I love the start of a new year, especially the fresh slate and sense of optimism that comes with it! But as I was reflecting on the past year and thinking about some of my goals for 2019, I realized that I seem to forget what were my priorities midway through the year! This year, I’m looking at things in six-month increments. It’s enough time to actually work toward some of my goals, but having a midyear check in will help keep me accountable and allow me to reflect back on what’s not working and why.
TRAVEL SOMEWHERE NEW
If you’ve been a longtime reader, you’ll know that this is a perennial goal of mine. I think it’s important to continuously expand your horizons and see new parts of the country and world. For me, travel is inspiring, fuels my creativity, and honestly travel makes me feel like a better and more interesting person. We traveled a lot last year, visiting London, Austin, Portland, Seattle, New York City, and Chicago. The latter was the only city I had already been to (and numerous times at that; it’s only a couple of hours from Madison, so we get there at least once a year). This month, we’ll be traveling to Florida’s Gulf coast to visit Dave’s parents who rented a condo for the month. We have Sweden on the radar for this spring (assuming work schedules and travel costs allow), and we’ll add on a to-be-determined destination abroad during that trip. It’s tempting to go back to our beloved Brussels or visit Copenhagen again because one week in that gorgeous city wasn’t nearly enough time.
GO WITH THE FLOW
I’m not the most chill person and I may have a tendency to overreact and be a bit dramatic. This year, I’m going to do my best to be more understanding and relaxed whenever an unexpected curveball is thrown my way. Along with this, I need to stop taking as many things personally.
TAKE SELF CARE SERIOUSLY
No, I’m not talking about doing face masks and soaking in the tub. I’m talking about being more active, drinking more water, reading more often, and eating better. My 46-year-old uncle died rather unexpectedly on Thanksgiving and it was an eyeopener to me that at age 35, I really need to start taking steps to take care of myself so that I don’t find myself with a slew of health problems ten years from now. I do need to lose weight. I lost 15 pounds in 2018 … and then gained it all back during our hectic travel months and the holidays. While discouraging, if I could do it last year, I can easily make it happen again with a little willpower! I’ve also been making sure I drink at least 64 ounces of water daily (but aiming for 100 ounces each day). This is such a small thing, but it’s made me feel more energetic and keeps me from mindlessly snacking when I’m really just thirsty.
AROUND THE HOUSE
I had a lofty list of goals for the house last year and didn’t accomplish as many as I naively thought possible. That said, we did find the perfect dining room table and chairs, painted our upstairs hallway, made significant progress on painting the doors and removing old paint from the hardware, purchased light fixtures for five rooms, and had four dying trees removed. We probably should have done more, but it’s such a balancing act with time and money. Here’s my must-do list for the first six months of 2019:
- First of all, share more home-related content! I’d love to give you a better idea of where I’m spending my time and some of the things I’ve learned improving a fixer upper.
- Finish installing our living room sconces. We bought sconces months ago and only installed one. It was such an annoying process that we got discouraged and put it off. I’d actually like this done before the end of January.
- Paint the remaining three doors, strip the paint from the hardware, and hang them.
- Hire someone to fill in the unnecessary doorway between our bedroom and guest room. (Long story short, the house was a two-flat at some point. Our upstairs guest room was a kitchen and our master was a living room. Instead of having the tenants go into the small hallway to access each room from the original doorways, a previous owner cut a doorway between the two rooms … and did a shoddy job at that. In fact, the “trim” is plywood. It’s a more difficult job than just drywalling each side, which we could do ourselves, so we’ll need to hire someone. I’ll share photos and talk about it more soon!)
- Hire a painter to tackle our stairwell. I’d like to do wallpaper eventually, but I don’t want to live with the ugly yellowish paint that’s on the wall until I have money saved up. I’d rather have it painted white (or maybe an accent color) so it’s less of an eyesore for the time being.
- Replace the storm door at the front of the house. It’s in such poor shape and incredibly ugly. (I have no idea how to install a door, so that’ll be an adventurous weekend!)
- Add a screen door to our back deck, if the existing door and frame allows.
- Add an exterior motion-sensor light to the garage.
- Paint or stain the deck and front porch.
- Figure out our gutter situation so the rain doesn’t just dump directly from the roof onto the deck. (I’m not sure if they simply need to be cleaned out or if we need more gutters.)
- Buy curtains for the dining room. Our house is close to the neighbor’s property, so we’d like to do sheers or linen curtains for privacy, but also to allow light to come in.