Around this time last year, I wrote up my list on 18 things I wanted to do in 2018, and it has been stuck on my fridge ever since, where I see it as I’m standing waiting for the microwave to heat something. In other words, I see it pretty often. I am learning that’s the key to getting myself to do things!
Having said that, I can’t in all honesty say I’ve done more than half of the items on my list, but life changes and evolves and sometimes the result is different – although in some cases, it’s just my lack of follow-through that has caused me to have to mark some of these tasks as incomplete. As an obliger (see Gretchen Ruben’s four tendencies stuff if you don’t know what I mean), I need a LOT of external accountability, which basically means I need to find ways to trick myself into doing stuff – something I’m improving at every year.
Anyway, as part of keeping myself accountable, here it is: my report back on how I did with my 18 things for 2018!
18 things to do in 2018: the results
1. Get new glasses (which fit, and I like)
Check! My accountability strategy here was to persuade a stylish friend to come with me to help pick frames (thank you Rikki!). I still prefer to wear my contacts but I now feel more comfortable in the glasses I have.
2. Make a photo book of Legoland trips
Not complete BUT I did make photo books of our Cambodia and Vietnam trips. I also have a totally awesome excuse for not making the Legoland one … because I recently booked a trip to Denmark, where we will visit the original Legoland, so I will wait to add that one into the whole book. So really, I think I should get a point for this.
Also, something I learnt about myself (again!): I never seem to create enough time to finish a whole photo book with text online. However, I can throw the photos into it with some blank space, and send it off to be printed. And then I can sit around of an evening with a glass of wine and a Sharpie and hand write some captions and stories. Done!
3. Sort out my mortgage
I am so good at procrastinating on boring administrative issues. I am 90% of the way there though. It’s a nearly.
4. Get a necklace/chain I love
Check! In fact I have two. One from a lovely local business who make jewellery out of their underwater photography, and another from a pendant given to me by an abbot in a Thai temple in Phrae! How could I not love both of them.
5. Learn to cook a new Japanese dish
Check … although I feel like I’m cheating as it is “curry rice”, which mostly involves just buying the special Japanese curry stuff, but my son adores it (as do I) and it’s become a staple.
6. Swim 50km
Big fail! I really do want to start doing lots of lap swimming regularly again and I am going to move this to my 2019 list and find a better strategy to do it! I’m always pretty active and I always get my 10,000 steps in a day, but swimming has not found its way back properly into my life. Part of the issue is it takes more time (showering after etc etc) but I know how good it makes me feel and want to do it.
7. Get a beautiful new logo for NotABallerina.com
Not yet – but I have a reason. I’m going to add a new kids’ podcast to my repertoire in early 2019, and want to rebrand my travel blog, my regular travel podcast and my new kids’ podcast so they all have some common elements. So it’s a bigger job than I first thought.
8. Make a Thanksgiving meal for friends
Check (sort of). I didn’t make one myself – but my beautiful friend Jodi remembered I had something about Thanksgiving on my list and invited me to her Thanksgiving dinner! Her husband is American, and she herself lived there for a number of years, and on top of that she is an incredible cook, so it was the very best kind of Aussie Thanksgiving. Thank you Jodi!
9. Buy a snuggly dressing gown
Check. Why did I wait so long to have something so snuggly. It’s like wearing a fluffy cat.
10. Stay overnight on Rottnest Island
No … but … I did have three completely unanticipated trips, and a planned one to Japan. Sadly it’s quite pricey to go and stay at Rottnest, and my travel budget didn’t stretch beyond those four overseas trips (several for work it must be said, but still relevant to the budget because I missed weeks of work here while I was travelling). Moving it to 2019!
11. Keep a list of the books I read
Yes! I still haven’t read as much as I’d like to but I’ve been keeping a list of the books I’ve read in 2018 and will continue to update it until the end of the year.
12. Have a monthly solo fun day out
Not really but I want to do this more. I had two proper days off, taking myself to the movies and lunch each time, and they were incredible. I just need to be much more disciplined about planning them into my schedule and making that plan sacred.
13. Learn to use my DSLR camera properly
Partly done! I took a fabulous half day course from my mate Seng Mah at Venture Photography and came away with so much more understanding of how my camera works – but I have failed to take the time to really put that into practice – yet! A work in progress.
14. Submit a short story to a contest
Total fail. I feel like my creative brain doesn’t quite have enough space for this. But I get to do lots of fun creative stuff (my travel podcast, for one) so I don’t feel I’m missing out by not writing fiction … just maybe it’s not the right time.
15. Pursue my love of intricate patterns
Also a work in progress, but I have started to pay more attention to the intricate patterns of the world and, for example, bought amazing new bowls and plates for my kitchen simply because of their incredible patterns. My friend Eva also sent me a billion photos of mosaics in Morocco recently because she knew I loved those kind of patterns. So it’s something I want to keep thinking about!
16. Try a new food every week
Surprisingly, this was harder than I expected. I tried lots of new foods, but certainly not every week, as it was more difficult than I thought it would be to keep finding new foods. But I give myself a half point for being open to trying them.
17. Keep a great travel journal on each trip
Check … more-or-less! I would say I kept a decent travel journal on each trip but I still need to take my own advice (and my no more boring travel diaries course!) to get even better at it.
18. Do a digital declutter and organise photos
Eek. Fail. Can you guess why? Yes, correct, it is a boring, soulless task that nobody actually wants to do. But I still need to. Somehow I will figure it out for 2019 …
So how did you go with your 2018 plans??