Throughout the year, life encapsulates me like a caterpillar. But by the start of a new one I am ready to emerge a reborn butterfly. For weeks I’ve been preparing and gaining momentum for the start of a brand new year. The canvas I’ve spent twelve months marking up is removed and a pristine one is placed before me. At last I get to apply all the lessons and skills I’ve acquired with fresh brushes, and attempt to paint my life once more. But before I can set paint to canvas, I had to spend time picturing the life I will create…
My 2018 Vision
When I closed my eyes and envisioned my life this coming year, I experienced the liberating sensation of significantly reduced debt and simpler living. I saw and felt a healthier version of my body; thinner, with more energy. I saw this improved body in yoga classes sweating beside a roaring winter fire and holding advanced poses as I concentrated on snow falling lazily through the windows. I envisioned myself writing the words “The End” as I finally completed the first draft of my novel. I saw myself preparing and cooking healthy meals, chatting with my husband, in a version of our kitchen where the renovations were finally complete. Lastly and most significantly of all, I saw the big waves of the North Shore of Oahu. Waves I literally dream of. Waves I have been dreaming of since I was eleven years old. I see them in my vision of 2018.
And now it is time to make these visions my 2018 reality.
My 2018 Goals
1. Significantly reduce consumer debt
It’s only natural my minimalist journey would lead me to this point. I had heard of author and finance expert Dave Ramsey before and have even messed around with his system. But it was all premature. I read his book, The Total Money Makeover cover to cover on December 26 and created our “everydollar” budget. I soon realized the only way for this to work was for me and Mike to operate as a team dedicated to a common goal. I spent time going through the system and budget with Mike. For the first time in our marriage I finally let go of my fears and the voices of the scorned woman in my head and we agreed to pool our money and attack our debt and finances as a team. It’s been a very exciting week of big changes.
I have a strong feeling “Finances” will become a new category on this site in 2018, so stay tuned for lots more on this…
2. Lose weight
It wouldn’t be a list of goals of mine without this one on it, right? But I think we all know “lose weight” by itself isn’t nearly S.M.A.R.T. enough. So I’ve made a big decision regarding how this goal is going to look. I don’t recall a time in my life when I wasn’t trying to “lose weight.” I am burnt out and tired of trying to lose weight. I lost 40 pounds in 2017 and it was a horrible experience. Is it any surprise I gained almost all of that weight back? It’s time for something new.
Here’s the real goal and I’m putting it out there for the whole world to see: “Get under, and stay under 200 pounds.”
That’s it. That’s all I want. I’ve been over 200 pounds (with the exception of two months in 2017) since July, 2013. I hate this club and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore. I’m going to get under 200 pounds and then for the first time in my memory I am going to take a break from trying to “lose weight” and work on staying under 200 pounds. I think this change in mindset will be great for me.
3. Complete the first draft of my novel
I made progress on my novel in 2017 and learned a great deal about how to achieve this incredibly challenging task. I am going to break this goal into monthly mini goals and tackle it one month at a time.
4. Establish a regular and consistent yoga practice
I love yoga. But it’s hard, especially after a long break. Yoga connects me with myself and helps me to appreciate my body; I need it for my well being and I miss it when I’m without it. I want yoga to be a natural part of my life again. It will take work and dedication to make it so. But I know it’s worth it, so I’m starting off easy again and will build myself and my body back up.
5. Finish three specific home projects
This includes completing the kitchen renovation. We started it a couple years ago, but never finished. I’m tired of having an incomplete and unfinished kitchen. Even with significantly reducing our debt I know we can make this happen since there isn’t much left besides new counter tops and back splash. There are two other smaller projects we’ve been putting off. One will only require a warm weekend and work.
(If you or someone you know sells or installs counters, please let me know!)
6. Go to Hawaii and see the big waves
This is the big one so allow me to back up. I’m not being figurative when I say I dream of big waves. I actually have recurring dreams of sitting on beaches and watching big waves. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, but it’s always seemed too much of a “Banzai Pipe” dream.
But things have changed…
First of all, there are people in my life, like my brother Doug who travel all over who have inspired me and made travel feel more accessible. (Just read my friend Sarah’s post on her favorite 2017 travel experiences and you’ll see what I mean.) Secondly, my friend Glenn died this month and I was reminded once more of just how short life really is. What am I waiting for, I asked myself. Thirdly, Airbnb. It’s a wonderful, affordable thing.
I was nervous to talk to Mike about this one, so I prefaced and built up to it. Long story short, he gave me his blessing and agreed to go. The plan (and we’re booking our Airbnb in January) is to be there for New Year’s 2018/2019 and hope with all our hearts the waves are up since it will be big wave season.
I can’t think of a more inspiring and rewarding carrot to have waiting for me at the end of 2018. I want to deserve it. I want to get on that plane in December 2018 having accomplished every one of these six goals, and finish my year doing something I have always dreamed of… sitting on the beach and watching the big waves roll in.
This is the picture I will create this year.
Now tell me, what picture are you going to create this year?