I’m a huge podcast fan; audio content is usually the easiest for me to consume these days as I’m chasing after my eight-month old. I was inspired by one of my favorites, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, to approach the New Year with a little more thoughtfulness than I usually do. In a recent episode, Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and most recently, The Four Tendencies (I’m and Upholder, by the way. Click here to take the quiz to find out how you tend to respond to both inner and outer expectations) and her sister Elizabeth Craft, outlined a list of 18 things they’d like to accomplish in 2018.
I was captivated with this notion. In college, my best friend and I used to put together a Summer List, a list of random places we wanted to visit and activities we’d like to enjoy during our brief summer breaks in between semesters. I remember how much I enjoyed approaching each summer’s day like it were a clue to a scavenger hunt. And I remember how much joy and togetherness completing each task brought. In 2017, I chose the word “Create” to guide my actions instead of committing to a single resolution (inspired by yet another episode of Gretchen Rubin’s podcast.) This year, I’ve decided to combine both New Year’s concepts.
2018 Word of the Year: Kaizen (Japanese translation: “improvement” or “change for better”)
And because I like crossing things off to-do lists so much, here’s my list of 18 Things to do in 2018. What’s on yours?
- Play pool
- Go bowling
- Write a song with my husband
- Learn chess
- Invest in my community (both in-person and virtually)
- Put more effort into looking good and feeling good
- Read more
- Have my writing featured in another publication
- Build my youngbeautycounter.com business
- Teach my husband and son French
- Speak Spanish
- Go out of town for the weekend with just my husband
- Explore my sexuality
- Take initiative in solving the problems in front of me
- Take the time to plan
- Illustrate a logo for young honest mother
- Fear no judgment
- Choose simplicity
Context: In the past, I’ve shied away from situations where I’d have to present myself as a beginner. I have been very reluctant to make mistakes in front of others, and I usually opt to participate in activities that I’m already good at. This year, I’d like to savor the naiveté of novelty and dive headfirst into doing the things that scare me. I’ll report back on how it all goes.