Twenty-four for twenty twenty-four
A gathering of goals big and small to make for a happier year
We’re nearly two weeks into this year and I don’t know about you, but I have been having a great time! I feel like the holidays were a real whirlwind and, while I enjoyed them, I don’t have a lot of significant, standout moments. This year, though? Plenty. Ever since my birthday, I’ve felt a real shift in how I’m feeling and showing up in the world. I’ve been spending time with people and doing things - some new, some old hat - and it’s just felt really rejuvenating. The weather outside is very cold - think -13° or 8° for all y’all little beauties down south - but it’s also been beautifully sunny and bright. Through all of this lightness and fun, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want from the year ahead and how I plan to build 2024 into the year I want it to be.
I love a good list of goals for a new year ahead. I know it’s a divisive topic, but that’s the side I come down on. I embrace a new year with optimism and enthusiasm and a belief that things can be better and/or different. Yes! to those in the back grumbling that any day is a good day to start a new habit. You are absolutely right. Any day is a good day to start and so is the start of the year.
For the last several years, I’ve written a list equivalent to the number of years in this century - 19 things for 2019, 20 things for 2020, and so on - of all things that I want to complete before the end of the year. Some of them are intended to change behaviours, others are meant to bring a bit of levity to life. All are selected to improve my experience of the world. It took me a while to finalize this year’s list, but with the help of some loved ones, I think I’m finally ready to shout it out.
Eat with my fork in my left hand. You know, like the table is set. Proper-like. I’m sure I used to do this at some point, but it appears I lost my manners somewhere along the way.
Buy the perfect black heels. I had a great pair until this year. They were cute, and they were comfortable. They weren’t a big investment at the time, but they lasted probably fifteen years which is more than anyone who needs to wear shoes, but doesn’t care even a tiny bit about owning them could ask for. RIP
Full disclosure: I completed this one already on 01/04. 🎉
Travel with a friend. This was a goal that I had - and completed! - in 2023 as well, and I want to keep it going. I have realized that travel is more important to me than I have ever honoured in the past and traveling with a friend is a great way to create unique memories and grow relationships that matter to me.
Make new friends. This one has been on my list and come off of it and now it’s back on. I talked to a friend about it after I showed her my preliminary list and she put it on hers. I’ve never struggled with making friends and I cherish the ones I have, but I also want to be able to (see above) travel with friends, and to call people up and say, “hey, want to do this random thing?” or “I have a ticket to this, want to come?” and have it not be complicated for them to just say yes even if it isn’t normally their jam and I don’t have a lot of that in my life right now.
Get professional photos. Be they personal headshots or family photos, both would make me happy and satisfy this goal.
Write one short story per month. Part of me feels like I have no business adding this to my list, but while I was out with a friend in another city last year, we discussed our individual writing goals and found that this could be a good step to kick them off. I had never really considered writing short stories before, but it feels like a manageable goal that doesn’t require me to commit too much to each project. I’ve often thought that writing short stories can be harder than long stories and I’m about to find out.
Send a card or letter every day. Back in November, my friend Andria shared a story on Instagram with a caption that said, “a wise woman once taught me to start each day by mailing at least one thank you card. It’s a spiritual practice now.” This was like a lightning strike to my heart and I immediately decided I would do the same. Today was day 58.
Learn Tai Chi. I’ve always thought about doing Tai Chi, but it’s never really come up as an opportunity and I’ve never had the chance to talk to someone about it. Then, last month, my acupuncturist suggested it related to some wellness tweaks. He even thinks it can help me be less clumsy!
Knit two pairs of socks. My friend Barb reached out to me this fall and asked me if I wanted to join a sock knitting club. Of course I did. We committed, joined, and our first package just arrived this week. It is terrifying. I’ve knit in the past, but not with any particular skill so this is a lot daunting for me, but I know I’ve been able to figure stitches out and I’ll just do that again now.
Stretch goal: knit four pairs of socks which is how many I should knit in a year of sock knitting club.
P.S. I love it when friends think of me to do random things like this!
Join a lacrosse league. This is a BOLD item for my list, probably the boldest of all. I played around with my stick a lot this summer and one of the guys strongly encouraged me to join a league again. When I went to the first day of the women’s lacrosse league this winter, I realized he was so right and I regretted not registering.
Choose a Disney villain. Whether I’m guilty of it or not, I often get painted as a villain so I might as well have some fun with it. Also, the villain population is really thriving and there are more options that ever. Way to go, girls!
Shout out to my friend Bex who, when I told her this list item, replied by text, “Why do you have to choose a Disney villain? Maleficent, obviously.”
Prepare resume & apply for at least one job per quarter. Years and years ago, a friend of mine swore that this was the most important professional practice in existence. When it came up in conversation again a few months ago, I was reminded of him and thought it might be a good experiment.
Draw every day. Last year, I made a new friend who likes to draw and it made me wonder if I could get better at it, too. It’s something I’ve never even thought of trying until we kept texting about it. This month, we are doing a sketch a day challenge together and we are planning to continue drawing throughout the year. I’m hoping to see some progress after a while because right now I am TERRIBLE.
Never show up empty-handed. I love this as a concept and I think it’s a generous and welcoming gesture to always offer something, however small, to a friend or acquaintance upon meeting.
Get and wear an all white outfit. I am consistently struck by someone wearing white head to toe and I want to know what that feels like. I doubt I have ever done it in my life. I also doubt that it is a very good idea.
Buy a pair of sustainable jeans. This is a recurring item on my list ever since I read Fashionopolis in early 2020. I don’t wear jeans often, but maybe I would if I had a pair that I loved? Let’s see.
If you think about getting rid of something, get rid of it. Ever since the first time this thought crossed my mind, I have been unable to come up with an example of a time when I’ve held onto something and not just thrown it out later.
Bake twelve cakes. I got a cake cookbook for Christmas and I want to put it to good use. I’m not that into baking because I’m enneagram eight and I feel like its required precision is an attempt to control me. This is some deep inner - and hopefully delicious - work.
Get a membership to the Vancouver Art Gallery and visit 12 times. I’ve been thinking a lot about the arts and how I can situate myself better to both enjoy and support them. This was one of the ways I thought of.
Learn to tie a tie. Bonus: learn to tie a bowtie.
Take an hour+ long exploration walk around twelve of the Skytrain stations on the Millenium Line. Just to see what’s happening in different areas.
Host 2-4 dinner parties. This is something I think about all the time and then life just gets busy and I never plan it and it never happens. I want to make it a priority this year.
Level up my bathing experience. I’m sinking deeply back into my bath era and I’m thinking plush towels, a good robe, all the best and most luxurious accoutrements. (Plus making the time to enjoy them!)
Take on more freelance work. One thing I love about being involved with different businesses and endeavours is that three’s always something going on and it’s always difference. I want to feel a spike of that this year with more projects and more diverse experiences.
Fun fact: twenty-four is actually one of my favourite numbers. It’s going to be such a good year. Let’s go!
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