I don’t remember the last time I made a New Year’s resolution. Generally speaking, I’m not going to do something if I’m not going to be good at it. And I tend to assume that statistics (like 92% of people fail to keep their resolutions) dictate my future. (Major mindset issues, I know. I’m working it.) That said, I do try to reflect on the previous year and dream about the next each December, whether that means coming up with my word of the year or deciding how I want to feel in the new year. In addition, this year I’m going to be a little more traditional and set some specific goals for the year.

With no further ado, here are my 2018 goals related to travel, family, and (expat) life.

1. Become an expert packer.

Unless you know me IRL, this one probably comes as a surprise. (“Wait a minute,” I can hear you thinking. “She fancies herself a travel blogger and she can’t pack a suitcase?”) But the sad truth is that I’m a classic overpacker who also happens to forget something critical (like her toothbrush and deodorant) on almost every trip we take. So this year I’m going to work hard to remedy this, teaching you what I learn along the way.

2. Stop yelling at my son AND my husband.

After a recent call with a parenting coach, I almost changed this to “laugh with L every day.” But while I agree with her that it’s important and that I need to improve, I also realized that we do laugh together most days. Especially on the days I’ve yelled at him, because I’m so overcome with guilt that I try extra hard to be playful. Plus, I wanted to include Fernando in this goal and while laughing with him more frequently sounds nice, somedays we barely see each other. (Maybe changing that will be a goal for 2019…)

3. Learn Norwegian.

English speakers in Oslo often complain about how hard it is to learn Norwegian. Most Norwegians (like other Scandinavians) speak English very well—as you’d expect since it is taught at school from first grade AND the TV shows in Norway are shown in their original language with subtitles, instead of dubbed. So if they know (or even suspect from your accent or verbal stumbling) that you aren’t a native speaker of Norwegian, they’ll immediately switch to English. But even knowing that there is a 90% or greater chance that the cashier at the grocery store speaks English, I kinda feel like a jerk always speaking English all the time. So it’s really important to me that I learn enough Norwegian to do what I need to do each day and I’ve signed up for Norwegian lessons and am coming up for a plan to make that happen.

So these are my three commitments for 2018. They are less grandiose than your typical resolution, but also a lot more specific—and thus, I hope, achievable. But while they seem small in some ways (especially that packing one) I fully expect that each of them will be transformational and position me for even greater things in 2019.

What are your goals for 2018?

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