I love a good podcast, and one of my favorites is Happier with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft. They discuss “happiness hacks” – little things one can do in life to be happier and healthier. Around this time last year, they introduced the idea of “18 in 2018” – a yearly bucket list of sorts for the New Year. Below is the list I made a year ago. While I didn’t cross many items off my list, it was nice to always have these 18 things in the back of my mind.
The main reason I didn’t cross many of the items off is that my goals/wants/mindset shifted mid-year and some items on my list no longer aligned with where I wanted to be during the second half of 2018. Honestly, it was pretty tough to accept having an incomplete list at first, but in the end I decided it’s perfectly okay to change up your goals if they no longer serve who you want to become. Now, on to my list…
- Splits: I’m not even close to being flexible enough to do the splits by midnight this evening. However, I did begin hot yoga classes at Y7 Studios earlier this year, and I absolutely love it. I always begin class feeling extremely tight, but by the end my muscles are warmed up and I’m feeling more flexible. I know that with consistent Y7 classes and stretching, I can reach this goal in a few short months. This one will carry over to my 2019 list!
- $XX commissions: I actually reached this goal by the end of summer, but with some deals unexpectedly being cancelled, I’m finishing the year just shy of my goal number. Overall, I’m still checking this one off my list, because I’m happy with what I accomplished during my first full year in title insurance sales!
- 300 days of French lessons: While I continued with my lessons, I believe I practiced less this year compared to the last two years unfortunately. I plan to devote more time to this in 2019 as becoming fluent in another language is very important to me.
- Read 18 books: I ended up reading 20 books – and started two book clubs! I’d recommend all the books I tackled except for one of them, so check out the list if you’re looking for something to read during your holiday travels.
Four days of fitness/week: I wasn’t always 100% consistent with this goal after February. However, I always try to make fitness a priority when possible and there have been toomany 5AM and 6AM alarm clocks to get me to morning sweat sessions this year!
- Hamilton Soulcycle ride: I never made it to a Hamilton themed Soulcycle ride. However, I did ride front and center at a The Greatest Showman ride this spring! The Greatest Showman became my new favorite soundtrack in late January/early February after finally viewing the movie. I’m now obsessed and the theme ride was everything I could have hoped for!
- Use up giftcards: I didn’t get through them all, but I did make a pretty significant dent. I’d say I got through about half of the stack– for the places where I go regularly. I have a few more left – places like restaurants around the city or the Disney Store where I need to make more of an effort to get there.
- Binge watch Game of Thrones: I didn’t binge watch GoT in its entirety (I think I took a break at Season 2), but I did watch current seasons of Will & Grace, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Younger, The Bold Type, Million Dollar Listing, Suits, A Million Little Things, and The Marvelous Maisel. Whew!
- Clean and donate by January 31st: I got rid of about two bags of stuff and still had more bags to donate by Easter! I believe there are two kinds of people in this world: those who love purchasing fresh new items and those who love throwing out/donating items. I’m definitely a member of Group 2 as I work toward a minimalist lifestyle these days.
- #selfcaresunday: While this started out as a goal of me doing a face mask while watching a movie every Sunday evening, I realized Sundays are actually one of my busiest days because of church, volunteering, and prepping for the new week ahead. I’d start out watching a movie and soon be vacuuming and cleaning up around the apartment. I still crossed this one off my list because overall I’m in a much better place mentally than I was in January. I owe it all to the word “NO”. It is definitely tough to turn down a friend’s invitation to do something, but I found it to be very liberating. My weekends are already jam packed with things and throwing in another activity that I’m not dying to do would just make me instantly regret it.
- Complete first draft of book: This is another goal that I didn’t come close to achieving because other goals took priority this year. However, this will happen one day!
- Birthday staycation: This is one of those things on my list that changed because my goals changed. While I had originally planned for a staycation at a fun hotel in the City, I soon scratched this item and worked toward saving money for an emergency fund instead. I reached my emergency fund goal, so I count that as a success!
- Photograph New York City. When I wrote this goal down, I had big plans to find a new coffee shop every Saturday morning and after enjoying a nice tea or hot chocolate, walk around that neighborhood taking pictures with my new camera. Unfortunately, I have to admit that this didn’t happen once because other things came up, but I want to make this a priority in 2019.
- Write one happy thought per day. I used the monthly spread of my Erin Condren planner to write one happy thought at the end of each day. I enjoy looking back on these fond memories and plan to turn them into future blog posts.
- Take a European vacation. I had the most amazing time in Greece this September. A detailed blog post will be coming soon, but I have a ton of photos on my phone and camera to sift through first.
- Make one craft per month. I only made a couple of crafts this year, but it really does bring me so much happiness each time I pick up a pencil or paint brush. I still plan to do more arts and crafts, but in the meantime I’ve been using my Instagram Stories as my creative outlet. Be sure to follow me at @alexandra.brant for more!
- No sweets unless a celebration. I just ate a handful of mini marshmallows while writing this, soooo this goal will definitely be coming with me into the New Year…
- Make doctor and dentist appointments. Nothing makes me feel healthier and like more of an adult than visiting the dentist, gynecologist, dermatologist and doctor for my annual check-ups/physicals. I made all of my appointments for the year early in January, so I would be prepared.
Stay tuned for my “19 in 2019” coming soon!