My 2018 Goals & Intentions

OH MY GOSH I can’t believe I’m actually making some new year’s resolutions!

I’ve been very anti-that for basically ever, but for some reason I’m feeling super inspired and motivated at the start of 2018 to make some moves and get shit done.

So I’ve come up with some intentions and goals to pursue this year. Intentions to me are more long term lifestyle endeavors, while goals are more specific and short term. Or to put it another way: goals can be achieved and crossed off a list, while intentions can always be worked on. Those may or may not be official definitions, but regardless they’re what I’m working with here.

coogee beach sydney

Below are my intentions and goals for the coming year. I’d love to hear if any of them resonate with you, or if you have other ones in mind for yourself this year – do comment at the bottom of this post and let me know!

Intentions for 2018

Feel more comfortable & less guilty spending money

I may or may not blog in more detail about this, but… last year I realized that my relationship with money is actually not very healthy. This frugal frolicker has absolutely no problem saving money, but when it comes to spending it… yikes. So many bad feels!

In 2017 I spent way more money than I was accustomed to spending and most of the time it felt yucky. I agonized over most purchases, including ones that were so necessary or would add a huge amount of joy to my life – EVEN THOUGH I COULD AFFORD IT ALL.

I would really like to get to a place where I feel totally ok spending money on anything that aligns with my values, and stop beating myself up for every purchase.

Embrace my own journey and stop comparing it to others.

I kinda feel like this is something everyone who spends any time on social media should keep in mind. All we see are carefully-curated highlight reels on Facebook and Instagram, right? Most of the time we’re completely in the dark about other people’s struggles and don’t have the full picture with which to compare ourselves.

I’ve been reminding myself for years to stop comparing myself to others, but it’s so damn difficult, isn’t it? Sometimes I can’t stop my mind from wondering how the heck other people have found “their purpose” in life, why they’ve succeeded more or faster than I have, or how they manage to so easily fall into serious relationships when I’ve not managed to do this ONCE in my nearly 33 years of life.

So here’s what I’m going to tell myself to thwart the so-called thief of joy whenever I hear him a-knockin’:

Chill out, Lindsay.
Your life is pretty effing glorious as it is.
BE GRATEFUL for all that you already have and are.
Everyone is on their own unique journey, on their own timeframe.
What you don’t have, you don’t need.
You are enough.
PS I love you.

royal national park coastal track
PPS – You’re strong enough to carry a big-ass pack for days on end in the wilderness, and that’s pretty cool. 

Follow the path of least resistance

Possibly/probably/definitely related to the above…

Do you ever find yourself wanting something so badly, and doing all that you can to make it happen, but for some absurd reason it just isn’t working?

Or conversely, do you ever find that things just effortlessly fall into place sometimes? (some call this “being in flow”)

I know I do on both ends. Life feels really amazing when I get into the flow and just let it guide me to all the good stuff. And it feels intensely frustrating when I try to take too much control and make something happen, only to be thwarted time and time again.

This year, I want to continue surrendering to the flow and following whatever path I seem to be drawn towards. And I want to stop interrupting the flow with crap I get hung up on that just isn’t meant to be.

Ask for what I want

I feel extraordinarily uncomfortable asking anyone for anything, and being in any situation that’s confrontational. But if I don’t stand up for myself, who will, right?

I’d like to start catching myself whenever I want to ask for something but automatically dismiss the thought because I assume the answer is no. People usually love helping others, and I bet most of the things I want to ask for are much less of a deal than I make them out to be in my head. Ask and you shall receive! Don’t ask, and you won’t.

On that note, I really need to pitch for more work as well. Aint nobody gonna hand it to ya when you’re a freelancer fending for yourself!

qantas plane in sydney
Things I want: a flight to anywhere, anytime!

Goals for 2018

Get comfortable driving on the left side of the road

Alright, I’ve been in Australia for over 3 years now. It’s about time I learn how to drive on the left side of the road!

I have this irrational fear of it, stemming from 2 past driving incidents: 1). Hitting a car in a church parking lot many years ago, back home in the US, and 2). Freaking the heck out when I had to drive a rental car back to the airport in Darwin back in 2006.

*Being* on the left side of the road is normal for me by now, but having all the controls switched around the driver’s seat in the car is what trips me up. I think I just have to spend some time getting comfortable with it and then I’ll be good to drive over here. I’d have so much more freedom living in Australia if I could stop relying on others to drive me around!

Spend more mornings at the beach

I’m not committing to seeing more sunrises or becoming a morning person (HA AINT NEVER GONNA HAPPEN), but it wouldn’t kill me every once in awhile to rise a bit earlier and head straight to the beach rather than my desk.

I loved spending the early hours of the day at the beach on my last Aussieversary – the light is soft, the air is calm. I could stand to have more of that in my life. Also, midday at the beach is just brutal during summer – that Aussie sun is beyond harsh! Might as well save my skin and hit the beach earlier instead.

sydney sunrise
I’ve seen a grand total of 2 sunrises in Bondi. For shame!

Learn how to play guitar

I feel like I’ve always said “oh I wish I could play the guitar,” but never actually taken the next step to make it reality.

Welp, I recently found out about this music school in Sydney that does really affordable group guitar lessons! Suddenly it seems much less daunting an endeavor without the pressure of pricey 1:1 lessons.

I just think it would be so cool to be able to go on a road trip or camping trip and be able to whip out the guitar and play. Soon enough!

Be more intentional and make more of an effort with photography

I must admit, I’ve gotten lazy over the years with taking pictures. Rather than leave the house with the intention of taking kick-ass photos, I often tote around my camera and only take it out when I can be bothered, or worse – I leave the camera at home.

Part of it is due to my current camera being 6 years old and about to die, which makes it not-so-fun or inspiring to use (I really need to upgrade!). But I’ll also admit to just not making the effort like I should be. This year I really want to be more intentional about it!

canberra museum

Break $1000/month on display ad earnings with this blog

Last year I finally started making a modest income off of this blog, thanks to a display ad network I joined. I hope the ads aren’t too bothersome, and that you don’t mind it too much in exchange for 5 years’ worth of free content! ;)

I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time on this blog while being paid nothing for all that work, so it’s really gratifying to see it start to (literally) pay off. I’m currently earning $500-600/month from advertising, and I’m aiming to reach $1000 by the end of 2018. The best way to make that happen is to get more traffic to the blog, and to that end I’ve begun the tedious process of optimizing old posts. FUN TIMES, Y’ALL.

Complete at least half of the 2018 PopSugar reading challenge (i.e. read 25 books)

I am normally not one for structured challenges of any sort. WHY would I sign up to run a race alongside hundreds of others when I could choose to run 13.1 miles on my own on some random day? WHY would I commit to a reading challenge that tells me to read X books in Y different genres in Z months when reading is meant to be a leisurely activity?

I’ve long eschewed doing things because I have to and instead leave space in my life with which to entertain my whims (yep, don’t think that PTSD from my rigorous school years will ever subside). BUT… I really do want to make an effort to read more books this year, and I’d like to determine whether there are books other than murder mysteries that tickle my fancy. That’s why I’ve decided to take on the PopSugar reading challenge this year, but with permission to quit any book that I’m not enjoying, and to NOT complete the whole 50-book challenge. I think finishing half of it is doable for me, AND it should give me plenty of options for books without me feeling like I’m forced to read a particular one that just doesn’t appeal in the slightest.

sydney harbour sunset