10 Things to Accomplish in 2019

Here we are yet again. Another bookend to a chapter in my life. An arbitrary unit of time marking a closure and a beginning. I’m sure it’s cliché to say it feels like yesterday when I wrote 10 Things to Accomplish in 2018.  However, it certainly is the truth. Falling in line with last year, it almost took me a full month to digest the previous year and decide what I want 2019 to look like. Then I put off writing about it and decided that further reflection was necessary. Now my birthday is rolling around and it seems like the true beginning of the year for me. Forget the true yearly calendar, I’m going by my own set of time. So what will make the list of 10 Things to Accomplish in 2019?

A YEAR IN REVIEW

Looking over my last list, there was some major gains and epic fails. For the wins:

  • I did read more
  • I continued working out regularly and even ran the Lululemon Edmonton 10K and didn’t die.
  • Eating mostly plant based happened.
  • My digital life is cleaner but I’m still a photo hoarder on my phone (when will I learn?)
  • I even improved my office organization sort of, at least when it came to my taxes.
  • I finally started that dang YouTube Channel I’ve been meaning to.
  • Stillness was found! I actually continued to meditate throughout the year 🙂

That’s a solid 7/10!

As for the fails:

  • My house in fact did not become a home. My dining room did but the other 4+ rooms were sad AF.
  • I didn’t stay inspired, in fact, I did the opposite and had a serious existential crisis/meltdown about my job and life.
  • I did a bit of travel but it was to places I had been before. Which is fine but not exactly what I was going for.

SO HERE IT IS

Much like last year, a few those accomplishments are rolling over into this year in different forms. By posting this, I hope to achieve two things. 1 hold myself accountable for the duration of the year. And 2 help inspire someone else. It’s difficult to distill down which things are worthy of focus, so hopefully this will help you identify something you want to improve upon. With that, I give you my 10 Things to Accomplish in 2019.

GET INSPIRED (AGAIN)

As I previously mentioned, I really fell out of love with my job and life in general when I had my crisis last summer. Everything seemed pointless, as if I were just a cog in the capitalist machinery. And while, I kind of am since I need to pay my bills which requires me to take on carefully selected partnerships, I need more to feed my soul. Looking back on what used to bring me joy and inspiration (hint: it’s not scrolling Instagram mindlessly.) I remembered simpler things. Watching classic movies, sewing, taking walks, and going to museums. I NEED MORE OF THIS IN MY LIFE.

Action Items
  • Set aside time each week to “feed my soul”
  • Start thrifting more often (this always relaxes & inspires me)
  • Pull out my sewing machine and begin a new project 
  • Visit museums / art galleries while on trips 
  • Read more books on fashion / photograph / architecture 
  • Take my old half filled sketchbooks and make new collages, doodles, fabric swatches, pressed flowers, etc
  • Photograph other things than just clothing / beauty products

WRITE A BOOK ALREADY

Truth be told, I have been putting this off for years. YEARS. The first idea I had for a book came to me while I was on a 26 hour train ride from Edmonton to Vancouver back in 2013. I WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT IT. And then I never started it. I let it marinate to the point where I wasn’t excited about it anymore. How big of a bummer is that? While I haven’t completely tossed the idea out, I have come up with another one. An idea that I am even more jazzed about and cannot risk losing momentum on. So this is it. This is the year Sandy Joe finally does what she’s been talking about doing for the last 6 years. I’m pushing aside the fear of beginning and going for it head on. 

Action Items
  • Pick 3 days a week that I devote an hour or more to intense writing
  • Make cue cards for each topic and write down the main points / stories associated with it
  • Create a schedule that include solid due dates with deliverables. Have someone hold me accountable (you know who you are)
  • Use my handy MiGoals journal*, weekly pad*, and get shit done notepad*. I mean business. I am a goal digger.

DO MORE THINGS THAT TERRIFY ME

It’s truly the only way to grow as a person. Last year I climbed Cathedral Rock in Sedona and wedged between rocks I was petrified. But I did it and the view was unbelievable. It was 100% worth it. A lot of my fear stems from the fact that I never believe I’m good enough / can do anything right. When in reality I’ve clearly made it this far and haven’t died / created my job out of a creative outlet. Pretty sure I got some things under control. I digress. Over the years I’ve slowly become more of a recluse that shys away from putting myself out there in reality and sometimes online (I’m not the most forthcoming on my social channels either.) Guess what!? This year I’m working on it. 

Action Items
  • Say yes to asks that I would normally reject (public speaking!)
  • Be more open about myself on my social channels (ie next time I have a meltdown maybe mention it rather than disappear?)
  • Continue to go on hikes that scare me a little.
  • Dance in public? Maybe. We’ll see. 

EXPAND MY PLANT BASED COOKING

It’s time to take it to the next level. I’m talking about sushi and baking. Not only that, but making homemade pasta is another dream of mine. These are things I talk about with the notion that one day they will just ~happen~. This just in: nothing ever *just happens* because we want it to. It happens with planning. If we learned anything from the book I never wrote years ago, homemade sushi and pasta will sink lower on this list if I don’t take action. 

Action Items
  • Make that sushi! 
  • Try a new baking recipe once a month (First Sunday of every month? That’s easy to manage)
  • Find my mixmaster with the pasta making attachment I received as a gift in 2008 and use it. 

