At the end of 2017 I outlined some goals for the coming year. Now that 2018 is wrapping up I wanted to revisit them and see how the year has gone. I am currently writing to you from my bed, in my pajamas, at 11:30am, on a weekday, so I am feeling confident I'm not exactly killing it in the life goals department, but there are plenty of things that have gone well this year. My word of the year for 2018 was building. I made a commitment to honor the work I'd already begun by sticking with it. I didn't quit writing this blog, or sell my house, or stop cooking, so from a high level viewpoint I've definitely met my goal. Let's break it down and look at the individual goals and aspirations step by step and see what happened this year.
Goal #1: To focus on me as a writer and content creator as opposed to a social media maven.
I regained a lot of mental space this year not focusing on followers or audience. I don't know that I focused as much on my writing as I would have liked, but I don't know that any amount of writing would have felt like enough. I wrote 43 blog posts I thought were good enough to publish, and a few articles I was proud of for other publications, and that's not too shabby. I think the most powerful lesson I learned this year about writing is that it is most important to me as a tool for communication, connection, and healing, not as a money making activity. When I let go of needing to *be* a writer and just let myself write when I need to my writing slowed down, but it feels better now, and I know I'm not going to stop anytime soon.
Goal #2: To filter all design decisions regarding our fixer-upper house projects through the question "does this honor and build on the original character of the house?"
This is a goal I know I nailed. We ended up renovating not only the kitchen, but also the bathroom this year, and I think we did a great job staying true to the character of the house, without looking like we are trying to build a set from Mad Men. Our bathroom is a fabulously 60s mix of pale pink and graphic black and white, a design decision I never would have landed on if I had let myself be swayed by current design trends.
Goal #3: To reinvigorate our commitment to incorporating more sustainable, waste reducing, and energy efficient urban homesteading practices into our daily lives.
We dove deep on this goal, and we had some winners (getting rid of nearly all paper products, going dryerless) and some losses (still using disposable diapers, I got really into skincare and bought a few new products in plastic packaging) but overall I think over the course of the year we kept this goal in mind and have shifted our ways of thinking and being as we make these changes. We're rounding out the year with giving 90% secondhand and handmade Christmas gifts, and I'm excited to keep building on our green (and budget) living goals into 2019.
Goal #4: To prioritize giving in 2018.
All year we kept the financial commitments we made to our local food shelf, environmental groups, women of color, and other educators whose work we value. We may not have a lot to give, but prioritizing giving wasn't that hard (it's all automated for reoccurring donations) and finding other opportunities to give felt easier this year having outlined it as a priority. We loaned out equipment we have to our neighbors, gave away our extra mattress to someone in need who couldn't afford to buy a good bed, and generally tried to err on the side of giving if we could when the opportunity arose.
Goal #5: To actually do the small practices I know make me feel notably better; Drinking enough water, eating three meals a day, brushing and flossing my teeth twice a day, keeping the kitchen relatively clean and organized, making the bed each day.
This one is a mixed bag. I am proud of myself for keeping my eye on it, but this was a year with a lot of ups and downs, and there were a few times my depression really took over and I did not keep up with my basic self care. I did get over my anxiety and have my first dental cleaning in years, went to the doctor when I needed to, took a really neat class on herbs for digestive health, made some good breakthroughs with a great therapist, and I'm pretty pleased with my current cleaning schedule, so those are all big wins. Heading into 2019 this will be a renewed goal, as I believe it will be every year.
2019 feels like my family is arriving at a new horizon that we can't quite see over yet. The kiddo will start preschool, freeing up a lot of my time, Scott is finishing grad school this week, and we're wrapping up our fifth year of marriage. Over the next couple weeks we will be really digging into what our goals and priorities are for the next few years and how to make them happen, but for 2018, I think the consensus is we've done what we set out to do, and that makes me feel hopeful about what we can achieve in the coming year. My big feeling about 2019 is that it's time to do the things that scare us.
How was your 2018? What were your goals or resolutions? How'd you do?