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GRETCHEN TRIES STUFF: A Year In Review + New Year Resolutions {2018}


The last few days of December can be a great time to decompress after the holidays and create an entire new list of unrealistic goals for the future. It’s a pretty well established factoid now days that most people don’t stick to New Year’s Resolutions for longer than a few weeks.  I’ve never been one of those people (well for the exception of 2016, when I vowed to drink more water and found myself gradually going back to the amount I normally drank by mid Feb. I redeemed myself in 2017 when I made a discovery that ultimately changed my relationship with water—sparkling water rocks).  At the beginning of 2017, I set myself a few goals for the year:

  1.  Launch my blog.
  2. Launch my YouTube Channel.
  3. Try more stuff.
  4. Start working on my book. 

So how did I do? I launched my blog (unofficially, with my first Gretchen Tries Stuff post) two weeks into January. At the time, I had the goal of posting once a month. I failed to stick with it. I posted in February, squeaked in another at the very beginning of April. The reason I say this was the unofficial launch is because at that time, my blog was a lonely little add-on to my professional writing portfolio. It had no appealing design qualities and I kind of abandoned it for a few months. The idea of going back and blogging loomed over me, constantly nagging me to come back and do it right this time. I finally buckled down, gave the blog its own website and officially launched it at the of July (with a goal of posting new content every week. I only missed one week since then.) A couple months later I launched my YouTube channel. By the end of 2017, I’ve established a habit of living in accordance to my editorial calendar and my blog (+ my vlog) has become one of my favorite projects. Goals achieved! I did start work on my book again, but haven’t gotten it to place where I’d like to be yet, so I’ll say that goal is only half achieved.

I also, most certainly, tried more stuff in 2017.  This has become the bases of my Gretchen Tries Stuff blog series. I started off small with easy-to-try health and beauty habits and grew into longer, more ambitious projects.  Of the things I’ve tried this year, how many of them am I still keeping up with? Well, I’ve officially fallen out of the habit of oil pulling. I think it’s because this is something you need to do when you first wake up, and I’m very coffee driven in the morning so trying to oil pull before coffee is a bigger challenge than it initially sounds. I do intend to try to work it back into my schedule, maybe three mornings a week. We’ll see. This year I also tried wearing makeup for the first time in ages. This new habit is still going strong. My collection of cruelty-free beauty products has expanded, my skill level in applying makeup has improved tremendously, and I’ve got my “everyday look” down to a science.

One of the biggest things I tried in 2017 was zero waste living. I went completely trash-free for the month of September and I have tried to maintain much of my zero waste habits since. Keeping up with this is difficult. After months of trying different things for zero waste health and beauty routine, I’ve gone back to using an electric toothbrush and save my bamboo brush for traveling. I am sticking with my zero waste razor soap and shampoo, using reusable bags and containers and buying from bulk still. But I have let some grocery items that aren’t in zero waste containers slide back onto my list. I may not be strictly zero waste anymore, but I am using less plastic and creating less trash than I was a year ago.

The longest project I took on in 2017 was my 100 Days Sober. I am drinking alcohol again, but my relationship with it feels different. Now days, I tend to still stick to drinking soda water most nights instead of an alcoholic beverage. When I do drink I limit myself to two drinks a night, 2-3 times a week. (For the exception of the holidays, where I let myself drink a bit more often than that.) I found this is about the maximum I can drink without compromising all the benefits I’ve felt from being sober. I may also take another sustained break from drinking in 2018 (probably most of the month of April).

2018 Goals / New Year’s Resolutions

Although 2017 got off to a very rocky start for me (it was a tough year), I did manage to turn it around in the last four months and end it on a strong note. I’m optimistic that I can keep this positive moment into the new year and make 2018 a much better year than 2017 started off as. After much thought and consideration, here are my resolutions/goals for the upcoming year:

Have any New Year’s Resolutions for 2018? (Or perhaps advice on achieving any of my 2018 goals?) Let me know in the comments section below! With a little team work and support, we can all work together to make 2018 a fantastic year.

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