Can you believe it’s already the second week in 2018? I have been meaning to sit down and gather my thoughts about my 2018 plans and goals since New Years Day, but days flew by. Still, it’s never too late to set some good intentions is it? And that’s what I want to talk about today…
I’m usually the kind of person who likes to keep my options open. I’m not into making strict reading lists, or deciding holiday itineraries ahead of time. That’s not to say I don’t have a pretty good idea of where I am going in terms of growing as a person, or in my career for example. If I’m honest, I tend to laugh off the idea that you can pre-set goals or plans for a whole year. Life moves pretty fast, and I don’t want to get so detail oriented that I forget to see the big picture, to stop and appreciate the amazing little things that make up my life. Or miss opportunities because they don’t fit into a list I made on January 1st! I suppose you could say that setting New Year’s Resolutions sometimes felt pointless.
But in the dying embers of last year, I started thinking about what I got out of 2017, and also to begin looking forward to the fresh new slate that is 2018. What could I do to make sure I really lived my best life? Was there anything I could decide to focus my energy on that would really enhance my year? As I mulled it over, a word kept flitting through my mind. I dismissed it, because it felt silly. But it didn’t go away. If you’re at all familiar with the internet, you’ve probably heard this phrase already. But for me, it represents the attitude I want to adopt this year in everything that I do. I’m ready to shake off the old year and starting living life with…
Intention. It’s basically a fancy way of saying I want to make choices that reflect who I am this year. I want to make sure that I take time to appreciate everything that I have, and am. Keep the people that matter closer and also free myself of the burden of worrying about what other people think of me.
Once I let that little word sink in, I realised that I was suddenly so enthusiastic about the next 365 days. My 2018 goals and plans fell in to place easily because instead of making them based on what I felt I should be doing I made them based on things that inspire me.
So, I’m really excited to share them with you now. To make things easier, I’ve broken them down into three sections Reading, Living and Traveling. Handily, you might notice that these are also the sections that The Female Scriblerian is set into. Funny that!
I am planning to write an in-depth reading plans post soon, so look out for that one. But let’s talk about overarching reading goals now. Last year was a strange one for me, in terms of reading anyway. I didn’t feel drawn to read many books and also felt that many of the ones I started weren’t worth finishing. Sure, there were some standout books. The Hate U Give and Piglettes are two great examples. But overall I was disappointed with reading. That’s why when I was looking at my 2018 plans and goals I wanted to make sure that the ultimate reason for making them was to rekindle my love of reading.
Read What I Love/ Love What I Read
So, based on this realisation the first of my 2018 plans and goals is to read more of what I love. It’s easy to fall into a way of thinking that can put pressure on reading choices. Bestseller lists, award winners, they’re all well and good; but this year if I don’t think I will love the book it’s not going to make the cut.
Join a Book Club
I have already technically ticked this goal off my list! I have been meaning to join a book club since I moved to Belfast last January. Then, mid-December I got an email from my local library asking if anyone was interested in joining a book club. It seemed like a little nudge from the universe so I replied and signed myself up. Our first meeting is the last Thursday in January and I’m really looking forward to it.
This is the biggest area of my life that I am excited to plan for. Thinking about my word of the year, ‘Intention’, it was easy to start narrowing down things that would really enhance my life. I think of this area as a ‘wellness’ section of sorts. Each of the goals I have set will help me grow as a person in some way. While some of the plans and goals are specific, like getting a driving license, others are designed to fuel my passions.
Get my driver’s license
I started learning to drive in 2017 so one of my biggest 2018 plans and goals is to get my license. I am somewhat of a nervous driver, so this is a big challenge for me. But, I am excited to finally tick this big life goal off my list.
Sign up for a language class
When I was travelling Spain last summer I rekindled my love for the Spanish Language! I studied it to GCSE level, but since finishing school over 10 years ago (yikes!) I have never improved that skill. I can still cope with the basics. I can order food I want and have a basic conversation. But I would love to become more fluent and so I signed up for an Intermediate Spanish Class at my local arts centre. Wish me luck!
Be better with food choices
Ok. I love food. I love trying new food. I love eating food! Basically, food is a really big part of my life. However, it’s also the thing I spend most of my money on. This year I want to be more intentional with food. What does this mean? Well, eating seasonal produce (it’s cheaper and in peak condition), making a food plan (and sticking to it) and trying to avoid crazy impulse ingredients are just three ways. Ideally, if I can waste less of what I buy, continue to eat food I love and cut down my food budget…I’ll consider it a win!
Create a budget, and stick to it
This leads nicely to my next point. Towards the end of 2017, I started really thinking about where my money goes. The ways I spend it, and how I could use it better. I have always had a rough budget in mind. I generally know what my balance looks like, when my bills go out etc. But one of my 2018 plans and goals is to really get to grips with my money. I’d like to save a strong emergency fund this year and if I manage to qualify as a driver, I’d like to be in the financial position to buy a car!
I truly believe that travelling helps us grow into better people. When you spend time in other cultures and places it’s impossible not to expand your horizons and embrace new perspectives. We’re lucky to live in a world that is full to the brim with so many amazing places, people and cultures and it makes us all stronger when we learn to appreciate the differences and similarities of others.
Visit New Places
This is one of my 2018 plans and goals that is off to a flying start. This year I am already planning some great getaways with friends and family. From Berlin in the spring to Sweden in the summer. Not to mention a lovely family reunion in Mallorca in July. I am excited to visit all these new places and (hopefully) discover some new food favourites to add to my repertoire!
Love Where I Live
One of my favourites hashtags on Instagram is #lovewhereyoulive. I think it totally encapsulates what I am trying to achieve with my ‘live intentionally’ mantra this year. For me, love where you live is about seeing your everyday environment with fresh, and appreciative eyes. Sometimes, in our haste to discover new places we forget to take a moment to look around where we already are. This year I want to take time to stop and smell the roses in my own home.
Phew! That’s a wrap on my 2018 plans and goals. Writing them down has made them seem more real than when they were just floating around in my brain. I’m so excited to kick start the year with good intentions. How about you? Do you set New Year’s resolutions, or do you like to take every day as it comes?