Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it. I suppose I owe you guys some excuses – I mean explanations.
I really did intend to start writing again in December, after the insanity of NaNoWriMo ended. But then, guess what, I ended up doing a million other things instead!
Blogmas – a post every day of December in the lead up to Christmas – was definitely on my radar, and I really wanted to participate this year. But I ended up doing Vlogmas – the same as blogmas but with video blogs – instead! If you’d like to check those out, I’ll include a link to the playlist here. Taylor – my partner on the YouTube channel – and I alternated days, and I uploaded on even numbered days. Bless those people who upload every single day, because I simply could not have done that.
A couple other big things happened in December as well. I quit my job, for one. And I got engaged! More about these in future posts, because there’s simply too much to tell for a post about excuses – I mean explanations.
Then, and I’m not sure you guys know this, but Christmas is in December! My fiance (I can’t tell you how exciting it is to get to call him that!) and I had a jam-packed schedule, between his family and mine, plus spending time with friends and starting our wedding plans.
The point is, I was busy in December. And now, I’m coming at you with my (only slightly knitting related) goals list, my 19 for 2019.
So first, I should explain where this comes from.
In 2017, after coming home in December of 2016 after a disastrous attempt to move to Paris, Taylor showed me this little book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. After reading (and loving) that book, I also started listening to the podcast the author puts on with her sister, called the Happier Podcast. And while I was listening to this, towards the end of the year, they had a listener suggest that they make 18 for 2018 lists. The idea is that, rather than making New Year’s Resolutions, you create a list of goals for the new year. As you’ll see with my list (coming up in just a minute), this list of goals can be extremely varied. It can include really simple, one-off projects, as well as more commitment oriented weekly or monthly goals.
So I created my list of 18 for 2018 last year, and even though I didn’t achieve all my goals (I will eventually sort through all those damn pictures I have taking up space on my computer!), I found that creating and having those goals was really beneficial and rewarding to my year. In fact one of the goals from my 18 for 2018 led to the creation of this blog – I wanted to knit a sweater in 2018!
Without further ado, her are my 19 for 2019, complete with brief explanations.
- Sort pictures
This one was on my list last year, and I did make some progress on it, but not nearly enough. I know that I’m not the only one with hundreds – ok, probably thousands of pictures that just sit on my computer, never being looked at, but I want to change that.
- Work out 3 times a week
Once again, another repeat from last year. The difference is that this year I’m not working an 8-5 job anymore, so I’ll actually have the time and energy to do it.
- Buy a house
Wow, big one, right? Well, the apartment that my fiance and I are living in right now is way too expensive, especially now that I’m not working. Something small in a decent neighborhood is all we’re asking for, and we’ve been saving for months, so it’s definitely in the cards. Also, our lease is up in April, so we’ve got a limited time frame to get this one checked off!
- Design 6 knitting patterns
Now this is the stuff you guys are here for! I designed a scarf last year (pattern here, if you’d like to check it out), and I absolutely loved it. I’m hoping to tackle some more complicated designs this year, like socks and shawls. Maybe even a sweater, if I’m feeling adventurous!
- Finish 3 novels
Another big one. Most people don’t even dream of writing one book in their lifetimes, much less three in a year! But I’m more than halfway through one already, and this is what I quit my job for. This is what I want to do.
- Get published
Yeah, here’s the sticking point with number five. It’s all well and good to write a novel, but if no one reads it, it’s not much of a career, is it. And I’m not accepting “self-publishing” as a way of achieving this goal. Self-publishing is well and good for some people, but I simply don’t have the reach or know-how in terms of marketing to get a decent audience for it.
- Outline 6 novel ideas
I’ve learned that I’m the type of person that has to have an outline to write a book. If I don’t, it’ll meander all of the place, and it won’t have an ending. Even though I only want to write three, I want to have concrete ideas for at least six books by the end of the year.
- Buy biodegradable dog and trash bags
This is one of those “one off” goals that I was talking about. I’ve been meaning to switch to biodegradable bags for ages, but just never had the motivation to do so.
- Sort recipes/Write up recipe book
My recipe binder needs a serious sort out. Half the recipes I’m never going to make, and I just need to be realistic about that. I also am just not a fan of keeping all my magazine cutouts and blog printouts. I need to have a better system, that doesn’t look like such a mess.
- Crochet 5 rows on scrap blanket each week
Another one for my crafty readers! I’m trying to use up all the fingering weight scraps from the last couple of years to make a scrappy blanket. These were super popular for a while, and I think I’m hitting the tail end of this trend, but I love the way it’s turning out so far, so I don’t mind. I’ve got an ongoing and archived InstaStory documenting the whole thing over on my Instagram if you want to check it out.
- Track crochet blanket on Instagram
See number ten.
- Write 2 blog posts per week
Also relevant for you guys! This is going to be my “year of writing,” really, and I need another outlet that’s not my novels. Blogging is a very different experience from writing a story, and I think it’ll help keep my creative juices flowing.
- Make 1 new recipe a week
I’m always trying to expand my repertoire of recipes, but sometimes I lack the motivation to try new ones. It’s just so much easier to cook the recipes I already know!
- Take Fen for a walk once a week
If I haven’t mentioned before, or you’re new to this blog, Fen is our dog. She’s a low-maintenance breed, so she doesn’t need to be walked regularly, but I think it’d be good for both of us to get some fresh air at least once a week.
- Host a board game night
I’ve been dying to do this for ages. I love board games, but most board games are not meant for just two people, even if they are technically playable that way. Michael and I played Clue the other day, and it took us less than an hour to get through four rounds. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, but it’s so much more interesting with more people.
- Get 2 house plants
Taylor is the house plant queen, and I want just a bit of that glory for myself. She makes it look so much fun! The trick will be keeping them alive.
- Create a cleaning schedule
One of the things I was most excited about after quitting my job – and I’m not making this up – was having the time and energy to keep the apartment clean. No more going a month without cleaning the bathroom because we’re simply too busy or tired, and no more frantic laundry days because I just realized that I’m wearing my last pair of clean panties. I want to have a regular schedule, like my mom and dad always did when I was growing up.
- Reread The Happiness Project
That’s right, the book that got this whole thing rolling needs to be dusted off and reread. If you haven’t read it yourself, I highly recommend it.
- Go to the Black Cat Bistro with Michael
Michael and I have been meaning to try this restaurant for at least a year, but it’s on the fancy side, so I could never justify the cost or simply wasn’t in the mood to put in the effort a fancy place requires. But this year we will definitely go!
There you have it, my 19 For 2019! I think, so far, I’m off to a pretty good start. But the year is just beginning, so wish me luck.
And Happy New Year, everybody!