My 2024 In’s and Out’s

Monday, January 8, 2024

2023 was a year of self-discovery for me. Throughout our lives, we embody various versions of ourselves. In the year leading up to 2023, and even at the start of it, I found myself feeling lost. I didn’t feel like my usual self; there was a sense of stagnation. I was unclear about my purpose, direction, and where I truly belonged. However, everything began to fall into place after I moved to Europe in May.

I started to rediscover myself, but as a different version – the one I felt destined to be at this time in my life. I had outgrown the old version of myself, and moving to Amsterdam and building a new life here helped unveil this new, evolved version of who I am.

Many people view moving to an unfamiliar place, especially where you don’t know anyone, as ‘pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.’ For some, this is true, and in ways, I did push my boundaries. However, my decision to move wasn’t about challenging myself. I moved because I felt drawn towards a life here. I believed there was more for me in Europe than just intermittent weeks of travel over the years. And I think it’s important for everyone to seek out and embrace what they feel drawn to, whatever that may be, and make it a reality.

Nonetheless, relocating to a foreign country inevitably means stepping outside your comfort zone. Regardless of your confidence level or how well-prepared you think you are, you’ll ultimately encounter unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations. These experiences were integral to my journey of discovering the current version of myself and understanding who I’m meant to be at this moment. The fact that I haven’t doubted myself or the person I’m becoming since moving here is a testament to finding the right place for me.

So for the remainder of 2023, I dedicated myself to introspection. I explored what I like and dislike, what triggers my best and worst attributes, and where I belong at this stage of my life, both physically and mentally. I reflected on my purpose, direction, and the things that truly make me happy.

For the first time, maybe ever, I feel the start of 2024 is a true beginning and a chance for a reset. In previous years, the new year didn’t hold much significance for me; I simply continued with my life as it was. But this year, I’m more than ready to apply the lessons learned last year and set new goals for myself. I feel confident in who I am and in what I’m meant to do. I’m ready to put into practice the discoveries I made last year and to continue living as the best, happiest version of myself.

I don’t typically care for or get involved with many viral social media trends. But my brother introduced me to the 2024 ‘in’s and out’s’ trends, and I find it both useful and entertaining. I’ve enjoyed seeing what others are embracing or leaving behind, had fun creating some silly in’s and out’s with friends, and used the trend to set serious goals and mindsets for the year. It’s been a valuable tool for reflecting on my new lifestyle, the person I’ve evolved into, and sorting through my thoughts and learning experiences from the past year.

Before I share my personal list of in’s and out’s, I want to preface my approach. I view the in’s as activities or habits from the past that I want to continue, as well as new things I’ve recently learned or adopted that I plan to start doing this year. The out’s, on the other hand, represent past actions or habits that I no longer wish to continue or things I aim to stop doing this year. My list is very personal, reflecting my own habits and feelings. I don’t intend for it to be a guide for everyone, but rather, I’m sharing it as a source of inspiration.

2024 Ins/Outs


  • Saying I love you as much as I can
  • Strong relationships with close friends
  • Productivity
  • Happiness
  • Intentional living
  • Slowing down
  • Romanticizing life
  • Reading and learning
  • Walking and low intensity exercise 
  • Baguettes
  • Staying in
  • Crown molding
  • Dark colored interiors, patterns, good clutter
  • Being extra and girly
  • Hosting
  • Making money
  • Working hard, strong work ethic
  • Cooking and trying new foods
  • Confidence
  • Doing things for myself
  • Live music, jazz clubs, piano bars
  • Pubs
  • DIY
  • Playing cards and games
  • Lighting candles with matches
  • Espresso 
  • Tea
  • Dirty martinis, wine, champagne
  • Knowing my worth
  • Amsterdam
  • Intermittent fasting
  • All natural things
  • Cute tea cups
  • Jazz music
  • Bed and breakfasts
  • Podcasts
  • Classical piano
  • Listening to music all of the time
  • Writing
  • Content creation
  • Smiling
  • Main character energy
  • Becoming someone people are proud of
  • Being my own best friend
  • Thrifting and antiquing
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Setting goals and sticking to them
  • Mood lighting 
  • Turning my phone on downtime
  • Learning about wine
  • Umbrellas
  • Giving compliments, supporting others 
  • Being genuine 
  • Being taken care of
  • Scarfs
  • Cycle tracking
  • Deep, genuine conversations
  • Short, attainable daily to do lists
  • Capsule wardrobe 
  • Gua sha
  • Wearing sneakers with everything 
  • Time management 
  • Sleeping in
  • Vintage
  • Eating a big breakfast 
  • Turning the lights off when I leave the room 
  • Saying no
  • Hydrangeas 
  • Saying I’m sorry
  • Accepting fault
  • Movies
  • Kissing
  • Autumn/winter


