Gretchen Rubin

I Wrote My “18 for 2018” List. Now It’s Time to See How I’m Doing So Far

I Wrote My “18 for 2018” List. Now It’s Time to See How I’m Doing So Far

In episodes 149 and 152 of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, my sister Elizabeth and I talked about how we created a list of our "18 for 2018" – eighteen things we wanted to get done in 2018.

Well, we’re a few months into 2018 now, and I thought I’d review my progress so far.

I note an item as "underway" in two situations: if it’s a repeating action that I’ve done a few or several times, but not so many times that I consider it "completed," or if I’ve successfully started a long project but can’t yet check it off my list.

  1. Start having weekly adventures with Eleanor. [underway]
  2. Fix my headset, runs out of battery really fast. [DONE]
  3. Set up a home studio in this closet for my Facebook show. [underway; I did this, but now seem to be having technical issues with my lighting so not sure whether to "count" it as completed]
  4. Work with Barnaby so he’s better at coming when I call him.
  5. Clean out my massive tote bag collection. Each one is special.[DONE]
  6. Take Eleanor to get her contacts checked.
  7. Start making consistent progress on "Report to the Committee on Exploration" (if you want to read about "Four to Llewelyn's Edge", I describe it here).
  8. Create a work calendar for the year. I have a lot of little projects and I need more structure than usual; trips I need to make. [DONE]
  9. Finish My Color Pilgrimage and figure out what the heck to do with it; similarly, Outer Order, Inner Calm. **[underway]
  10. Tap more into my love of smell. I've fallen out of habit of regularly wearing perfume, smelling my smell collection, burning scented candles. Along those lines... [underway]
  11. Plan perfume field trip with a friend. [underway; I’ve done this once but want to do it several more times over the course of the year]
  12. New phone for camera to improve the video quality of my weekly Facebook show, "Ask Gretchen Rubin Live"[DONE]
  13. Figure out Instagram features and use it regularly. [DONE]
  14. Decide on a cause to give to as a family.
  15. Create the Four Tendencies workshop. [underway]
  16. Deal with the items we want to donate to Housing Works.[underway; the stuff is loaded into our car but not yet dropped off]
  17. I’m creating a list for listeners of the Try This at Homes and Happiness Hacks so far. And I'll update these lists at the end of each year, for people to request. [underway]
  18. Get current with making physical photo albums with Shutterfly. [DONE]

So I’ve completed finished 6 items. Gold stars for me.

I’ve started 8 items.

And I’ve left 4 items completely untouched.

What conclusions can I draw from my list so far? First, my schedule is crowded, so I resist items that need to be put onto my calendar.

I’m more likely to do items – even challenging items – if they’re things that I can sit down and accomplish in one slot of time. This gives me the very great satisfaction of checking something off my list.

For aims that are underway, it’s helpful to remind myself that I need to keep pressing forward.

Halfway through the year, Elizabeth and I will do an update on the Happier podcast. But I find that the more frequently I monitor my progress, the more likely I am to get these aims accomplished.

This is a surprisingly fun exercise, given that it’s just a way of getting myself to do things that I’ve been delaying!

Are you finding it fun or burdensome to try to meet your New Year’s resolutions, observe your one-word theme for the year, or tackle your "18 for 2018?" 

Want to share your list on Instagram? Use #18for2018 and #HappierPodcast and tag me: @gretchenrubin

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