Looking back at 2018…
I didn’t set goals for myself in 2018, but I can’t help but feel that I didn’t quite end up where I wanted to be. I felt directionless, unproductive and uncreative for most of the year. There were highs (a solo trip to Amsterdam, an amazing press trip to Montreal, smashing a few work goals), there were lows (not spending enough time with the people I love, letting work get in the way of my health, never getting around to working on those extra income streams I’ve been dreaming about), but overall I’m happy to say goodbye to 2018 and feeling positive about what’s to come.
I have a good feeling about 2019. I’m excited to start fresh, with a head full of ideas and a list of concrete steps to bring them to life. I’m also looking forward to making small changes in my daily routine, and I hope that I will feel more energized and better over the next twelve months. You’ll notice a couple of overarching themes in the list of goals below — less screen time, more time spent learning new skills and putting them into practice. I also have a big partnership lined up for 2019, which you will be hearing about soon enough. Yes, this year is going to be a good one!
My 2019 Goals…
Decluttering. My big plan for the first day of the year? Binge-watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the brand new Netflix show by the author of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m hoping to get some serious decluttering inspo, because I often feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I own — clothes with the tags still on, mystery kitchen accessories, tote bags (so.many.tote.bags!) and various beauty bits I’ve accumulated over the years. This year, I want to do a couple of big decluttering sessions and (hopefully) pick up the habit of tidying up as I go.
Reading. At some point during my Ph.D. program in literature, I fell out of love with reading. I can’t think of anything that makes me quite as sad as having lost my passion for stories and how they’re told, so I signed myself up for a reading challenge. Over the course of the year, I’ll attempt to read 52 books. It’s ambitious, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself (I know I probably won’t make it) and I’m going to keep the reading list light and fun. The goal is to rediscover my love of reading. You can follow along on Twitter, where I’ll be using the hashtag #andreannereads to document the experience.
Writing. It feels impossible to write for myself when I spend all day writing at work. By the time 5 pm rolls around, the last thing I want to do is to write more. This year, I want to make time for my own writing — blog posts, freelance articles, diary entries, creative writing…It all counts!
Cooking. It’s no secret that I don’t enjoy cooking (just scroll through my Twitter feed), but the takeout spending was a little out of control in 2018. I’d like to learn how to make two or three dishes that are healthy, easy and quick to make. It seems achievable, but I can already tell that this is the goal I’m going to struggle with the most.
Focusing. My brain is always bubbling with ideas, so I tend to jump from one project to the next without ever truly seeing anything through. The goal for 2019 is to focus my energy, starting with the projects that are the most likely to bring me happiness in the future. The first thing I want to tackle is my online portfolio, as I’d like to pick up a few bilingual freelance content creation and social media management contracts on the side and build my own business from there.
Learning. Libraries, research, papers, degrees…I truly feel at home in a classroom. I did a Digital Marketing Management certificate from the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies a few years ago, and it helped me land my dream job. Since then, I’ve taken a few online courses, but I now have my eye on a writing course from Ryerson. I’ve been putting off taking more courses because they’re time-consuming and expensive, but I’m starting to feel a little restless and this could be just what I need.
Saving. There’s no way to sugarcoat this goal to make it Instagram-worthy — I’m currently repaying my enormous student loan…and it’s awful. I’m lucky to have been able to study for as long as I have and to have found my dream job in my dream industry, but the downside is that I have to make a lot of sacrifices to be able to slowly pay back my debt and buy underwear when I need it and save a little. It did not go well in 2018, let’s leave it at that.
Travelling. If all goes well (see above), 2019 will be the year I finally visit Disney World. This is the big trip Nick and I are saving up for this year, but I’d like to do a short solo trip somewhere close by too. Why is travelling so expensive? I’m putting it out into the world — I want to travel more in 2019! I should probably start buying lottery tickets…
Unplugging. An unrealistic goal for someone who lives and works on the Internet, I’m sure you’ll agree. For me, it’s not so much about logging off for extended periods of time or giving up social media (that being said, I haven’t used Instagram all that much in 2018 and I don’t miss it), but rather limiting how much I use my phone while also doing other things. There’s really no need for me to check Twitter when I’m having coffee with the girls, to look at Instagram stories when I’m watching TV or to scroll through Reddit until 4am when I should be sleeping — it’s not useful or productive. I hope that I can be more ‘in the moment’ this year…as cheesy as that sounds.
What are your goals for the new year? Do you relate to any of the above? Please tell me I’m not the only one who has yet to master the art of cooking a healthy meal at 30 years old…