  • Procrastination
  • Negative thoughts
  • Talking poorly about others
  • Seed oils
  • Athleisure
  • Anxiety
  • Running
  • All white interior
  • Minimalism
  • Laziness
  • Ubers
  • Long nails
  • Caring what others think
  • Comparing myself to others
  • Indecisiveness
  • Doing social things I don’t want to do
  • Starbucks
  • To go coffees
  • Ordering food delivery
  • Beer
  • Wasting time
  • Unnecessary spending
  • Self doubt, imposter syndrome
  • Giving up
  • Drama
  • Checked luggage
  • Travel content
  • Wearing oversized tshirts to bed
  • Not going outside because it’s raining 
  • Being tickled 
  • Dieting 
  • Coloring my hair
  • Toxic deodorant 
  • Sunday scaries 
  • Apple weather 
  • Hummus
  • Being defensive
  • Unhealthy competition
  • Jean shorts
  • Being wasteful
  • Using my phone in the morning
  • Summer travel

I’ve found it’s extremely important to set goals. My plan is to regularly refer to this list of in’s and out’s, along with other goals I’ve set, throughout the year. I intend to live by it, make additions, and even remove items if that feels right. In a world where it’s easy to get swept up in what others are doing, social media, and current ‘trends,’ staying grounded in our own goals is vital. It helps us stay on track and continue evolving into the person we aspire to be. As time goes on and we grow, learning from both our experiences and others’, our goals may shift. It’s perfectly okay to experiment with different in’s and out’s and to discern what works for us and what doesn’t.

It’s also important to dream. Kind of like manifesting, I just haven’t really come to understand manifesting yet. What I mean is that visualizing and idealizing your perfect self and life is essential, going beyond the realm of setting merely attainable goals. It’s about envisioning the broader picture of what you aspire to be and the life you wish to lead.

Something I’ve come to adopt in the past few months is a form of spontaneity within my daily routine. While my days generally follow a similar schedule, I’ve learned to embrace that every day I will wake up feeling differently, wanting different things, and that’s okay. Just because every day doesn’t look the same, follow the same strict schedule or isn’t “perfect” doesn’t make it a bad day or mean that I failed that day. For example, there are mornings when I wake up and the last thing I want to do is go for a long walk or ‘exercise,’ and on those days, I simply don’t. And I don’t beat myself up or punish myself for it.  This realization has been liberating.

My Dad recently said to me, regarding entrepreneurship: ‘Some days, or even weeks, you’ll feel like a total schmuck and as if you’ve accomplished nothing. Other times, you’ll feel on top of the world.’ I couldn’t agree more. However, I believe this concept applies not only to our careers but to all aspects of life. This aligns with what I mentioned yesterday about thriving within small timeframes and the importance of frequent resets. Whenever I feel like a schmuck, instead of succumbing to discouragement, I remind myself that it’s a normal part of the process and allow myself a fresh start.

This is particularly important to remember when we find ourselves comparing our lives to others’, especially in the context of social media. I think social media can be equally as toxic as it can be beneficial. If we use it solely to focus on what others have that we lack, it can be detrimental. However, if we approach social media as a resource for learning from others and adapting their successful methods to our own benefit, it can be an incredibly powerful tool.

A big part of why we chose to do this cooking challenge was to introduce some structure and direction, both for ourselves and our audience. In a world where the Internet has endless recipe options, setting some boundaries can be very helpful. Now, instead of aimlessly scrolling through my extensive Pinterest board of ‘dinner recipes’ each night, I can at least narrow it down to ‘Irish dinner recipes,’ lol.

Using this as a segue into today’s culinary adventures… For breakfast, we didn’t opt for the full Irish breakfast, but rather just fried eggs, bacon rashers (or the closest equivalent we could find), and soda bread. I spent way too long in the grocery store this morning with my translator app in search of bacon rashers. As it turns out, they’re quite hard to come by in the Netherlands. I bought a few different options and we settled on what was translated as ‘breakfast bacon’ this morning. It resembled typical American bacon but was round in shape instead of the usual strips.

For dinner, we will be having leftover stew. Check back tomorrow for a new recipe!

xo, mikaela


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