A More Sane Way to Set Yearly Goals: 19 for 2019 with Gretchen Rubin

Recorded on December 20th, 2018

My wife got me excited about Gretchen Rubin’s book Outer Order, Inner Calm, and the Happier podcast she does with her sister. On episode 199, they reviewed progress on their respective “18 for 2018” lists. These are as simple as they sound — lists of things to do, see, make, or habits to adopt in 2018. They’re doing their “19 for 2019” lists and I like the idea much more than the tired, futile (for me) process of “new year’s resolutions”. Those always sound like “Be it known that once and for all I am going to correct longstanding character flaw X in my brain and 2019 will be the year it happens”.

The “19 for 2019” is more like a to-do list for the year, just like I make to-do lists for certain days. It’s a way to say, OK, I can only get so much done in a year. What things would I like to not allow to sit idle for another year? Those can be as mundane as “Paint the front steps” or “Build a bookshelf”. It’s so easy to let a year slip away without moving on a bunch of projects that would make life better if they were done.

By the way, reading “Outer Order, Inner Calm” is on my 2019 list.

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