2018 Goals

We are well into the new year so it’s time to think about goals. Or words of the year. I’m kind of over resolutions because I think people see that word and associate a whole lot of nonsense with it.

Did you set any goals? Pick a word? Have you already forgotten about whatever it was you wanted to do? #nojudgement

"Distant Island Pier" - Art Print by Julia Contacessi in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.


I went back and forth on picking a word, because I’ve never stuck with one, but something about complete is just making my heart sing.

So let’s call complete my word.

And dear readers, I’d love to expand on that in a meaningful way, but Goop has been so sick this week that my brain can’t spend too much time on any one thing before it flits to something else. I’m not fighting it. But I can share two goals with you today, and they relate to the idea of complete.

More specifically that my wardrobe and my ever-expanding library are complete. In 2018, no new books, and no new clothes.*

Of course there’s a *, which is that if something breaks (like my slippers, which got a nice hole right in the big-toe area), I’ll replace them. And yes, used books and clothes are a-okay. Hello library used book shelf, and ThredUp.


Let’s Set Goals

Who is ready for the new year? I’ve seen all these posts on Instagram saying that this is everyone’s favorite week of the year. (But maybe that’s just because I follow a lot of people who make planners?) The week between Christmas and New Years is a time for reflection, planning, and goal setting! Those are a few of my favorite things.

what is a weekend?


I’ve seen a couple of these links floating around the internet and I have to share them before I dive into what I’m looking forward to in 2018.

If you do one thing to start thinking about your goals for the next year, go look up Elise Cripe on Instagram (@elisejoy), and watch her saved story about 5 year plans. I adore it.*

She and Ali Edwards, both long-time follows of mine, talk about their One Little Word for the year on Elise’s podcast, and Ali blogs about it here.**

A good BuzzFeed list is everything. I’m super intrigued by this watering plants app thing. SCL said she’s in if I am. But I think she already drinks plenty of water.

Vision boards. Hmmmmm. I’m intrigued, but maybe not called to action just yet.

I love Anne’s idea of listing what worked in 2017, and what didn’t. Stay tuned, because if I sort that out for myself, it will likely turn into a post.


*This is how I’m starting to think about goals for 2018

**The waters of One Little Word are something I’ve dipped my toes in before, though not to much success. That said, it’s really singing my name again this year. Stay tuned.

A Fresh Start Brain Dump

Who’s ready for some rambling?

Yesterday, dear readers, I told you I didn’t have any resolutions, but my brain just kept spinning and spinning when it came to the idea.  Whether or not I’ve made specific resolutions each January, I’ve always had some sort of plan in mind; something I wanted to do. And this year, when it comes to the nitty gritty, I just don’t.

front hall.:
(hello, gorgeous)

I am not going to say I should eat better (of course I should, I’m guessing a whole lot of us should), or try to put down my phone (I love my phone for books and podcasts and way too much Instagram, and I’m okay with that).  And for some reason, I can’t get into picking a word for the year.  Maybe because my life changes pretty quickly these days.

ben and birdy: Yay, It's Wednesday Cake! Cake:

(found this one via Dinner, A Love Story)

But I do have a couple of big picture items I want.  A vision?  I just rolled my eyes at myself for even typing that word.  Despite my inability to make a resolution, I still want a great year.  And with that, here are some fresh-start-for-a-new-year ideas I found online.

From Cup of Jo (who found them from Dolly Alderton):

  • Always carry a book in your bag. Trains will be delayed, post office queues will be long; you’ll be able to rattle through a book a week if you fill dead time with reading rather than scrolling through Instagram.
  • Switch from black to navy. Black is chic, but navy is soft. (Oh wait, this is how I’ve always lived my life except for like, two years in high school, when I tried really hard to be into black because it was cool.)
  • Send your best friend a bunch of flowers to celebrate her achievements, from as big as getting a promotion to as small as standing up to a difficult boss. We owe moments of excitement and surprise to our dearest and oldest friends as much as we do to our partners and lovers.

And from Kelle, at Enjoying the Small Things:

  • Clean one kitchen cabinet. If you feel inspired to keep going, that’s fine, but go for one. (I love the idea of committing to one small step.  Do more if you want, but just do a little bit.  That’s about all I can handle with someone pawing at my ankle all day.)
  • Make sure you have a desk drawer stocked with pretty stationery so you can send lots of snail mail this year. Buy new stamps. I got these pretty botanical ones for the new year, but these Wonder Woman ones are a powerful way to celebrate your woman power as you go in to the new year.
  • Visit the Valentine’s section at Target and smile.

Tracy wrote this post about getting organized for the New Year, and you have to follow her Instagram stories sharing her steps.

Becky posted a list of affirmations and while I kinda roll my eyes at that word too, a whole bunch of them lined up with how I want to live my life.  Here are the highlights (but so many that I didn’t post are how I want my family life to play out over the years, so click over and read them all if you love a bulleted list as much as I do.):

  • I honor my role as a mother and my children know and feel this whole-heartedly. They never have to wonder if they’re more important than work / friends / hobbies / etc.
  • I recognize that traditions are grounding and special and significant in our lives and I do my part to carry out and create traditions in our family.
  • I support my husband and children in the hobbies and interests they pursue because I know what my own hobbies and interests mean to me.
  • I am a loyal friend who avoids gossip. I take a sincere interest in others and find value in learning from different people — regardless of how well or how little I know them.
  • Our home is a place of refuge, peace, joy, comfort, and happy memories — for the five of us and also for our guests.
  • When it comes to material things, we only have things that we USE or that we LOVE. Clutter is a thing of the past. In our home we have pictures and decor that remind us of what’s important.

