Ditch the New Years Resolutions and Make a "New Things" in 2019 List Instead


Guys, if you’re anything like me, then I hope you will walk away from this post feeling energized and setting yourself up for a successful, positive year.Because every year I debate setting New Years Resolutions and inevitably focus on the same few, generic, hard-to-achieve goals like “pay off debt, lose weight, travel”. And every year I continue to not really achieve those goals because they lack specifics and don’t make me feel good.

And that’s the crux. How will I ever be the person I want to be if I’m not doing the things that make me feel excited, positive, grateful, and hopeful?


The system needs to get flipped. But I didn’t even know it until I started reading one of my new fave bloggers - Sarah, of Yes and Yes - from whom I got this idea directly. Sarah lists out her “new things” each year on her birthday and then uses the year to achieve them. Which not only gives her fun, achievable goals to work toward, but she ends up with loads of interesting stories in the process!

I hope you’ll join me (and Sarah), in choosing small, obtainable, happy-inducing goals this year by focusing on new things, big experiences, and creating the life you want (instead of just focusing on the vague and overwhelming goal of being the person you want to be).

Because ultimately, I feel that building the life you want makes you into the person you want to be anyways. But it’s a much nicer and more fulfilling way to get there. Don’t you agree?


Here’s my “New Things” in 2019 List:

  1. Read my first novel in French. It can be short, but it must be at least a young adult novel.

  2. Go makeup free for one whole week. One whole week. Regardless of what crops up. This has somehow become terrifying in the last two years, when it used to be the norm, so I want to challenge myself to get more comfortable with my own face again.

  3. Knit myself a toque. I just started learning how to knit again and it is SLOW going, but I’m going to keep trying. Once I’ve mastered the scarf, the toque should be no problem...right?

  4. Visit one new country. This is always on any and every list of mine, but last year I did not successfully make it to a new country (though I did get to hit New York and that was a total bucket list item!), so I wanted to make sure it was here for this year. As much as a new place in an already-visited country can be very exciting, something about stepping off a plane in a whole new place makes me feel more like anything’s possible - and I need that feeling every so often to sustain me!

  5. Buy a stone hot pot and learn to make dolsot bibimbap (aka my fave Korean meal).

  6. Try the new Nordic Spa in Canmore, AB, because I’ve been to jimjilbangs in South Korea, but never to the “nordic” iteration. Check! This one was a good experience but I had some critiques, too. Read my full review.

  7. Spar. I’ve been boxing for a while now and have signed a contract for the year, so my goal is to dig deep at some point and actually spar with someone, even if it means I’ll have to learn what taking a punch feels like.

  8. Do a “bombshell” type photoshoot. I can’t fathom taking myself seriously enough for that, despite doing light, lifestyle shoots with my guy all the time. So it will be a challenge, but a fun one!

  9. Complete a multi-day hike and backcountry camp for a night (or more).

  10. Network with like minded women who want to empower and support one another. Genuinely. Not just lip service (to one another OR me to myself).

  11. Go platinum blonde, because I’ve always wondered if blondes really DO have more fun. Just kidding, I know they don’t, but I’d like to go for it, anyways! ;-)

  12. Watch the Harry Potter movies. Because I’m tired of being the only person on the entire planet that hasn’t seen them all. Don’t @ me.

  13. Go one whole month without buying clothes. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I didn't at least indulge in a quick little thrift shop to scratch that “new stuff” itch and it has got to stop. Baby steps. One month should be totally doable, right? I actually tried to do an entire no-spend month! But it was NOT easy. Read all about it!

  14. Watch the sunrise in the mountains.

  15. Watch a professional or semi-professional wrestling match. Talk about a throwback - we used to watch wrestling every Sunday after church and I just found out there are semi-professional matches happening monthly in my city! Can’t wait.

  16. Read “The Mists of Avalon” because it’s constantly referenced and is apparently just a feminist, badass, story so it’s obviously up my alley. Frankly, I’m shocked I’m so behind in life having not read it before.

  17. Take motorbike lessons because a) I fancy myself a badass and b) it’s a handy skill to have when travelling.

  18. Try a super intense eyeliner look straight from the runways.

  19. Go on one picture-taking mission each season of the year (4 total) in an attempt to improve my photography skills, get creative, and have nice photos for this here blog.

  20. Learn how to develop photos in a dark room.


I think you can see that I aimed for a balance between larger items and smaller, items that require time and skill (so I’ll push to keep learning), and items that are simpler, fun things to try.

I’ll post these "new things in 2019" in the sidebar of my blog with links to the proof of completion as I make my way through them, so you can check there anytime for updates!

I’d love to hear what you hope to try this year! Maybe there’s something fun on your list that I can poach and add to mine ;-) Let me know below!

We got this 💪

All photos in this post by one Andy Nichols

P.S. How to use a decision matrix to figure out life out