18 Things in 2018

Happy New Year, my dear readers!

In 2018, I’m doing something a little bit different (and a whole lot more fun) than my usual goal setting. I’m making a list of 18 Things To Do in 2018 – thanks to a little inspiration from one of my favorite podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Kraft.

The idea of picking 18 things I want to do was so appealing to me. Every year I make a list of highly ambitious goals – write a book has been my New Year’s resolution for at least 10 years – and get mad at myself for failing, (I still haven’t completed a book). I usually still have a lot to show for my efforts, they just don’t measure up to the initial ambitious goals I set out for.

With the 18-things list, I shifted gears and focused more on the things I want to do, relationships I want to deepen, and skills I want to work on. How fun, right?!

18 Things in 2018

I encourage you to make your own list of 18 things too. There’s only one requirement – whether your things are fun or goal-oriented or both, everything on the list should inspire joy in you.

Here is my list:

Michelle’s 18 Things in 2018

1. Attempt making sushi at home

An at-home sushi date night has been on me and Kyle’s dream list for a few years, yet we’ve never made it happen. 2018 is the year! No more sushi-intimidation. Raw fish and seaweed, we’re coming for you! (Pictures of sloppy sushi rolls will certainly be shared.)

2. Try out calligraphy

I write so darn much in cursive, why not try to actually make it visually stunning? This item was originally going to be drawing, but calligraphy seems more realistic and beneficial for me. If anyone else is interested in adding this activity to their list, I found these legit calligraphy beginner sheets to get started. I can’t wait to try it out!

3. Revise and complete a story (or essay) (or book?)

Hopefully, I have so much fun with this that it turns into revising 8 or 9 stories, but completing one would actually be a pretty big accomplishment for me. I probably have 30 short stories and essays that are in their first draft, waiting to be broken down word by word and revised to actually mean something. I also have 3/4 of a first draft of a novel written. 3/4!!! And I haven’t touched it in two years.

It’s time to stop starting new things and seeing one project through to the finish. Now just to decide on which writing project to commit to….

4. Surprise Kyle

I can’t go into detail on this one, for he will likely read this. But it’s on my list to surprise my husband more often this year. Gifts, dates, a beef stick from the grocery store – he’s in for a good year.

5. Visit all the babies

Three of my closest friends are having babies this year, and they all live in different areas of the country. This one will take some planning, but should make for some fun trips throughout the year!

6. Complete a reading challenge

Every year I make a goal to read a certain number of books. This year I’m spicing it up by following the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge, a quest from a favorite lifestyle and book blogger of mine. The challenge is more about finding quality in your reading life over quantity.

7. Start a memoir

I learned and experienced a lot in my 20s, and I feel compelled to write it all down. Whether I ever share it with anyone or not, my plan is to at least get it all out in writing, ideally before I turn 30. (I’m making it a rule that this can’t happen until I’ve completed #3 on this list!)

8. Uphaul my wardrobe

The need to redo my wardrobe became apparent to me at the end of 2017 as I started my new job. Right now, my closet looks like that of a college graduate trying to get her first job and go partying at the same time. I’ve had to tell myself that just because things are cute and they still fit, doesn’t mean they fit my personality anymore. I’m no longer (and haven’t been for a long time) 22 and single. Time for a new style!

BTW, has anyone tried Stitch Fix? I’m so intrigued. Share your thoughts/recommendations!

9. Fly my parents out to visit

My sweet parents do so much for me, and I feel horrible that I keep moving farther away from them. Plane tickets to Arizona are harder to work out than a 4-hour drive to Des Moines, so I want to help out and show them how much their support has meant to me.

10. Complete the Spellbinding Sentences book

#writergoals – Spellbinding Sentences is a skill and practice book for writers that, like most of my writing projects, I have started and stopped at least 3 times. I’m finally seeing all these patterns in the things I quit doing – I’m so focused on the outcome of getting there that I give up when I don’t get the result I want fast enough. God keeps teaching me the same lesson that it’s the process of the goal I need to be focused on rather than the outcome. 2018 is the year of completing things!

