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My review of 2018 in a nutshell: It was a big year. More than ever before I grew into myself.As corny as it sounds – I learned to listen to myself. I made deliberate choices to create opportunities for myself, to be brave and to curate a life I love.
It’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it
At the beginning last year I set a long list of goals that I wanted to achieve over the year. Some I achieved, some are halfway done and others did not happen. Last week a good friend of Edd and mine said: ‘It’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it.’ Somehow this struck me. I have heard the advice that we ought to learn from our mistakes many times before, but somehow that statement really challenged me to take a good look at my ‘failures’ and assess what went wrong. Because otherwise, how am I supposed to do better next time?
2018 was actually a really productive year. However – when you read through the list below you will see that I didn’t reach quite a few of my goals. My biggest takeaway from this is to be more realistic. Firstly – don’t set 14 goals. Secondly, set smaller goals. In 2017 I didn’t do much sewing at all but then set a goal to sew five garments. Instead, I should have aimed for two. Similarly, in 2017 I wrote 25 blog posts – rather than trying to double that I should have aimed to match this effort or maybe aim for 30 posts.
Takeaway 2: some of these goals are too rigid. Life is not always predictable. I wanted to run another half marathon in 2018 which I couldn’t do due to problems with my knee – however, I still worked really hard on my fitness, went to many gym and yoga classes. I learned from this and set a different goal this year: working out 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes. This is specific enough but allows flexibility. Even if I get a cold, I can probably still manage three walks.
So overall: set yourself up for success, not failure.
So here we go.
1: Finish 24 books
I actually managed to get through 30 books last year. 7 of them were audiobooks. I haven’t really listened much to audiobooks before, but it has become a bit of a game changer. I started listening to books when I am cooking, doing chores, walking places or when I knit. Such a great invention!
Reading is a hobby that sometimes requires effort or at least a conscious decision to put my phone down and instead open a book. But it’s a decision I never regret. I will hopefully publish a review of my favourite books of 2018 next week.
2: Write and publish 52 blog posts
Well, that definitely did not happen. I am at a point now where I use this space for whenever I feel inspired to write. Putting pressure on myself to regularly post somehow took the fun out of it for me. It added pressure especially during busy times, so I let go of this goal pretty quickly. Maybe one day I will find myself in a more regular schedule and I can include writing for the blog as a weekly item. For now, blogging is one of many creative outlets I enjoy – sometimes I will hop on here, other times I will choose to knit instead.
3: Run a half marathon
As mentioned before, this also didn’t happen. However, I am not worried about this one at all. I had some problems with my knee which meant that running, especially long runs were problematic. I joined a gym back in September and got into a good habit of going regularly as well as attending yoga classes every week. During November and
4: Get A’s in all my exams
Yes! By A’s I mean over 70%, we don’t actually get letter grades. This was a big priority for me and I am so glad all the hours of studying paid off.
Goal 5: Open an online shop
This one did not even come close – I did not even think about it much. I did sell a pair of legwarmers to a friend though – maybe that counts? I thought about selling some macrame plant hangers as I made so many at the beginning of the year but never actually got round to setting up a shop for it. Maybe in the future, but not a priority right now.
6: Make a scrapbook with wedding pictures
Agh this one I actually am a bit gutted about not completing. I might put
7: Sew 5 garments
I made 2 dresses, one top and a headband. So not quite five full garments. This was just too ambitious. Sewing always takes much longer than I anticipate. However, I really love the dresses I have made and learned quite a bit from it. And I do actually wear them, which feels like a success!
8: Knit 3 jumpers
Well okay, again – a bit over ambitious here. I made one little jumper for my nephew. I loved how it turned out, I sadly forgot to take a picture of it though. Then I almost finished another jumper – the body is finished, I just need to add sleeves. And then there’s another one in progress. So, a learning point is to finish one before starting the next…
9: Make a quilt
Rather than a full quilt, I made a quilted pillow case and some quilt coasters. It’s a skill I am developing for a time where I hopefully have more spare hours for creative endevours.
10 & 11: Grow strawberries and spinach – garden review
We did manage to do that, sadly most of them got eaten by birds though. Gardening is fun but also really hard. It’s not great for people who travel a lot during the summer (like us). That being said, I did love meddling a bit with gardening and really enjoying our little garden, especially during the very hot weeks we had in the summer. I spent many lunches outside in the sun, surrounded by our plants, which was wonderful. Besides strawberries and spinach, we also grew lots of lettuce (which was my favourite), carrots, rhubarb, radishes and herbs.
12: Learn a book of the Bible by heart
I worked on this but nowhere near complete. Memorising scripture requires a lot of consistency for which I lacked time and energy. But I can almost recite the first chapter of Ephesians, which I guess is a good start!
13: Review of my Zero waste bathroom progress
I would mark this as checked even though our bathroom is not one hundred percent plastic free. I have replaced and am continue to replace more and more products for package free alternatives. Some things I went back to the not-so-ecofriendly version, for example toothpaste. I talked a bit about my experiences with zero waste toothpaste in this post.
Do you review your goals? How did you fare with your ambitions for 2018? And how is the new year going so far?