18 for 2018 (and Why I hate New Years Resolutions)

18 for 2018 (and Why I hate New Years Resolutions)

18 for 2018 is my solution to swearing off New Years resolutions. I hate New Years resolutions as a rule. I’ve made them in the past, but it always seems to be some kind of magnifying glass on a perceived self-inadequacy. Not green enough, not thin enough, not fit enough, not in touch regularly enough with friends. Kind of a set up for disappointment. You take something you struggle with, and then you put all kinds of pressure on yourself to magically be better than average about it, and when it fails, you’ve broken a promise to yourself and the year. No thanks.

Well, I found a really fun alternative. Gretchen Rubin and her sister Liz Craft on The Happier Podcast have adopted the idea to chose 18 things to accomplish in 2018 that will add to their happiness. I love this idea! They chose things like

  • finally buy a black purse
  • plan a family trip to New York
  • try a spin class
  • reinstitute the “weekly adventure” tradition
  • work with the family dog to improve obedience
  • fix the unreliable phone headset

You can listen the the whole episode here. These are things that will be accomplished as the year progresses, not things that must be done continuously to avoid failure. There is something satisfying about checking an item off a list, and there’s something motivating about finally putting something you’ve been meaning to do on your list. And don’t we all have those things we’ve been meaning to do for over a decade but only occur to us when we are on the edge of sleep or driving in the rain or showering? Now is your opportunity to rack your brain, put all of those nagging goals down in one place, and clear those mental cobwebs! And one of the best things is, you didn’t have to start at the stroke of midnight on January 1st! Any time this year will do!

About Goal Setting

As I was compiling my 18 for 2018 list, I was reminded of a lesson our pastor taught about designing goals in his Triumphant Marriage Seminar. He says that a good goal needs four components to be a set up for actual success. Each goal needs to be measurable, attainable, personal, and specific (MAPS; I love a good acronym!). I wantedmy 18 for 2018 to fit those four criteria.

Be more patient” seems like such a good goal, but how do you measure whether or not you were more patient? The better goal would be to journal weekly about my impatience triggers. With a big goal, start small and do some fact finding. And weekly journaling is measurable.

Walk across the gym on my hands” is, for most people, unattainable. Duh.  This is kind of a silly example, but if you are a Crossfitter, not so much. (I’m what you’d call a recovered Crossfitter in case you wondered.) Start with the goal of learning to hold a handstand for 10 seconds. That’s an attainable start.

Improve my relationships” seems good, but it isn’t measurable or personal. You are one half of all of your relationships. The goal has to be personal just to you. “Call my Mom and Grandma once per week” is better. Your part is all you have control over.

Go on regular dates with my husband” is good, but it could be more specific. I chose once per week, but Pastor Joe likes “every Wednesday from 10-2 for which the plan is made together each Tuesday evening.” Now that’s specific!

18 for 2018 Examples from the Tribe

The Happier Podcast tribe is sharing their lists with each other on Instagram with #18for2018. To brainstorm, I looked them over. There are hundreds! I noticed some themes emerge. Popular items, although not things I included on my list, were

  • Throw a party (people are not partying enough, apparently)
  • Start and keep a consistent skin care regimen (I think every woman reading this can relate)
  • Yell less (this made me kind of sad)
  • Read more
  • Limit social media intake
  • Listen to more podcasts (these people need to read my podcast article!)
  • Practice second language (I’m impressed with the number of people expanding their linguistics)
  • Find and contribute to a charity
  • Redecorate a room
  • Clean out/organize
  • Plan a regular girls night out (Yes!)
  • Go camping
  • Try stand up paddle boarding (seriously, this was on so many lists!)

My favorite lists had a mixture of quick, easy items and longer term things. They also had some whimsical, low pressure things and some heavier, more meaningful things. And I loved the combination of some things that would only benefit the list maker and some more charitable or family-oriented things.

My List

My 18 for 2018 list

  1. Go on a date with Scott once per week (Friday is date day!)
  2. Get professional family photos taken (It’s been a bajillion years)
  3. Start a book club; invite neighbors by gifting books (We are moving in June, so we’ll have to start over; my current book club has been going for 12 years!)
  4. Get a kayak and go kayaking at least 3 times
  5. Sew at least one garment for myself
  6. Get wedding and birth videos digitized (Assuming they don’t turn to dust the minute I touch them…20 years is too long to wait!)
  7. Memorize one verse of scripture each month
  8. Get a bike and bike rack (Missoula has a great off road bike path!)
  9. Find a new signature perfume (Mine was discontinued. The nerve.)
  10. Run 1018 km (I was around 80 km short of my 1017 km 2017 goal 🙁 )
  11. Receive invitation for an interview on at least 3 podcasts (My first interview was this very morning! Terrifying!)
  12. Take a train
  13. Plant daffodil bulbs in the fall
  14. Get updated passports for all four of us
  15. Check out all antique shops in Missoula (I’ll need all new haunts! And The Farm Chicks Antique Show in Spokane, is the first item on my 19 for 2019)
  16. Drive to Seattle to visit friends from college (Can it really have been over 20 years!?)
  17. Teach Flossie to heel
  18. Buy 4 replacement coffee cups on eBay (VIDA Eva Mendes for Espana) (If you are looking for huge coffee cups that aren’t top heavy, these are the best!)

If you’d like to download my printable to make your own, here’s how!

Download Our Free 

18 for 2018 Printable!

What would be on your list? Are any of mine things you never would have thought of or things you plan to adopt? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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  • Scott says:

    This woman is a genius, so insightful, and really easy on the eyes. 😉

  • Debbie says:

    Another great article. Love your list.

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