From Emily Henderson:

Survive while smiling – So easy. Our christmas “vacation” was riddled with small things that went wrong (car broken into, basement flooded, HFMD, sick toddlers, SO MANY DROPS OF WATER FROM THE SKY THAT WE AREN’T USED TO IN LA, etc.). But we survived and really, really tried to stay positive (thank God for grandparents). I’m pretty good at keeping things in perspective, but it’s always nice to remember that no one has ever died of a blog failing or an instagram post being ‘unliked’. No one has ever died of being an insecure parent, watching too much reality TV (GAH TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!!! #bachelornation), or forgetting to provide socks for their baby. In fact no parent has ever died of crawling into their toddler’s crib and cuddling with him (many mornings in a row) because he is scared and just needs his mama even though I know that when he begs for cuddling in the middle of the night and I acquiesce, that I am creating quite the (cuddle) monster. I don’t care anymore. I’ll be cognizant of my decisions, but i’ll do whatever I want to to make our kids the happiest they can be (especially during a big change like a move) and keep Brian and me in a healthy and happy marriage.

And I’m always inspired by Elise and Ali’s chat about their words to kick off the new year.  I’ve listened since their first one, three years ago.

February Reads [+ one little word – february]

february reads.

It’s only fitting that this picture has a book that appeared in my November reads post in my February reads post too.  I didn’t read it then.  I didn’t read it this month either.  And I’m rolling two monthly blog installments into one because I have a question.

So, my word of the year is choose.  And I vowed I would pop on this space once a month and tell you about how I’m, well, I don’t know, choosing stuff?  But instead I’m going to ask you why I’m struggling so much with the stuff I choose.

Here’s the deal with reading.  I need a lot of headspace to read.  I need to not be thinking about work, I need to not be up against eating/making/cleaning up dinner, and I need to not have my phone anywhere within a 5 foot radius of me.  I need to be able to get sucked into a good book and forget all else.  And I don’t know if I haven’t been making that happen lately because I haven’t picked the right books, or because I am making other choices.

Namely, watching TV.  When I get to my third episode of Veronica Mars in one night, I start kicking myself and feel intense guilt setting in over my choices.  But here’s the thing.  Does TV get a bad rap?  Is there something inherently wrong with choosing to plunk down in front of a bright screen instead of choosing to plunk down with a book?  Is the problem that in February, I’ve chosen TV over books way more than I’d like? I said I had one question for you, and that was an all-out interrogation.  I take it all back.

The real question is this: Why am I beating myself up over my choices?

The only book I have finished this month is not worthy of mentioning here, so instead, you get two books I’m about two-thirds through, coupled with hope for future reads.


Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande

A fascinating look at aging and dying.  I’ve brought this up with a couple of people at a couple of social events, only to realize this is an incredibly difficult book to discuss at social events.  The subject matter isn’t your typical small talk fodder.  But Dr. Gawande’s work is important, and it’s relevant to everyone.  We are all getting older.  We will all need to ask these questions at some point in our lives.


I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson

As I move through this one, I’m having flashbacks to We Were Liars, another YA read.  And I’ll have sections where I’m racing through the book, and sections where I slow down.  It has to go back to the library, so I won’t finish it till later.

Want to Read:

Something good. Something I can’t put down.  Something that does not let me go.  What’s it going to be, dear readers?  Leave me some ideas in the comments, if you have a minute.

I have All the Light We Cannot See, Everything I Never Told You, Station Eleven, and The Girl on the Train on my radar.  Can anyone vouch for those?


I Choose My Choice {one little word – january}

Ah, Charlotte.  Thank you for uttering one of my favorite lines of Sex and the City ever.


It’s my one little word this year.

Last year’s word was celebrate.  It was a fail.  It was well-intentioned, but a fail nonetheless.  I sort of forgot about it and I also sort of didn’t think it through when I chose it.  I thought it meant that the year would be all parties and tra-la-la fun, and sunshine and rainbows.  And it wasn’t.  At all.

Which is not anyone’s fault.

But it made for a strange 12 months.  So on to a word where I get a little more control.


There are a lot of ways this could go, and dear readers, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with it.  I’m going to do some writing about that on my own, and I’m also not going to over-think it.  Ha!  That’s something new for me.  We’ll see what happens.  Whenever I’m thinking about something new, I turn to Pinterest for inspiration.  Here’s what Pinterest has to say about choose.

One to think about. :: "Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."




Ann Voskamp~Hey Soul? So you get multiple choice today: Busy is a choice. Stress is a choice. Joy is a choice. You get to choose.


Spend your time creating the life you want. Start the 30 day self improvement #PlaceboChallenge by clicking the pin!






As a way to hold myself a bit more accountable to this word, I’ll be here on the 15th of every month figuring out this choose stuff.  We’ll see what the year brings.

p.s.  If you, like me, are obsessed with New Year’s, resolutions, and the promise of a fresh start, check out what some of my faves are doing to kick off 2015.  Elise//Ali//theKitchn//Joy the Baker