It’s coming up to that time year. The time to reflect on your past 12 months, and to start making plans for the new year ahead.
I love this time of year. I love the feeling of excitement and possibility that looking forward to a new year brings.
How about you? What are your plans for a lovely year? As we approach the new year will you be setting any goals, or making any New Year’s resolutions?
Sometimes goals and resolutions can feel a bit weighty. They often involve trying to overcome bad habits or attempting to create new, more desirable habits. While they aim to improve our daily lives and ultimately make us happier they often require hard-work, focus and commitment. All great things of course, but they are not always particularly fun.
I’m a big believer in setting goals, and I will definitely be setting myself several goals to reach for in 2019. However, I also want a fun-filled year. I want to make sure there are plenty of opportunities over the next 12 months for having fun with my family.
So this year, I’ve decided to adopt a strategy I heard about in one of my favourite podcasts, Happier, with Gretchen Rubin which covers strategies and tips for creating more happiness in our everyday lives.
19 for 2019
The idea came from Episode 147 of the podcast last year when Gretchen and her sister and co-host Elizabeth, inspired by a listener’s happiness project, each created a list of 18 things to complete in 2018.
Gretchen and Elizabeth highlighted how making the list was a fun, creative way to approach the New Year, and how the act of completing small tasks or reaching several small goals will result in a happier, memorable year.
There’s no doubt that setting a goal, no matter how small, and taking steps toward accomplishing it will give you a happiness boost. By creating a list of things that you want to get done, and then ticking it off you’ll get a great feeling of accomplishment as you see yourself making progress.
A 19 for 2019 list can include anything you’d like to do over the next 12 months.
Your list could be a mixture of little things, big things, things that can get crossed off easily, things that require more planning, one-time things, or ongoing things such as starting a new habit or learning a new skill.
The point is that it’s meant to be fun and to ultimately make your life better.
You might decide to create a reach or aspirational list for 2019, where you aim high. Or you might decide to keep your list to the things you know you can get done. Or it could be a mixture of both. There is no right way or wrong way to make the list – it’s all about whatever works for you.
An important part of having a lovely year is having fun, so remember to include some things on your list that you WANT to do, as well as the things that you know are good for you, and the things that may not be so fun but you’ll be pleased you’ve completed. So be sure to include some fun, pleasant and exciting things on your list that you’ll look forward to doing.
It also makes sense to include something that you can cross off fairly quickly. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment and will help build momentum for tackling other things on your list.
Keep your list in a prominent place so that you can refer to it easily. This will help you stay focused on your biggest aims.
For my 19 for 2019 list, I decided to go for full-on fun.
I wanted to create a fun, whimsical but also (hopefully) attainable list for our whole family to complete during 2019. So I sat down with my husband and 9-year-old son, and we came up with a list of one-off fun activities for us to do together over the year.
19 for 2019 – Our Family Activities for a Lovely Year
- Go to a roller disco
- Go ten pin bowling
- Visit a European city we have never been to before
- Visit a country we have never been to before
- Go to a music festival in a campervan
- Dance at a silent disco
- Climb our first Munro (a Munro is a mountain in Scotland over 3000ft)
- Visit a safari park
- Go camping in the Scottish Highlands
- Go to a live jazz gig
- Build a snowman
- Attend a live orchestra performance
- See a play
- Go to a musical
- Complete an obstacle course
- Enter a fun run
- Attend a sporting event
- Get professional family photos taken
- Have a luxury movie theatre experience (eg Odeon Luxe or Vue VIP)
Our list doesn’t need to be completed in a particular order, and there aren’t any rules, other than the whole family (all 3 of us) need to take part in each one.
The activities cover a range of seasons. Some we can definitely only do in the winter (build a snowman), and some only in the summer (go camping in the Highlands), while others we could do at any time of year (see a play, or go to a jazz gig).
Some activities are fairly straightforward, and others will require a bit of planning, and/or training. There are some activities we can achieve close to home, while others will involve travelling further afield.
As we complete activities in 2019, I plan to take a photo and upload it to the @alovelyyear Instagram account with the hashtags #19for2019 and #happierpodcast
Keen to find out more? Listen to the 19 for 2019 episode of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast (Episode 203).
How about you? Are you inspired to create a 19 for 2019 list?
Remember there are no rules – you can include anything you want!
You can include things that are attainable or ambitious, whimsical or serious, or a mixture of everything. Things that will give you a happiness boost when you achieve them.
All the things that will help you create your own Lovely Year.
P.S. Since creating my 19 for 2019 fun family list, I’ve also created an additional 19 for 2019 just for me. Here it is:
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