The holidays are a magical time of year but they can also elevate the chaos, complexity and clutter in our lives. As I sit here, I can’t help but feel inspired by the the openness and simplicity of this space now that the tree has been taken down. My mantra for 2018: Surrounding yourself with less will give you more room to grow.
With a new year upon us, I’ve given a lot of thought about what I want to do differently and accomplish in 2018. But with a two year old, a two month old, and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I never got around to translating those thoughts into concrete goals before 2017 came to a close.
Then while driving Noah to school the other morning, I had the rare opportunity to listen to a podcast — well, the first five minutes of one anyway, before he started pleading for “Halleluiah” from Sing soundtrack. In those five minutes though, I caught the very beginning of Gretchen Rubin‘s show, Happier, which was all about setting 18 goals for 2018, an exercise inspired by a listener who came up with 35 things she wanted to accomplish in her 35th year.
I loved the idea, and as I listened to Gretchen read her list, I realized most of her goals were simple and straightforward; things she can do in an hour, or an afternoon, whether it be once per week or once this year. Sitting down to write out your goals can seem like a daunting exercise, but coming up with a list of 18 — that I could do, especially after hearing Gretchen’s.
My list of 18 includes a variety of personal and professional goals; some will take me all year to accomplish, others maybe a few hours. Growth is the driving force behind my professional goals. This year I’m investing more time and resources into this little blog, as well as launching a fun new project I’ve put on the back burner for the past couple years. Simplification and self-care are at the core of many of my personal goals.
So, without further ado, here are my 18 for 2018:
- Write at least three posts/articles each week: two for ATE, one for an exciting, new project I’m working on
- Launch my next food/nutrition content project — stay tuned
- Start a cookbook club
- Get a weekly manicure — or do one myself while indulging in a favorite tv show
- Plan a romantic, child-free weekend for the hubs — and actually go
- Cook something with Noah at least once per week (brave, aren’t I?)
- Create a capsule wardrobe
- Learn how to shoot recipe videos
- Plan at least two afternoons/evenings out each month — a date night with hubs, dinner with friends, a solo movie or writing session
- Read one book, though I’m not sure this is even possible with two kids two and under
- Find a local photographer to help me shoot blog content
- Write with more emotion, personality and fewer edits
- Update our family gallery wall
- Master three new quick and easy hairstyles — the mom bun is getting tired
- Finish decorating Inès’ nursery & Noah’s bedroom
- Write my kiddos birth stories — you can read their announcement posts here and here in the meantime!
- Be less of a perfectionist — stay tuned for specifics in an upcoming post
- Journal about the kids’ milestones, likes/dislikes and things that made us laugh (or cry) each month
To help me stay focused and motivated throughout the year, I’m going to post this list a few different places around the house, as well as in my new planner (affiliate link!) that arrives tomorrow. I’m hoping to post updates throughout the year as well. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and productive 2018!
What are some of the things you hope to accomplish this year?
I love these goals SO much Elle! I love the idea of one afternoon/evening away per month! It seems reasonable but I realize, now as a parent, just how challenging it can be!
What a great list, and great idea! Thank you for sharing yours. I really like your mantra: surrounding yourself with less will give you more room to grow!
I’m not one for resolutions, but like this idea! Might make a list the next few weeks. Definitely want to include getting to know my neighbors/people in my community better, doing a sunset beach walk at least once a month, allotting a higher percentage of my earrings to savings, stay put in my apartment, and treat myself to a relaxing/indulgent weekend filled with sunshine and a beautiful pool at some point this year — just because :)
Absolutely love these goals! I shared mine this week on my blog, but essentially I want to be more engaged in every aspect of my life!
You can read more than one book! I always read when breastfeeding and have a 3 yo and a 1 yo… Last year I read 52 books. I find if you make something a priority, you can make time for it. Just start off with something fun, I had a hard time putting down Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, or When Breath Becomes Air even though it will probably make you cry. And enjoy cooking with Noah, that’s a great goal and something I should try to do more often too!
Wow, a book a week is seriously impressive! Why haven’t I thought of that? I usually watch a silly episode of something on my computer or mindlessly peruse Instagram while nursing but you’re right, it’d be a great time to read. Thanks for the recommendations – I’ll definitely check them out!