I make New Year’s Resolutions every year. I don’t achieve all of them, but I feel the act of setting the intention holds value itself — and that falling short of certain goals often reveals why they weren’t high priority. (Here’s a post I wrote last year on how to keep Resolutions, and reframing “failed” Resolutions as progress.)
I wrote my Resolutions super early this year. 2017 has probably been the most rapid period of personal growth in my entire life, and I’m hoping that 2018 blows it out of the water in terms of my creative productivity, work toward understanding myself and being a better person, and overall happiness.
Here’s what’s on tap for 2018:
1. Do one new thing every day.
I’ve done this the past two years, and it has dramatically changed my life. I’m more inclined to say yes to things, and to do things outside of what *I think* I’m interested in. It’s helped a lot with my ceasing to believe old stories from myself and others about what I’m like, what my preferences are, what I’m capable of, etc. It has also made my life a lot more interesting, exciting, and fun.
2. Read 25 books by people of color.
The vast majority of what I read is by white women (like me). This needs to change, like, yesterday. But instead it’ll change next year.
3. Get really good at vegan baking.
To make this quantifiable, I want to bake one new vegan recipe per month. And by the end of the year, I’d like to get to the point where I know how to invent a recipe from scratch. (Related: These vegan banana muffins are amazing.)
4. Go vegan for Lent.
I did this in 2016 and it was a fantastic experience. It dramatically changed how I eat; I’m now 99% vegetarian at home (the 1% is when I have people over), and basically all of the recipes I make are vegan (Mark Bittman’s VB6 Cookbook is amazing). In addition to it being a better social and environmental decision, I’m significantly hotter when I cut out meat and dairy.
5. Run the TCS New York City Marathon.
As I write this, I’m two races shy of completing my 9+1 process to automatically qualify for next year’s Marathon. If weather or illness prevents me from completing 9+1, I’ll fundraise for a cause I care about in order to participate.
I used to believe I was “not a runner.” At the start of 2016, I could barely run a 5K. Since then, I’ve run two half marathons and various other races, and I find that I prefer runs that are seven to 10 miles in length. I’d be basically unrecognizable to my 2015 self in this and other ways.
6. Record and publish at least 30 episodes of my podcast.
OK, so I have two podcasts, Business Christmas and Kat Reads Wikipedia. This goal pertains to the latter, which as of this writing has yet to launch but will in late November or early December 2018. I actually want this to be a weekly practice, but I think 30 episodes is a more manageable goal.
7. Write two books.
OK, this one’s a bit lofty. But I’m currently at work on both a nonfiction epistolary essay series and a chick lit book, and I’d like to finish writing both in 2018.
8. Ride Ain Dubai.
This one’s dependent on whether Ain Dubai, soon to be the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, is actually complete by the end of 2018, but if it is, I’ll be on it. Other potential 2018 travel destinations include Amsterdam or Berlin (hoping to tack one or the other onto a repeat trip to Copenhagen) and Dublin.
9. Make a hat.
A longer-term goal of mine is to learn the art of millinery (a.k.a. hat-making). But before I dive into a certificate program at FIT or similar level of financial and temporal commitment, I want to test the waters by making a single fascinator.
10. Solidify my creative habits.
I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of my progress on daily goals. Each day, along with doing one new thing, I aim to a) give something away, b) think of 10 new ideas (they don’t have to be good, just new), and c) send an email to someone I want to connect with. The last goal could take a number of forms: It could involve reaching out to a friend, sending a note to someone whose work I’ve enjoyed, or shooting off a request to collaborate on something.
What are your goals for 2018?