenges that I hope to meet head-on. As a reminder, “hard” is relative to wherever you’re at. What is hard for one person, may not be hard for the next. For me, it’s about meeting myself where I’m at. Remember – I started with just ONE hard thing – brushing my hair every day. Now I am so incredibly excited to build this list and chase the joy I know comes from doing hard things.

23 Hard Things in 2023

  1. Go on an overnight backpacking trip
  2. Do a 15 mile hike in one day
  3. Ride 40 miles consecutively on the Katy Trail
  4. Make goat milk soap from our goats’ milk
  5. Sew three gifts for others
  6. Make 20 new plant-based recipes
  7. Take 25 casual walks or hikes outside
  8. Organize the pantry & kitchen
  9. Travel to another country
  10. Go paddleboarding
  11. TBD
  12. TBD
  13. Build our garden with Eric
  14. Build a greenhouse with Dad
  15. Skate with Rachel in the city
  16. Complete a comeback 10K with Kayla
  17. Complete an endurance event with Brooke
  18. Create a family photo book with Rikki
  19. Do a wellness or nature experience with Lindsay
  20. Month of gentleness with Lacey
  21. TBD with a new friend
  22. TBD with a new friend
  23. TBD with a new friend


  1. Becky

    I love list! I only stumbled upon you a couple of months ago…but you radiate such joy and have such a pleasant personality that I am drawn to you.

    Keep doing/being your amazing self.

    I am inspired to do the hard thing that should have been done years ago (doing therapy for abuse as a child). While it scares the heck out of me and I’m not sure how I will handle reliving the trauma, I knocked it is the biggest thing holding me back from so many things I want to accomplish.

    Thank you for inspiring me!!😊❤️

  2. Gianni Pilnick

    I have been wanting to go on an overnight backpacking trip too!!!!

  3. Sam

    I’m starting my list this year, inspired by you. I’ve had very suffocating anxiety for a long time and I really want to live this life. Thank you for being human and brave.

  4. Amanda Steidley

    It’s hard to put this comment into the right words. Thank you for being transparent and allowing yourself grace and flexibility in this journey. You’re helping more than you know.


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