Well, hello 2018. You’re looking all shiny, spiffy and new.
Every year, I like to set goals instead of resolutions. While resolutions are well-intended, they seldom are actually achieved. But goals? Goals carry a greater sense of long-term commitment — and a feeling that you can come back to them even if you don’t initially meet your intentions.
Here are my goals for 2018:
- Make Reading a Priority — Longtime readers will recognize this goal. I’ve been among my yearly goals for, well, years. And though I have come close, I haven’t quite achieved it yet. This year, I intend to read 52 books. To do this, I need to make regular reading a priority — even in those times when there is so much going on.
- Make Travel a Priority — It’s no secret that I love traveling. That’s why my food blog has featured travel content over the last few years and why I regularly receive updates from travel sites. But this year, I want to take it a step further and make travel part of my year’s plan. To that end, I want to take 8 trips in 2018.
- Make Writing a Priority — When my column was canceled by my newspaper, my writing habit suffered — having that weekly requirement kept my practice always in the forefront of my mind. As a writer, this has been a devastating thing — because writers write. It’s part of our DNA, or, at least, feels like it. So in 2018, my writing needs to be a personal priority. A little writing every day? Sounds like a good plan.
- Make Saving a Priority — In 2017, I vowed to save more — and it worked. Because of this, I was able to gift my kids travel as part of their Christmas gift. We were also able to move, further furnish our house and still end the year with my savings account looking pretty good. This year, I want to do it again and more consistently.
- Finish Those Outstanding Projects — I have several book proposals, novels, blog posts and other projects in progress. It’s time to start finishing them. And, in particular, I’ve been working on an expanded, all-new version of my blogging book for years now. Time to wrap it up.
- Find Calm — Driven, focused, successful … these are things that describe me well. But calm is not. I haven’t, in the past, inhabited the state of calm well — there’s always another plan, idea, goal or intention to focus on. But calm is important too. And this year, I want to learn how to do calm better.
- Cook Often — Busy can be great for my productivity. But in 2017 it was rough on my cooking. Between cooking ruts and just complete cooking hiatuses, I didn’t spend as much time in the kitchen as I like. This year, cooking needs to be something I do regularly again. All the time. And not just because it’s so much better on the budget but because I love it.
- Lose Weight — Up and down, up and down. That’s how weight seems to go. In 2017, I ended the year weighing less than I started it, fulfilling a personal goal. But this year, I want to actively lose weight and be healthier. Going to the gym and watching what I eat has helped, and now it’s time to double down on my goals.
Now, what about you? Share your goals for 2018 in the comments on this post. I can’t wait to hear what intentions you have in store.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.