2018 Goal Setting

As part of my 2018 goal setting process, I’ve been working on a to-do list of sorts. Basically a massive list, broken down into different areas of my life, that includes everything – big and small – that I’d like to do, start, and think about this year. It is now 3 pages long (!!) which is equal parts exciting and overwhelming. But, personally, I need a physical list written out in order to organize my brain. It’s how I function.

For anyone interested in my goal setting process, I’ve put together a printable worksheet that you can access for FREE here. I know a lot of us are thinking about resolutions, the future, and the past right now, and maybe my methods will help you out.

I’ve also been told that a crucial part of sticking to your goals is to tell other people about them in order to hold yourself accountable. So, I figured I’d throw them out here on the internet for all to see. Even if this doesn’t make me stick to my goals, at least I’ll be able to look back on this post next December and laugh hysterically at everything my inner-overachiever thought I’d be able to accomplish in a year. This isn’t a complete list, but includes some of the bigger things I’ll be focusing on in 2018.



Personal Goals:

Complete the 365 Mile Challenge – you know how, even when you love something, it can be hard to make time for it? I feel that way about many of the outdoor activities I love: hiking, walking, running, kayaking, swimming, etc. I signed up for the challenge hoping it would act as the little bug in my ear telling me to get out there a bit more consistently throughout the year.

Build a cedar strip canoe – this one was Mark’s idea. Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be lots of entertaining stories that come out of this project since I have no idea what I’m doing. So far, I’ve read 2 books on canoe building, watched at least 50 YouTube videos, picked a plan, traced the forms, and made about 47 lists of stuff I need to do/buy/build before I really get started.



Run a half marathon – I’m pretty sure the last time I ran a half marathon, I vowed to never do it again and yet, here I am about to register for another one after a friend suggested we do it. Registrations for the race we’d like to do are (apparently) pretty hard to get your hands on, so whether this one is actually happening or not, is yet to be determined.

Kayak the Saskatchewan water trail sections of the Great Trail – I took it as a personal challenge when Canada’s Great Trail was completed last year, so I’m going to slowly start checking off sections – starting with the two river-based water trail sections that run through Saskatchewan. At this rate, it’ll only take me 87 years to complete the trail.

Do an overnight backpacking trip with my family – this idea started forming last summer after my trip to Kananaskis. It’s looking like some of my aunts, cousins, my mom, and I will be getting together to head out into the Alberta backcountry in August. I love backpacking and I’m super excited to be able to do a trip like this with family.



Learn some new skills – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – if someone paid me to go to school for the rest of my life, I’d do it. I always like learning something new. Since we’ve been getting more and more into outdoor adventuring, I thought it would be a good idea to take some courses and gain some new skills. Not that I’ll get all these done this year, but here’s a list of things I’d like to take in the near future:

  • First Aid/CPR/Wilderness First Aid
  • Wilderness Navigation (we learned the hard way last summer that we DO NOT know how to read a map and compass)
  • Various levels/skills courses related to paddling (canoeing and kayaking)
  • Firearms Safety/Hunter Safety (not that I’m planning on killing things, but Mark keeps threatening to move us out to the bush to live off the land, so I should probably be prepared, right?)
  • Fire-making (this one will be more DIY/YouTube instruction than an organized class, but I’ve always wanted to master building a fire without a lighter, firestarter, and 3 gallons of gasoline)



Work/Blogging Goals:

Put myself out there more – going into my post-degree job search, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I was looking for something that didn’t require me to permanently relocate to a bigger center, and remote jobs can be few and far between. I kind of lost my job-searching steam part way through the year and decided to focus more on learning new skills (like how to run a website, social media management, and content marketing) that could widen my horizons. This year, I’m going to try to think outside the box when it comes to online work. I’ve already signed up to teach English online and am hoping to find new ways to participate in industries that interest me and allow me to use my degree and skills.

Write another eBook – I really loved the process of writing my Chilkoot Trail eBook and I’m pretty proud of the results. I’d like to write another one this year, though I’m not 100% sure what I’ll write about. I’m thinking it might have something to do with the whole canoe-building process. Depending on how that goes, it’ll either be a how-to or a what-not-to-do.

Keep going with online work – I’ve really loved blogging here at An Ordinary Existence and, near the end of 2017, I started a second website – Women Who Paddle. I’m still not entirely sure the direction that these will go, but I’m hopeful that by focusing more on what I love doing, continuing to make connections, and building an online community, that I’ll be able to make these things a bigger part of my life. The more I dive into the world of online entrepreneurship, the more possibilities pop up. I’m excited to see where it takes me.


Well, that’s it for me. What are your goals for 2018?

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