Recap of 2017, and on to 2018

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If you’ve been following my (lately dormant) blog, you know I LOVE resolutions.

2017 taught me that my local library has an online library that I can rent e/audio books from for free, which is how I learned about my love of audiobooks. I also studied my reading habits and determined that I was doing it all wrong. In my mind reading is done before bed, but if you’re reading a good book, it excites you and wakes you up. I need to carve out caffeinated time to read. Since thats a valuable commodity to me (caffeinated time), I read less than I intended for the year, but more than made up for it in audiobooks. If carving out reading time doesn’t work for you, try audiobooks and it might just change your life (like mine).

I realized that I basically spent one weekend a month away from home in 2017. This was an unintentional decision but one Im hoping to bring with me into 2018. I traveled to Croatia/Albania/Montenegro/Bosnia/Greece as a solo traveler with a group of strangers (who became my friends). I hate traveling alone, and found a way to be brave and meet new people while exploring new places.

I also hiked with a hiking group and got to meet strangers on the trail (Women Who Hike), which got me exercising and out of my comfort zone. It also made me realize I miss getting up at 6am on a Saturday to make a sunrise car ride to a new experience or go on an adventure (this I did a lot in LA before I moved east). I’ll need to do more of this in 2018.

Two things I tried out for the first time- the Keto diet ad the Whole30 diet. This was not a specific goal for the year, but I wanted to tackle weightloss and learn more about what Im eating. In LA diet came easy- everyone in LA is on a diet. The restaurants cook healthier because of it and there’s SO much healthy fast food options available to you. In LA a “cheat meal” for me was a beer and some sushi on a Friday night (to celebrate the end of an exhausting week. In New Haven, a cheat meal is Pepe’s pizza or amazing Italian food.. which is waaaay worse for you than sushi. I also learned two important things based on my Keto (high fat, zero sugar+carbs) and Whole30 (natural foods/ingredients only) diet: Sugar give me acne. I always thought dairy was the culprit but after Keto took me off all carbs and sugar I saw my acne (a lifelong problem) go away.. like completely. While this is great news, I felt like doing the Keto diet for an extended period of time was a bad idea (it’s SO much fat and butter). The Whole30 diet is similar, saying no to anything processed so that the only sugars I get are natural sugars. While on the Whole30 my acne has gotten significantly better (not as perfect as the keto diet) and this diet makes me feel very healthy as everything going into my body is from the earth and not from a laboratory. It means a lot of cooking (bummer) but it gets easier with time and I still get to eat delicious meals. And don’t get me started on what it does for your digestive system (AMAZING!). Anywho, I love it so Im back on it for at least the first 6 weeks of 2018, if not longer.

2017 wasn’t a big comedy year for me (I did see some) but it did make me appreciate my local theater. Im close to the Yale Repertory and to Long Wharf, and both get prestigious plays. Some do runs here before they open on Broadway. Also by supporting the local theater/arts, it like investing in your neighborhood and is a payment you can feel good about. The theater is something that keeps New Haven special.

Lets talk birthdays! In 2017 I sent actually birthday cards to people instead of just the Facebook “happy birthday” message. I sent over 50 birthday cards this past year! It was really fun picking out the cards and taking the time to think about my friendship with the person getting the card. While I got maybe 5 birthday cards back on my birthday, that’s not why I did it. I now know how much energy and forethought goes into sending a birthday card and it makes me appreciate the ones I get even more and I totally get why doing birthday cards aren’t on peoples radar. That being said, Im excited to continue this new tradition in 2018. Friends, get ready for more birthday cards!

Now its time for the goals I sucked at in 2017. Having a regular volunteering routine. I never found “my place” where I could go and volunteer a few hours a week and set up a routine. Im really hoping to correct this in 2018.

Self-care. I suck at self-care. The only addition to my routine that Im proud of in 2017 is acupuncture. I found a love of acupuncture and Im never going back. It makes me feel amazing and community acupuncture makes it much more affordable to go on a regular basis. I highly recommend it. It really does feel like magic- aches and pains gone!

Another thing I sucked at, my car. It has dents I need fixed and recall paperwork I need to follow up on. It’s probably the biggest thing in my life that I avoid. Getting my oil changed? It takes me weeks of having it on a to-do list before I get it done. I think 2018 needs to be about identifying when Im putting something off and then just getting it done so it’s a weight that can be alleviated from my mental list.

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Okay, so enough of 2017 and on to 2018! Lets get specific! Here are some goals (in addition to what I mentioned above).

Health– Avoid sugar (as I said above). Do more of the Whole30, and really take advantage of your local gym membership. You pay for it so use it. Make hitting your step goals (via Fitbit) a priority. Do your best to hit 10,000 steps a day and push yourself to reach 12,000 steps. 1 day a week if you can’t make this goal (due to travel or commitments or weather)  you get a pass. Don’t beat yourself up about it because some days you need a pass… but not more than one day a week 😉 Also, try a new class at the gym that makes you nervous. You just might end up loving the class and adding it to your routine.

Travel– In 2018 make a valiant effort to travel to a new place one weekend a month. Use Airbnb, and really immerse yourself in a new location. For example, it only takes a weekend to see the basics in any US city, so do more weekend visits to parts of the country that aren’t THAT far away. For example, meet up with a friend in Nashville or Memphis and have a weekend of exploring. This makes it more affordable and is a great way to catch up with a friend who lives far away. Also, one thing Im doing this yea is getting a TSA background check so that when I fly within the US, no more lines. This will take a little organizing and prep on my end but will end up being WAY worth it (the pre-check TSA thing lasts for 5 years!).

Also on my travel list- Africa in 2018! More on this later.

Environmental Impact– not only do I need to be doing more volunteering but I want to make a solid effort of avoiding plastic. Sometimes you can’t avoid it, but when presented with any other option (paper, aluminum, glass) Im going to go for the more green option. I think I already do this, but I want to really be mindful about how often Im faced with a “paper or plastic” type situation and do my best to avoid disposable plastic.

Books — This year go for reading 1 book a month and listening to at least 2 audiobooks a month. This is a better goal for me, and totally doable with my lifestyle.

Car — I talked about this earlier, but step avoiding things that have to do with your car. Get the oil changed and get new windshield wipers. Get it into the dealership for all the real/updates that need to be done. And maybe, yes maybe, get those darn dents fixed!

Self-care — Get on this girl! It turns out acupuncture is amazing, so do your diligence and make all those appointments you’ve been putting off!

One of the bigger themes of my 2018 goals is to do the things you’ve been avoiding. This could mean instead of thinking “Oh I’ll bring this thing in the other room later”. Don’t do it later, do it now. You’ll get more steps doing it immediately and then it’s just done and off the to-do list. This is a micro example of a macro issue in my life. I find it applies to so many things on this list and it’s the root of a pattern I get into where I feel like I have “too much to do” and overwhelmed. I think dealing with these micro things I keep putting off will make me feel significantly better in the day to day.

Lastly, blog more. I always say this and this is the one goal that gets lost in the mix. It seems like my 2017 blogging time went toward reading more and exercising more, but really I can carve out 15 minutes on a Sunday (When Im not traveling) to give a quick update. That would probably be a nice creative outlet for myself that’s been lacking in my life.

Onward and upward to 2018!

P.S. I have a TON of professional goals not worth getting into here (do more events, sell in more shops, etc) but it’s a Sunday, so lets not think about work, okay 😉

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