Planning 2018: setting my intentions for a glorious year ahead

Raise your hand if you love planning as much as I do! Which is A LOT.

You might call me an über planner. I do believe it is good to strive for balance between spontaneity and impulse versus planning and research, but I just can’t help myself.

The first January I was with my now-husband Titus, I presented him with a list of travel ideas for the rest of the year and started babbling away about all of the cool things we could do. He was completely overwhelmed. I have since learned not to share everything all at once, but instead spread it out over the year. This way, he might think I have taken down my desire for planning a notch. Until he reads this and finds out it was all a ruse.

I don’t have any solid new year’s resolutions, rather I intend to make some small manageable adjustments in my life for increased personal, mental and financial health. So, let’s get down to business!

Spend more time with family and friends

This is a no-brainer, really. But you know how it goes: you’re sitting on the sofa in winter, it’s cold and dark and you want to finish season two of Stranger Things. I think social contacts are more important than watching tv, so I plan to make a more conscious effort to spend time with the people I love in 2018.

Personal growth


I believe in life-long learning and it is thrilling to learn something new. I say this every year, but I would love to improve my French and Spanish language skills. I got to a certain level where my understanding is okay-ish and I can have a basic conversation, but to improve from average to advanced requires real dedication. Another year, another opportunity!

Besides that, I would love to improve my photography skills. I got a DSLR a few months ago and I can’t wrap my head around all of the functions. Uff!

Professionally, I strive to be attentive to my colleagues, continue to grow in my role and achieve strategic goals.

Go to the museum more often

In 2017 I started working a few hours per week less, which gives me more free time. Yay! I still have to find the rhythm to actually do something useful with that time though, like go to the museum. The weekends in Amsterdam’s city center are too crowded for me, so being able to go on a workday should be ideal, now I just have to actually do it.

Travel

A few trips have been booked! A short business trip to Berlin and city breaks to Porto and Paris. The year has filled up pretty nicely already, but something always pops up. See, I can be spontaneous!

Food

This year, I intend to implement smarter meal planning. My husband is already horrified of the idea of a ‘week planning’. We’re going to have to compromise. In fact, I did not do a week planning, but only thought about what to cook for three days ahead. That way, there is less chance of food waste and I don’t have to go to the grocery store every day.

Also:

  • I will look at grocery prices more carefully. It happens occasionally that I buy something impulsively without looking at the price (like this baby pineapple which was probably ridiculously expensive).
  • I will be more mindful of buying locally and foods that are in season.
  • I will no longer buy ingredients meant for garnishing purposes only if it doesn’t necessarily add to the taste.
  • I will buy my fruit and vegetables at the market: there is less plastic involved and I don’t need to buy six apples in a packet. I can just chose one tangerine and two bananas, if I so please.
  • I would like to eat more fish, though I am concerned for the health of sea life. I will research ethical options. If you have any knowledge on this topic, please let me know! 

Financial health

As I am getting older, I’m thinking more and more about my future and being able to enjoy a carefree retirement. I’ve already made a few financially savvy decisions, if I say so myself, like canceling my additional health insurance that I’ve probably paid way too much for all these years and didn’t need. Also, I don’t need a new phone, so I can get a cheap sim only plan. 

Physical health

I have quite a healthy lifestyle already, though it would be nice if I lost a few pounds. I may achieve this by eating less carbs and exercising more. Dieting is not my style. These days, I practice yoga twice a week and then do one or two cardio and strength classes. If I can keep this up, I’m happy!

Since I have an office job I need to be mindful not to spend too much time sitting in one position.

Declutter

Confession: Marie Kondo is my girl crush. I already started decluttering last year and it feels so good to get rid of stuff I don’t really need. I didn’t quite follow KonMari’s method. I started with the clothing, which went okay. I got stuck at the next phase: sorting my books. I am not quite ready for that yet. Instead I decluttered per area, which works fine for me. Whenever I open the kitchen drawer, it still sparks joy! Next I will order drawer organizers to fold my underwear and socks according to KonMari’s advice. I can’t wait!

Get a cat!


We have been cat-sitting my friend’s cat Fred for a few weeks now and we love it! I’m afraid we’re going to have to give Fred back to my friend when she gets back from her travels though, so we are going to have to get our own cat.

Cheers to a happy new year!

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