Exit 2018, Enter 2019

Such a cliche, but wow… 2019. Welp, here we go.

I eschewed New Year’s Resolutions a few years ago but for some reason this year I feel inspired to set a few goals & guidelines. Well, maybe more than a few. Oh well, it doesn’t matter if I get them all done, these are just guidelines to shape the year.

Keith has a life-organizing theory/structure he calls The Big Five: Relationships/Family, Career, Creativity, Physical/Health, Metaphysical/Spiritual. The idea is when he’s actively engaged and working on all these areas, he’s doing pretty good. Using this as a structure, here goes:


  • I am blessed with many true, lifelong friends. I want to move deeper into these relationships this year, learning more about my friends and sharing more about myself. Even old friendships need nurturing. No specific goals, just keeping this in mind.
  • Keith and I plan to spend at least one “offline” day per month — no internet, no phone, just the two of us doing something that feeds our souls and relationship. This could look like any number of things, but the key is that we limit outside interruptions that day, especially digital.
  • I also have a goal of making one new friend this year, or at least strengthening at least one of the new connections we’ve made in the last 2 years.
  • Meet my mom in Portland or elsewhere to spend time together, maybe every other month or so? Or, as ideas come up. Plus our usual every-so-often multi-day visits as they come up.
  • Dinner with my dad and his wife every 6 weeks or so. They just live 3 miles away but it’s hard to find time. We like “dinner and a movie” nights — we’ll watch a few episodes of a TV show or a movie we all like.
  • Of course visiting the nephews (and their parents) as often as I can. This goes without saying.


  • Oh, career. I don’t even know.
    • I did get accepted into the Emerging Leaders program at work, so I will complete that. It’s a 10-month leadership training thing. That’s about all I know about it. So there’s one thing.
    • I would also like to actually achieve my official work goals this year. Every year, we make them, and every year, I fall short because of competing priorities. However, this year they are structured differently so hopefully they are achievable.
    • I’d also like to pick up my inquiry into mediation training. The program I was going to take got cancelled, but I’m going to see if it’s picking up again, or if I should look into other avenues. This is a long-term investigation to see if it’s something I could gradually transition into as I think about retirement (I said it was long-term…)


  • Get to know my kiln! No specific goals, just working with it and making some stuff at home. I have lots of ideas.
  • Get better at throwing pots. I’ll do this in class. Maybe with a goal in mind of making some planter pots for home and friends.
  • I would really like to do a drawing a day but I know I will not do this. However, maybe one a week — working on it a little each day.
  • I’d also like to work on my piano. 10 minutes a day is a good goal, but let’s go with 4x weekly, with the goal of being able to play again the old pieces I used to be able to play. Maybe if I really like it I can find a piano teacher after this year.
  • Take 3 “other” art classes. I’m already enrolled in one for January: a book illumination class. There’s a pysanky egg class I’m interested in also, and maybe a drawing class in the fall.


  • I have some specific goals around this. I’m turning 45 this year and I feel pretty fine about it, but my back is giving me consistent aches and I’ve noticed that I could definitely be stronger. I feel inspired, so might as well be ambitious:
    • My ambitious goal is to be able to do 100 pushups (the real kind) by the end of the year. However, I’d take 25. I can currently do ONE (badly), with a lot of effort. Sad.
    • I’d also like to be able to do 5 pull-ups. I can also currently do ONE (sort of). I can’t do it from dead hang, but I’ve got a start.
    • 10 minutes of yoga or stretching in the morning: it doesn’t matter what kind, as long as I start the day with some kind of gentle movement to get my back moving.
    • Exercise 3x weekly: this could be a walk, 20 minutes on the elliptical, active gardening, hiking, whatever. I’m not going to be prescriptive on this, just getting out and moving 3x weekly (or more).
    • Eat mostly real food. I already do this, but it’s a good goal to keep up.
    • Minimize dairy. My stomach will appreciate this.
    • Complete a 2-3 night backpacking trip with Erin!


  • 5 minutes meditation 4x weekly. I’d like do do it every day but I’ll start here.
  • Visit the local Quaker meeting house. I just want to investigate.
  • Visit the local Unitarian-Universalist church. Ditto.
  • Read 3 books on Buddhism. We have a bunch here, I’ll choose from what we have.
  • Spend some time getting to know our land. I feel a definite connection to our piece of property; it feels like it has a personality. I want to get to know it better and just spend time outside at home.
  • I’ll add my reading goal here since it helps me emotionally: I’d like to read 52 books this year. I tried to reach that goal this year but only got to 49 — if I speed-read, I might could squeeze in another one today for 50. Oh well.

I’ll also add: House/Home

  • So many projects… but a few that I definitely want to get done this year:
    • Finish painting all the rooms in our house. 4 to go! One of those is our bedroom/bathroom which is really huge but I’m still counting it as a single room. That one is a biggie, but the others are more manageable.
    • Initial upgrade to the hall bathroom. It needs a lot of help but for this round I’d like to paint the walls/ceiling, paint the vanity, maybe a new sink/counter, and do something about the floor, maybe just stick-on linoleum tiles for now.
    • Learn to do a drywall patch. We have a ton of old non-functional wall heater grates that need to come out, but I need to learn how to do the patch.
    • Order and spread gravel on the walkways; mud is coming through in places, just needs some touch up.
    • Finish taking out the rotten edgings and replacing the edging on the garden beds. Probably rock edging.
    • Landscape the area in front of where the garage door used to be. It’s packed dirt and gravel (driveway) so that might be containers.
    • Possibly install a dishwasher. Still not 100% on this because we’ll lose some cabinets, but probably.
    • Install shelving in the laundry room for storage.
    • Get the wood stove in the outbuilding garage going. This will require some heat-shielding and other fixes, so it’s a project.
    • Lots more but those are the major ones for the year ahead.

Uh, yeah. So… that’s a lot, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve seen some blogs where people report on these weekly so I’ll try to do that too. That will help with the blogging as well!

Here’s to a happier and healthier 2019!


2 thoughts on “Exit 2018, Enter 2019

  1. I like your (Keith’s) organizing structure. Great goals you have! I like your offline day. I might have to steal that one from you :) I can do four pushups, last year I couldn’t do any so I am pretty pleased about that. I will be adding more for sure this year. And pull-ups, cannot do those either. I am working my way up to them. I can dead hang and do 8 leg lifts now and last year I could do three. I am starting to be able to pull myself up just a little bit. Progress! Good luck with all your goals! Happy New Year!

  2. Wow, that’s great! And encouraging. I realize my goals are lofty but Ill take any progress! The offline days are good. They are hard to do, because people expect you to be available now and we’re so trained to be able to look anything up at a moment’s notice, but they are worth it — we always feel reconnected and refreshed.

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