11. Master my finances

Oh my word. I’ve never felt that I had a good handle on money or budgeting – despite my mother’s persistent attempts to teach me – but freelancing full time showed me that I really don’t know what I’m doing with money. Thankfully, I have a budget-minded husband who will always rein me back in.

“Master my finances” is broader than I like, but I’ve got a few action steps in place that define it (checking bank accounts daily, keeping up with Mint, and even holding budgeting meetings with Kyle, cause that’s something we do now).

12. Pay off my student loans

Just like with my lofty writing goals and other aspirations, it has been hard to think too much about loans and debt when the numbers have always been so huge and each little payment feels a tiny drop in a bucket. But we’re actually close to paying off my student loans, and I can finally see how important it is to keep working at this.

13. Determine my favorite coffee

With all the coffee I drink and the coffee houses I frequent, you’d think I should be a real coffee connoisseur, but I hate to admit that I wouldn’t be able to tell you the difference between a medium and dark roast or what a macchiato actually is. I’m excited about this one – there are little classes and coffee shop tours around here that teach you about the different roasts. This may make my coffee shop time ten times more fun and meaningful and enjoyable than it already is.

14. Go a month without sweets

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I’m not one to recommend completely swearing off entire food groups. Being years beyond my eating disorder though, I’m more confident now that I can break poor eating habits with a health-focused mindset rather than changing my habits because I “feel fat.” I’m plunging in with this item in January, mainly trying to break the habit of eating something sweet after every meal. It’s my natural instinct (that I’ve shamefully pushed onto Kyle) to open the fridge or freezer after cleaning up from dinner to take a bite of whatever yummies I may have baked over the weekend. You have to cleanse the palate with something sweet, right?!

It’s not like I eat a huge dessert after every meal, but I feel that it’s a bit of a problem. If I’m eating a meal out in public, I can get real cranky if I don’t have a taste of something sweet after. And that’s not always as easy as grabbing a bite of whatever fancy dessert a restaurant has in their freezer. Hence. I want to let go of this habit.

15. Make a Des Moines photo book

Before we moved to Arizona, I took pictures of everything we loved about Des Moines – our house, our neighbors, our buddies, and Yoshi’s best friend Roxy – with the intention of making a Shutterfly book that Kyle and I could look through when we were feeling lonely in AZ. Well, we’ve had plenty of lonely moments and no Des Moines book around. In 2018, I’m getting that book made!

16. Volunteer

I’ve taken plenty of first steps since moving here to try and volunteer somewhere, but haven’t followed through with anything. In 2018, it’s happening!

17. Plan a girls’ trip

I don’t know who with, when or where we’re going, but time with my best girlfriends is invaluable. It’s happening this year!

18. Visit Tom & Kaitlyn

Tom is Kyle’s roommate from college, and Kaitlyn of course is his awesome wife, and we don’t see them enough. Look out guys, we’re coming for you this year!

Alternate Options

Because I’m known for changing my mind…

  • Run a race – maybe?
  • Give up alcohol for Lent – this one I’m doing for sure, but I didn’t know if it should take up an item on the 18 since it’s a given.
  • Paint and wine event – another thing I’ve always wanted to do but never gotten around to!
  • Make Valentine’s Day awesome – again, it’s a given 😉 Look out, my friends who hate this love-inspired holiday. Princess Cupid is going to spoil you with girly, cutesy Valentines!

What’s on Your List?

I’ve only told a handful of people about this list I’ve been making, and when I saw how excited they were to instantly make their own list, I knew I had to share it with more people.

So, how about you? What are a few things you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to for one reason or another? What would make your life wildly more fun?

Make your own 18 Things in 2018 list, and please share it in the comments! Also, tag it on Instagram with #18things, and check in throughout the year as you check your items off.

PS. Anyone who knows a thing or two about making sushi or getting started in calligraphy, holler! I don’t know what I’m doing!

What’s on your list of 18 Things in 2018? Share it in the comments!

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