The turn of the calendar is a fresh start, and while it’s not the only time of year we feel an urge to renew or redefine, it’s a great time to evaluate our current circumstances and aspirations. Just hours from now, we will ring in the new year! This one feels big to me; I’m turning 40, my youngest is off to elementary school, my husband and I will celebrate our 15 year anniversary, and professionally and personally, I got plans. In general, here are 5 things I’m going to do to make 2018 awesome.

Here’s How I Will Make 2018 Awesome

Date my husband. We’re coming up to 15 years of marriage and have grown in many ways since then. We’ve lived in 4 homes (in 2 provinces), had 3 children, a miscarriage, lost 2 parents, established ourselves professionally while switching careers, and too many other things to take inventory of here. We’ve grown as best friends but could you blame us if the romance took a little beating? We’ve been lucky to have family close by who could relieve us for a spell while we grabbed dinner or a movie, and even had one weekend away together in the 10 years of parenthood. But we’re ramping this up in 2018. I’m talking frequent date nights (made much easier by an amazing teenager on our street!) and…wait for it…New York City!

how to make 2018 awesome, taslim jaffer writer

Read more. I’m in a book club so I am guaranteed to read a book a month, but I’d like to double this. I’ll be recording my books on my Goodreads app (you can keep up to date by checking out my current read in the sidebar) and I’ll share my thoughts with you here and on Instagram. My to-be-read pile is huge but I’m always adding to the list, so please drop a recommendation in the comments. My favourite genre is memoir but I also love historical fiction and anything with an emotional pull.

Learn more. I want to learn all the things. You can’t be following me anywhere and not know that I’m learning Spanish (and I want to continue with this and set specific goals in this area), but I’m also talking about professional development. Good for the brain and good for the biz. Win-win, right? I also like to learn for the sake of learning. I find Netflix to be a really good resource for documentaries that stimulate my mind, get me thinking about things, and inspire me. I’ve talked about Netflix as a tool for language learning but there’s a lot more on there. My other interests include food, health, social change and human rights. As I come across something that I think will interest you, I’ll let you know here and on Twitter where I share a lot of my #streamteam thoughts.

Do less, focus more. My good friend, Jamie, taught me this one. It’s become really easy for me to say ‘no’ to things that don’t align with my values or goals, making room to focus on the things that are. This is true for my work and it’s true for my relationships and commitments. This will be an integral tool for helping me make 2018 awesome!

Move more. I started exercising regularly this past fall (ok, I kind of fell out of rhythm in December…but that’s why January is there, right?) and it felt great to move. I am having some difficulty with getting up early especially since it’s dark and cold in the mornings but it really is the best time for me to commit 30 minutes to myself. So, I guess I should just suck it up, right? Aside from my workout videos, I’d like to get back to going for walks and being more regular at Zumba. I’ll keep you posted on this as it’s a big part of my road to 40.

How are you planning to make 2018 awesome? I’d love to hear in the comments!