If you’re anything like me (and probably every other human alive), you set those lofty New Year’s goals and you stick with them for a good… little while (I’m usually pretty good through March-ish).
But your goals are vague, too difficult; or they simply quit fitting in your lifestyle because of a change/decision/move/injury that happens throughout the year. In this quick post, I took a different (and less vague!) approach to goal-setting. Rather than list strategies for resolution-making-and-keeping, I’ve come up with this short list of eighteen SIMPLE goals to make your 2018 the best year ever. These are goals that literally anyone can do to improve their way of life.
Feel free to take, leave, mix, and match to your heart’s content. These are by no means all-inclusive goals; I made this list with a very general audience in mind so that, like I said: literally ANYONE can do one, two, or even all of these.
What are your goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments below.
1. Read one book a month.
Bookworms like me have noooo issue with this (just ask my husband!). But many of us left the joy of reading in our childhood. There’s no denying that reading is good for your soul and your brains. Sites like Goodreads make it simple to keep track of your books and your goals. One book a month is only twelve books this year! Don’t argue, JUST DO IT.
2. Start a gratitude journal.
If you write down one thing you’re thankful for each day, that’s 365. If you write down ten things you’re thankful for each Saturday, that’s 520. If you write down three per day, that’s over one thousand. Chose a method and a time frame and STICK WITH IT. Gratitude has been proven to be a huge contributor to happiness, contentment, joy, and quality of life. Plus, it’ll help you notice the little things.
3. Send out ten birthday cards to people you really care about.
The simple courtesy of a birthday card has been lost in the digital age, replaced by posting a birthday greeting on a Facebook wall or sending a quick text. In the front of your calendar or planner, write the names and birthdays of ten people who mean something to your life and MAKE SURE they get a real paper birthday card this year. Genuine, handwritten words and everything. Even if it means you have to pay for a stamp (the horror!).
4. Clean out your refrigerator at least once a month.
I REALLY don’t think I need to explain this. It’s a good thing to do.
5. Make specific plans for technology-free dates.
Ugh, here comes the digital age again. When my husband and I go out, I hate seeing other couples eating dinner in silence, bent over their respective devices. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t see a connection there… unless you’re talking about the individuals with their phones. Make it a point to take at least ONE technology-free date per month (again, this can be a flexible figure). Leave your phones in the car – better yet, at home! Focus on each other. Theeeeree you go.
6. Save $10 a week.
And I don’t mean “save $10 a week for your July vacation.” Put the money away in an actual envelope (or a completely different account!) so that you don’t touch it until the end of the year. Then use those funds to actually invest in something long-term that you truly need and have wanted for a long time; whether that be home gym equipment, a new winter jacket, flights to see family, or an upgraded laptop. Be intentional.
PS: if you want to be MORE intentional with your budgeting this year, check out this incredible invention: YNAB (affiliate link). It’s the most basic, simple budget application you’ve ever seen.
7. Be brave in your fitness regimen.
This one IS a little vague, I’ll admit. But if you’re at a place in your fitness where you can’t set goals like “run a marathon” or “do the splits” or “squat 300 pounds,” then start smaller, but still BE BRAVE. Sign up for just one month of a new kind of fitness class/membership (swim lessons, barre class, yoga, spin class, Crossfit… you name it). And if you’re already approaching those HUGE goals… GO YOU.
8. Run a 5K.
Speaking of fitness… here’s an easily-attained goal that literally anyone can do. Maybe not RUN, but you can walk. You can jog. You can push a stroller. Getting OUT THERE and getting your vitamin D while participating in a run (or a “run”) is a simple, easy way to burn some calories and learn something new.
9. Week-long “go-withouts.”
A few brave people will attempt things like no sugar for a year. WOW. While this goal IS attainable – if you put your mind to it – try setting smaller goals first while working toward the bigger ones. White sugar is bad for you, we all know that, so let’s start there. Go for a solid week of not eating sugar. If you know gluten causes you issues, but you’re not brave enough to cut it out for the whole year, do a two-week gluten-free fast to break yourself in. Want to be vegan? Try it for a week. Gradually work up from a week to two, three, a month… pretty soon you’ll set those new habits and you’ll be feeling a lot better.
As a New Year’s goal, I cut out soda-pop for a year once upon a time, and I almost completely lost my taste for it. I can’t tell you the last time I had a soda. Your body needs breaks from some of the bad stuff out there. So break off a manageable chunk of time and DO IT.
10. Host a gathering.
If you’re introverted, this will be difficult… but at least ONCE this year, host a gathering at your home. Hospitality is yet another dying art, so do your part in bringing back true, genuine connections and get people together!
Even if you’re not a hiker, there are lots of options for easy trails and nature walks. Do one this year. Heck, do twenty. GET OUT THERE.
12. Make a thrift-store trip once a month.
And I don’t mean to BUY stuff. If “creating a capsule wardrobe” is your goal but is a HUGE step for you, break it down. Set a number of things you want to get rid of each month and make a Goodwill run. Three things a month… seven things… you pick. I’m sure there’s at least one pair of shoes, a book, and a t-shirt in your house that you don’t need anymore.
13. Try new recipes once a month.
I LOVE cooking, so I think I’ll bump this one up to once a week. But get out that Pinterest and actually DO some of the things on your “healthy dinners” board, people!
14. Invest in your art.
Everyone has a hobby. So of us are blessed enough to call our art our JOB (how cool is that?!) And if you don’t have a hobby/artistic job, here’s your chance to pick one. But for those of you who have… make it a goal to create something to show for it each month. Photographer? Do a selfie a month project. Pianist? Learn a new song. (Hey, I think I’ll take those two…) Artist? Try a quick project different medium (sketch, watercolor, oils, whatever you guys do). Knitter? Make something simple each month. KEEP IT BASIC.
You don’t have to go crazy or spend a bunch of time on it; but each month you have 28-31 days to complete your task. YOU GOT THIS.
15. Call your grandma. Twice.
Or someone you don’t see or hear from often. Put it on your calendar: the February 1 and August 1, or something. And actually DO it.
16. Smile at strangers.
Even though I can be ridiculously outgoing… sometimes I find it hard to get out of my shell and actually make eye contact with people I don’t know. Make a point to look people in the eye and smile. I’m not putting a number on it, but keep that attitude around all year. Again… human connections. Very important.
17. Clean out your email inbox.
Yeah… this can be a daunting task. BUT IT FEELS SO GOOD.
18. Learn new words.
You can set up emails for words of the day, but they just clutter up your inbox and make Step 17 even more difficult (heard that from a friend… *cough*). So maybe once a month, google the “word of the day” and learn to spell/apply whatever pops up. This is basically to make your smarter (or: more perspicacious) … but if you’re not a word-person, you can take it or leave it.
And that’s it!
Plus a couple more I thought of, but I wanted to leave the list at 18 for 2018, sooooo….(1) make your bed every day (also, read this book about it), print off a Scripture verse to color and memorize monthly (like this one!), (3) go without make-up for a week, just for fun, and (4) make a weekly sticky-note of prayers and post it somewhere obvious (kitchen cabinet, bathroom mirror).
CHEERS TO 2018, peeps!
- Read one book a month.
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Send out ten birthday cards to people you really care about.
- Clean out your refrigerator once a month.
- Make specific plans for technology-free dates.
- Save $10 a week.
- Be brave in your fitness regimen.
- Run a 5K.
- Week-long “go-withouts.”
- Host a gathering.
- Make a thrift-store trip once a month.
- Try new recipes once a month.
- Invest in your art.
- Call your grandma. Twice.
- Smile at strangers.
- Clean out your email inbox.
- Learn new words.