Tighten Up & Lighten Up

Find a balance of goals – big and small, fun and practical – to strive for as you start the new year.

Happy New Year! We got to spend time together over the holidays, so this is the first episode we were able to record in person.

We talk about our goals for 2019, reflecting on what worked and didn’t work in 2018. Last year, we tried a new way of setting goals, each writing an “18 for 2018” list, inspired by the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, which we talk about in Episode 2: Resolutions & Goals. Instead of picking a single New Year’s resolution, we chose 18 goals to accomplish throughout the year. Overall, we were both happy with what we achieved in 2018.


Gill’s 2018 Overview

Gill gave herself a 13.5/18 on her 2018 goals. She was proud of accomplishing some of the big items on her list, like launching this podcast (yay!) and renewing her Spanish visa, plus some fun things like going on one hike or local adventure per month. Gill did not make progress on some goals, like hanging travel photos, working on a book project or figuring out a blog posting schedule.

All in all, the “18 for 2018” framework was helpful. Having many different goals was more fun and less stressful than setting one resolution. She learned that some of the bigger, ambitious goals are more manageable if she breaks them into smaller tasks.


Melia’s 2018 Overview:

Melia said 2018 was the first year where she accomplished the goals she set out to. With one resolution, it’s all or nothing. But with 18 goals, you can jump around to different priorities, depending on your mood. Melia said using reward stickers, putting them next to goals whenever she did anything (even something tiny!) to move them forward, was key to her success.

Melia was happy that she had dedicated more time to content creation – through her TinyLetter newsletters and the podcast – and exercise. She finished a few big items, like writing a will, and gave herself partial credit for starting an emergency kit and hanging some of the photos. She fell short on some goals, like setting a time to pay bills with Darren and publishing the Reschool Yourself book. But she’s more at peace with the book after giving it a rest, and she’s exploring alternative possibilities to traditional publishing.


Gill’s 19 for 2019

Gill’s big themes are: Relationships, Travel, Creative Projects, Paid Work and Health/Wellness.

  1. Renew passport
  2. Sign up for a new CSA (community-supported agriculture) basket
  3. Release 1 product for Semi-Together
  4. Release a Semi-Together episode every 2 weeks
  5. Go to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans
  6. Release 12 new Tipsy Per Tutti pins
  7. Plan trips to at least 2 new places
  8. Schedule 2 medical appointments
  9. Print and change out new photos for hallway
  10.  Hang travel photos and art prints
  11. Go to a class at the gym 12x a month
  12. Connect with faraway friends and fam via text at least 1x a week
  13. Journal and/or meditate 3x a week
  14. Make a batch of hard apple cider I’m happy with
  15. Make a batch of bitters
  16. Go on a hike or local adventure 1x a month
  17. Plan a monthly friends get-together in Barcelona
  18. Take on 2 more paid work projects/ clients I’m excited about
  19. Find a new Spanish tutor (or restart lessons with the previous one)


Melia’s 19 for 2019

Melia’s overall theme is “Tighten Up & Lighten Up,” covering Financial, Emotional, Intellectual, Focus and Creativity goals.

  1. Sub kid-friendly words for curse words.
  2. Marie Kondo the house. Pare down and tidy up to spark joy.
  3. Make and maintain a budget and bill paying schedule. No late fees.
  4. Meditate in some form every day, including micro-meditations.
  5. Choose a primary care doctor.
  6. Tidy up after myself after each activity and have the kids do the same.
  7. De-escalate when angry.
  8. Back up my computer.
  9. Put down the device and give full attention to my family or the task at hand. Stop scrolling and put the phone in another room if needed.
  10. Set and stick to bedtimes for the kids and us.
  11. Read or listen to 6 books.
  12. Start a media company as an umbrella for current projects and launch at least 2 products.
  13. Give warm hellos and goodbyes. Pause whatever I’m doing and offer my full attention.
  14. Decorate for seasons and holidays.
  15. Start a podcast with Darren.
  16. Print a photo book of recent highlights and one for the kids with pictures of our close friends and family.
  17. Once a month, schedule a catch-up session with one friend I’ve been out of touch with.
  18. Put Reschool Yourself out into the world in some shape or form.
  19. Stay current on what’s going on in the world every day.

Steal This Tip

We share a special New Year’s roundup of Steal This Tip, hacks to help you set and stick to your goals.

  • Start by reviewing your 2018 goals. See how far you’ve come in the past year and where you’d still like to go. For the goals you didn’t get to, do you want to move them over to 2019, adjust them or let them go?
  • Think about the why behind the goal. Envision your “desired future state” to help you get through the hassles along the way.
  • Say “I want to” or “I’d like to” instead of “I should” or “I need to.” “Should” is the S-word and a red flag you’re coming at a goal driven by guilt or shame. It may not be something you want to do, but feel like you should want to do.
  • Find your own balance. You might want to create a list with an equal number of items for each area of your life, or you might be focused more heavily on work, relationships, health, etc. this year. Do what makes sense for you right now.
  • Incorporate joy, fun and play into your goals. Balance out the things you put on your list because they’re good for you. You can start with a list of things that you need to do to feel like you.
  • Count it. If you find yourself asking, “Does this count?” because a goal seems too small or you’re already working toward it, yes. It counts. Give yourself credit.
  • Come up with a theme, mantra or word for the new year. Give yourself something that keeps you focused and guides your goals.


Get It Together / Got It Together

Gill’s Get It Together: Letting stress overwhelm her during a happy time with family and friends
Gill’s Got It Together: Celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary with Brian in New Orleans

Melia’s Get It Together: Not learning all the words to “Frosty the Snowman” to sing to her kids
Melia’s Got It Together: Succeeding in making the holiday season more magical than stressful


Get In Touch

We really want to hear your feedback on the podcast! We truly value the feedback we’ve gotten so far from listeners; it fuels us to do more episodes and lets us know what you’d like to hear in the future. Email us at podcast[at]semitogether.com or leave a comment on our Facebook page. And please subscribe, rate and review this podcast wherever you listen.