2018 Goals + An Arctic Oasis

Happy 2018!

How have your New Year’s goals been going? I decided to do the whole 18 goals in 2018 thing. Which sounds ambitious, but it’s nothing crazy, really. A few of them are SMART goals--the ones I really want to achieve. Some, like making ravioli by hand, are activities I want to do that also happen to overlap with my other goals (like trying out a new recipe every week). Overall though, I just wanted to outline for myself what parts of my life make me happy. Then I asked myself, how can I make those things better?

This year, my goals are:

  1. Get a full time job in my field (checked this one off last week!)

  2. Read books on writing

  3. Do more nice things for friends; be generous in non-obvious ways

  4. Go on at least one proper date a month with Michael (inspired by A Year of Dates)

  5. Blog at least once a week (woops)

  6. Plan 2 trips to Toronto, with one being for Christmastime

  7. Cook one new recipe per week

  8. Make ravioli by hand

  9. Read at least 40 books; 3-4 a month.

  10. Keep up Book Club

  11. Take a cooking class

  12. Go to more concerts. If the opportunity arises, go for it!

  13. Work on my personal style (figure out: what does that even mean)

  14. Practice yoga, at home

  15. Complete one painting, for fun, per month, because I miss creating art

  16. Get a polaroid camera for my next trip with friends

  17. Switch banks in July: open an account and get a credit card that works best for where I am right now financially

  18. Save $__,____ by saving $_,___ per paycheck. If random expenses pop up (like surgery for my dog), make up for it the next paycheck by restricting expenses elsewhere.

So far, I've been doing well with all my goals. (Except for blogging... haha.) January is the easiest month, isn't it?

Anyway. About goal number 5. As I said, it's to go on at least one proper date with Michael each month, because I'm a fan of making events of things and because it's a nice romantic thing to do when most of your dates are really just hanging out in your pajamas, because you live together.

For most of our relationship, Michael and I have been broke college students in Toronto attending the same one-year post-grad program. Predictably, given our financial situation, we rarely did anything "special."

Now that we’re both employed, we want to have more special dates--while still keeping up with our savings goals.

This month, we popped in on the final day of Arctic Oasis, a cute winter lights display inside the Bloedel Conservatory. The conservatory sits at the top of Little Mountain, and is bursting with tropical plants. It's one of the places my grandmother often took me to as a kid.


As well as plants, a few tropical birds can be found around this small domed paradise. Sometimes the caretakers of the birds with be around to teach you about them, which is always cute to watch.

Even without the lights display, the Bloedel Conservatory makes for a fantastic part of any date. I recommend going in spring or summer, when you can stroll around Queen Elizabeth park, meander through the gardens, picnic at the top of the hill by the fountains, take in a gorgeous view of Vancouver (provided it's not raining, which, okay, it always is), and pop into the little conservatory for a very affordable traipse through the tropics.


All in all a cute date.

How have you been doing with your goals? What's your focus this year?