I know, I know, I know… You’re probably tired of hearing about everyone’s resolutions — I am too. That’s why I’m not going to sit here and talk to you about my resolutions for the new year — instead, I’m going to talk to you about the things I hope to accomplish this year.
It’s not a list of things I hate about myself, a list of things I want to change about myself, or a list of unrealistic expectations. It’s a list of goals and dreams I have for 2018 — a journey of checking-things-off that I hope you’ll join me on. Here we go!
1. Organize your life.
This one is really broad, but I think that’s okay. This one will look different for every single one of us. I keep a pretty organized home, but I definitely need to work on time management and organizing my email inbox. Whatever it is that needs organization in your life, 2018 is the year to commit to it. Check out this list of tips from a professional organizer — she’s got the deets on ways to organize a TON of different aspects of your busy life.
2. Put at least one new stamp on your passport.
My sister and I were talking the other day, and we realized that it’s been three whole years since I’ve been on a “vacation” — I go on lots of weekend trips, but I haven’t truly taken a vacation in years. It’s time to change that! My friends and I are thinking of taking a week in the Caribbean, and another friend and I are discussing a trip to Europe. Of course, there’s a lot of planning involved with a big, international vacation — but make 2018 the year you decide to finally nail down some plans and book some flights. (Worried about paying for international flights? So was I. Read this — it’ll help.)
3. Vote in the midterm elections.
It’s a midterm year, y’all! No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, it’s the perfect time to have your voice heard and make a difference on a local and national scale. Not registered? Not an excuse! Mark November 6th on your calendar — this is one we should ALL be able to check off.
4. Visit a state park or national park.
I know that I was just saying how great big international vacations are — but there’s some serious value to trips within the country too! State and national parks are SO gorgeous — and there’s pretty much always one within driving distance! My personal favorite that I’ve seen so far is the Grand Canyon — but I’m hoping to check off Joshua Tree or Glacier in the very near future.
5. Make two new contacts for your DREAM career.
There are so many career-related goals you can make (quitting a job you hate, diving into a side hustle, going back to school, etc.), but I think we can all agree that networking is a valuable career facet that is often underutilized — and this year’s the year to step it up! Reach out to colleagues and potential contacts in an effort to grow, learn, and collaborate — your 2019 self will thank you!
6. De-clutter your home — and donate donate donate!
Like I said, I don’t have a ton of clutter in my home — but what I do have is a closet that is way too full (and only about seven pieces I actually consistently wear). It’s really hard to part with things that you spent money on and that may hold some sentimental value — but it’s easier when you remember the good that these rarely-used items could do for someone in need. This year, I’ll be making a point to clear out the clothes I don’t wear nearly enough.
Not sure where to start? Flip all your hangers backwards, then flip them back once you wear the item on that hanger — in six months, get rid of all the clothes whose hangers never got flipped.
7. Read three new books by the summer — in different categories.
I don’t want to tell you that you should be reading a book every week, month, or season — for some, it’s not realistic. But to read three books in the next six months is not unrealistic — but there is a catch. This winter and spring, I’m planning to read one novel, one classic, and one career-related or wellness book. Not only will it make us more well-rounded, but it’ll challenge us too (Cameron Diaz voice: “Not a magazine, an ACTUAL book!”). This month, I’m reading Murder On the Orient Express — what should I read next?
8. Commit to improving your health (no matter what that means for you!).
There are SO many things we should all be doing for our overall health and well-being, and, frankly, we aren’t doing them all. Make it a goal to commit to one small health-related change this year. Wear SPF, walk 2,000 extra steps a day, visit your gyno, try a new group fitness class, or actually wash your face before bed. Whatever it is that you aren’t doing for your body, now’s the time to start — one small change will lead to more, and your body will thank you for it! As of last month, I started tracking what I eat — and I’m working on caring less about the number on the scale and more about how I feel and how my body performs. 2018, for me, is going to be a year of self-love (and of finally making a dentist appointment…).
9. Save more money than you did in 2017.
I’m not telling you to completely revamp your 2018 budget, but I am telling you that there might be ways you could save some more money this year. Try your hand at stocks, investing apps, or a side hustle. Download that budgeting app you’ve been meaning to get (I’m coming for you in 2018, Mint!), and make your damn coffee at home. Every little bit helps — so aim to make little financial changes in 2018!
10. Gain a new skill by practicing a new hobby.
We at The Everygirl are big believers that there’s always more to learn — and a big world out there to learn from! We all committed to learning a new skill this winter, and now I’ve got the bug! This year, I’m going to learn calligraphy and master a few photography techniques. What about you?
11. Actually use up all your vacation time.
I wish I knew the average number of wasted vacation days in America — I’m sure it’s way too high. Due to passion for our work, an expectation for perfection, and a genuine desire to succeed, we all make excuses to push through and work really hard (oftentimes, too hard!). And that’s admirable! But we have vacation days for a reason. This year, take some serious you-time… and ENJOY it!