Recently I’ve shied away from listening to the radio during my alone time in the car. I suppose hearing the same 20 songs over and over again was getting a little old. Instead I’ve been trying to make better use of that time by catching up with family and friends on the phone (hands free of course) or listening to something a bit more substantive like podcast.
One of the podcasts I enjoy is Happier. Author Gretchen Rubin and her sister Liz Craft are the minds behind Happier and the podcasts are an extension of topics from Gretchen’s books which are themed around happiness and habits. So far I’ve only read Better than Before but I absolutely loved it and I’ve been a fan of Gretchen’s since. The rest of her books are on my Amazon wish list just waiting on me to finish some of the stack I have at home already.
On a recent episode of Happier the ladies discussed having an 18 for 2018. Based on a listeners idea to do 35 things when 35, the 18 in 2018 is a list of 18 things you really want to do/accomplish/get done in 2018. I loved this idea because its much less ominous than an over-generalized resolution that won’t be stuck to anyway. It’s really more like a to do list so there’s a great deal of satisfaction in completing an item and “crossing it off the list” if you will. A resolution, on the other hand, is more like a set of rules just begging to be broken. I’m confident changing the mindset behind goals for the year with change the results.
My 18 for 2018
- Fix the transition molding between the kitchen and the dining room. The molding has been wrong ever since we had it install. I get so mad at myself every time I look at it for not taking PTO the day it was installed. I left Austin and his dad in charge that day and well, lets just say that won’t be done again.
- Also related to the molding (who knew you could have multiple goals related to molding) I want to finish painting the baseboard molding. I got the living room done before we moved in. Once we moved all the furniture into the house I completely abandoned the project.
- Paint the stairwell and upstairs hall. This is truly just a weekend project. I know we could probably even knock it out in one day. Its just a fresh coat of white paint over already white paint, but we just keep pushing it off.
- Once the stairwell is freshly painted I no longer have an excuse to push off my maps project. I’ve kept maps from many of my adventures and recently decided to frame them instead of allowing them to sit in a drawer forever. The trouble lies in trying to find affordable frames of all of these oddly sized maps. I keep meaning to hit up the good will with my tape measurer and, like the previous few items, I keep pushing it off. Once I have all the maps framed I want to create a gallery wall with them up in the stairwell.
- Paint the walls in the kitchen. The kitchen is currently the worst shade of mustard yellow and as you may know, painting a kitchen is really annoying. Honestly, I wish I could just pay someone to do this but I don’t want to spend the money on it since I know we can totally do this. I just want the walls to be a clean simple white. I eventually want to have the cabinets painted gray as well but that will definitely be a project I hire someone to do because I’ve seen some cabinets turn out really poorly in other homes and it’s not a risk I want to take. That’s likely a 2019 project.
- Purchase and apply wallpaper to the accent wall in my office. I’ve had one unfinished wall in my office for ages and I’m ready for it to be complete! I know what wallpaper I want and I have a friend willing to help apply it. I just have to pull the trigger. My hesitance with this project is the cost of the wallpaper but the price isn’t going to change any time soon so I just need to do it.
- Buy a bed frame. Our bed doesn’t technically sit on the floor. It’s a Sleep Number bed with a modular base so the mattress itself is raised a bit off the floor. That being said I simply don’t feel like an adult with the current set up. It feels a little straight-out-of-college and the whole room feels unfinished. For the most part, spending on the house is going to be put on the back burner until after the wedding but the bed frame and wallpaper are two things I simply cannot wait on.
- Be out in the garden at least three times a week. 2017 was the first year I had ever managed a large garden on my own and it was a huge adjustment. I underestimated the amount of time needed to keep the garden running successfully. While we still ended up with a bounty of fruits and veggies I want to make sure I take the time to keep the garden in better shape, weeding and harvesting regularly.
- Read at least 1 book a month. I genuinely have aspirations to be a reader but I don’t carve out the time to do it so the simple fix is to make tie for reading. I spend so much time in front the TV watching reruns of shows I’ve seen dozens of times. It’s really a waste of time and a complete energy drain so instead I’ll be getting cozy with a book instead.
- Burn through my candle stash. There’s no logical reason for me to have bought and stashed away so many damn candles. But since I did, I am dedicated to finally using them all up this year.
- Post at least one Youtube video a week. I used to post a video every single day so I know I can absolutely manage posting a video once a week and I have no excuse not to.
- Start writing down recipes, and sharing them! I make a lot of delicious food and never write down a single thing I do. On one hand its fabulous that I’m comfortable enough to just throw things in a pot and know it will work. On the other hand I have no idea how to recreate a meal when I want it again, nor can I share it with others. This will be the year I actually start to write it all down.
- Go on a honeymoon. I’m definitely getting married so I don’t think I need to write that down as a goal. I’m not sure if we will be able to swing a honeymoon right after the wedding though. I’m hoping we can get our finances in good enough shape to knock out the wedding and a trip, but admittedly this is the item on the list I’m the least confident in my ability to accomplish. Whenever we do take our honeymoon I don’t want it to feel like we are stretched thin. If that means waiting a while after the wedding that’s fine but I would love to be able to honeymoon right after the wedding. We shall see how that one goes.
- Do yoga. I actually really enjoy yoga, but I don’t enjoy sweating. In fact I think my biggest aversion to working out in general is sweating.
- Listen to the backlog of the Happier Podcast and the Rich Roll Podcast. I enjoy these and want to here all there is to be heard.
- Stick to a budget. I’ve been using EveryDollar since November and so far so good. In the past I’ve abandoned it after a month or two but I need to be on a budget to in order to pull the wedding off and still have everything else in order. I’d really like to engrain budgeting in me as a permanent habit
- I know I said that I was only going to buy wallpaper and a bed frame, but I just remembered that I really a rug for under our dining room table. The chairs are beating up the floor and Austin is having a heart attack over it.
- Host a monthly game night. I love entertaining and I love game nights. Just makes sense.
Thinking of 18 things was so much harder than I thought it would be. Clearly, the major theme of the list is home improvement, with a secondary theme of doing things I want to do but haven’t made time for. Procrastination and making time for things are issues I need to work on in the coming year, not just to cross items off my list but to improve the quality of my day-to-day life overall.
The hours of wasted time, sitting on the couch in front of the TV, is where I’m hoping to make real gains in productivity. Something that I know many of us are guilty of is getting home from work, making dinner, and deciding that the day is over from that point forward. I may be awake and functioning but rarely anything productive happens in my home between 6 – 10 PM. It’s such a waste. Obviously rest is very important, but how much down time does someone need in the course of just one day. During this time of year the weather certainly plays a role in the desire to be cozy but its really no excuse to not be productive. I can type and film in leggings!
For this most part I think my 18 for 2018 is actually highly achievable. If you’ll be assembling an 18 for 2018 list I would love to know what you are looking forward to accomplishing the most.