FINISH DECORATING MY HOME

Can you imagine me living in a finished condo? I certainly can’t. It feels like just yesterday I was picking up the boxes and boxes of makeup launches off my office floor and organizing them into my bathroom vanity. To have a decorated and functional home would be like Christmas come early. And maybe at this rate, I may have that completed by the holiday season. 

Action Items
  • Hang my curtains, the apartments across the way don’t need to see me filming YouTube videos anymore.
  • Pictures on the walls would be a nice touch.
  • Remove the rest of the renovation stuff / tools / etc from my living space

DEVELOP A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH MY PHONE

It looks like we’re going to be together for a long time, a lifetime even, so we need to set some boundaries. Firm boundaries. I mentioned this book before in my How to Have a Restful Sleep post, but it has truly made me realize the negative effects of constantly being on my phone. NEWS FLASH people enjoy having your undivided attention and it’s pretty rude to be on the phone all the time. I’ve made a point to keep my phone in my bag whenever I’m spending face-to-face time with people. Why bother making plans to meet someone if you’re just paying attention to your phone anyway? That went off on a tangent, but basically…. I want to continue to monitor and cut my screen time down when I’m supposed to be off the clock. 

Action Items
  • Continue to leave my phone downstairs when I sleep
  • Limit my screen time to set business hours
  • When I have a spare moment, live in that space instead of filling it with mindless scrolling

SPEND MORE TIME WITH THE PEOPLE I CARE ABOUT

This is the most important! Time is precious. Spending it with the people who mean the most to you is key. While making time to see my parents has proven difficult with their retired snowbird schedule, I always manage to find opportunities to see them. And when I do, I definitely try to keep my screen time at a minimum (see previous section.) Aside from family, my partner and good friends are on the list.

Action Items
  • Continue the weekly Saturday Farmer’s Market & Ramen date with Jesse and add to this QT repertoire
  • When my parents are in town, schedule weekly visits to play boardgames, have dinner, go for walks etc
  • Write more letters to my out-of-town buds! My snail mail game has slowed down over the years despite how much I love to send letters and postcards. I am the stationery queen after all. 👑 
  • Be on top of my WhatsApp voice memos from my out-of-town buds! It is, after all, the next best thing to having them live in the same city.
  • Take more candid photos for my own personal log

GET BACK INTO MY FITNESS ROUTINE

It was a long ass winter and for some reason *cough the endless -40 temperature cough* I could barely get myself to leave the house. And if I did, it certainly wasn’t to go work out. Thank goodness spring has hopefully arrived for good. 🤞I can get back into running outside because laps on a track in a gym is utterly uninspiring for anything over 20 minutes. 

Action Items
  • Get back into my running in the river valley 3+ times a week
  • Treat myself to those 💸pricey💸hot yoga classes because I love them and I need to stretch 

HAVE A *REAL* VACATION

As a full-time person who shares their life on the internet, it’s hard to resist the photo opportunity that presents itself when traveling. It’s a prime time to get content. However, not EVERY vacation needs to be a working holiday. Last summer I took nearly two weeks off while visiting my parents on Gabriola Island. It was divine. We played the 1971 version of Mille Bornes (a french card game about road trips – it’s been a favourite of mine since I was a child.) We watched birds and ate fresh blackberries right off the bush! It was exactly what I needed and I plan to have that in my life again this summer. 

Action Items
  • Plan when I’m going to Gabriola.
  • Drive there.
  • Let the poor cell reception make my plans for the day.
  • Eat all the blackberries and take no photographic evidence of it.

READ MORE BOOKS BY FEMALE AUTHORS

I’m tired of reading stories written by men. More often than not, they’re completely unrelatable. I do hold David Sedaris in high regard and will continue to consume his hilarious books until I’ve read them all. There are countless books written by women that deserve my attention and I’ve decided that 85% of the books I read this year will be written by non-male authors. I’m already well on my way. 📚

Action Items
  • Consult my to-read list and select books that are not written by men
  • Read all of those books 
  • Keep an ongoing list of completed books

(AND A 1/2)  KILL LESS PLANTS

Of course I need a half added to the list because this is too ridiculous to be its own accomplishment. What can I say? I am no gardener. My thumb is so black, I’ve been known to kill a cactus. It pains me to admit how terrible I am in this arena, mostly because I LOVE PLANTS! Alas, it is a skill that eludes me; three jade plants and countless others have met their demise under my watch. No longer will this be the case! I am a 32-year-old and I can keep plants alive! I have access to the internet and own a water meter. This is my year to make a change.

Action Items
  • Actually use the water meter before I carelessly pour water into a plant pot
  • Take a minute to read about the plants I own and under what conditions they thrive under

10 Things to Accomplish in 2019

After reviewing this year’s list and comparing it to the past two years, it appears that many of the same things keep coming up. I guess some things continue to be a challenge within our lives. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the big picture and that’s why I find it so helpful to break each major thing into smaller steps. The process becomes more manageable when minor action items can be done and in turn those become the bigger whole. And if you really want to feel like your problems are insignificant, just take a look at a full super moon. Hot tip from a pro. 😎

xo Sandy Joe

photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz / Jesse Sand

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