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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi looks out over Mt. Chokai from Mt. Gassan


2021 Past Year Review

I really like the idea of a past year review. New Year’s Resolutions are great and everything, if you’re able to keep them up that is*. Tim Ferriss suggests instead of having New Year’s Resolutions to go through your calendar of the past year and pick out the peak positive and negative people, activities, and commitments.

Then literally place more of the positive ones in your calendar, and create a ‘not to do list’ for the negative ones (you can’t completely get rid of the negative, nor should you, without the negative the positive doesn’t feel as positive, however). Lastly, post the not to do list somewhere where you will see it for the first few mornings of the year, in an effort to avoid those that bring negative energy.

I just went through my 2021 calendar. Thank god for Google calendar. There were a few things that I had completely forgotten, and some where I would have known the context at the time, but have forgotten now; a reminder to be more specific when entering things into the calendar. I also found the need for a ‘leftovers’ column, of things I said I’d do but didn’t get around to. These things also need to be put in the 2022 calendar.

Anyway, for me, 2021 was very positive. I ran out of space in the positive column, and the negative column only had a few items (it’s amazing how unproportionately negative this column can make you feel, but Ying-Yang and all that). So, I have a lot to be grateful for, and I also have a lot to do in 2022.

Overwhelmingly positive for me was the 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata project. Although I didn’t do as much as I wanted this year, and there were a few negative experiences (which I don’t really see as negative, it’s all part of the process), deciding to do this project was quite smart on my behalf. In fact, in terms of positive impact I would place it above my decision to blog every day.

The best thing is, I’m only 16% through. I still have so much to explore, and am very much looking forward to getting out into the mountains of Yamagata over the next year. The only thing is the mountains are much further now, I’ve done the majority of the close ones, so I’m going to have to be a bit strategic and also a bit more generous with my wallet (any support is appreciated! You can buy me a coffee 🙂 ). Either way, it seems this is money well spent.

Then throughout the year I met a whole lot of awesome people doing awesome things. Primarily online, but I get very honoured to be a part of some really big things, for example the Olympics and other projects in the media, TV, magazines, YouTube and the like. I wish to continue this, but to do so means I have to put myself out there a bit more. I know what I’m going to be doing from now.

So, why don’t you also try the Past Year Review? I highly recommend it!

*Ironically this blog was started sort of as a New Year’s Resolution in 2019. I say sort of because January first felt like as good a time as any to start, although I could have started it any time. Even if you don’t publish it, writing daily has really helped me manage my thoughts, and it’s something I highly recommend to anyone who has ever felt even slightly empty or overwhelmed. Try it using a free blog, you have nothing to lose.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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