As I write this I’m sitting next to my window and a row of dew-speckled potted plants, sipping hot coffee that reminds me of how morning smells at mom and dad’s house. It’s the first cool and crisp morning of late-summer, and my Libra sensibilities are taking over.
I’ve loved this summer more than the last few, but I’m ready to embrace sweater season, leaf-hunting, and all of those cozy cliches you’ll find on IG around this time.
Life is shifting and changing quickly, and for once I can say I’ve graduated from that feeling of barely keeping one hand above the surface. I’m quitting my multi-project addiction cold turkey and focusing wholeheartedly on one big dream.
And let me tell you… that’s a first in my life!
It’s as if all of the mantras and inspirational quotes and goal lists have started to take hold—at least, some of them. 😉
Since I’ve been working on establishing a flexible, but inspired morning routine (I crawled out of bed at 6am this morning), I thought finally updating this blog would be a nice way to kick off my day. Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to (and how I’m doing on my 50 non-crucial goals).
50 Things I Want To Do In 2019
(Update: 5 months until 2020)
1. 50 DIY projects for Hey Mishka
Update: I have done a few more DIYs, but I didn’t edit the videos. I kept telling myself I “needed” to create videos and tutorials each time I sat down to do something creative, and guess what! That sucks the joy out of it—especially when you have 100 other things going on. This was the first sign that I needed to break ties with my project addiction once and for all.
No doubt, I’ll keep doing sewing, crafting, and random DIY projects in the future. I just won’t force myself to hit a certain number or publish everything. Hey Mishka is a hobby, and I want to protect the muse that fuels it. 💃✨
2. Develop “characters” for my drawing blog, Pink Moon Cafe
Update: Same deal. I have to laugh at myself for turning my original goal of happily sketching each day (in an effort to tap back into my art and design school days) to create a fully branded online presence with the pressure of posting daily sketches. Once the ego takes over and corrupts a nice, whimsical creative habit, the fun is sucked out of it.
I’ve sketched almost nothing this year. I might, when I feel like it, but this should not be a “goal” as it was previously written.
3. Make a new dress
Update: I haven’t taken out my sewing machine! I’m hoping to have a sewing weekend with mom where we can each work on our projects. She turned my old bedroom into a sweet little sewing den.
4. Get a new tattoo
Update: Still on my list!
5. Drink hot cocoa in a ski chalet
Update: Still on my list! Winter is going to be fun. ❄️❄️
6. Collect & press fall leaves
Update: Still on my list, and happening soon…? NYC has a heavy late summer heatwave that usually hits after you think it’s time to break out the fall sweaters. I’m loving the cool morning air right now, but I won’t be packing up my cutoff shorts and rompers just yet.
7. Make custom illustrated stickers
Update: This little project got the axe because it was fueled by ego after seeing someone create adorable iridescent stickers on Etsy and thinking, “I could do that!”
8. Make custom illustrated temp tattoos
Update: Same as above. Ciao, ego-goal!
9. Find a new signature perfume for summer
Update: Found one! Love Beauty & Planet coconut water & mimosa flower showerless cleansing mist (I am obsessed)
10. Find a new signature perfume for fall
Update: Trying out a few options, will report back. 🍁
11. Create a dreamy spring lookbook for Hey Mishka Vintage
Update: So, this one took a while to come to terms with. I invested hundreds in securing inventory and producing a gorgeous photoshoot for Hey Mishka Vintage. I felt so-so-so proud of myself and so grateful for the time my little team put into making it happen. Friends and strangers were already asking me about buying the clothes.
But then, something strange happened. The amount of resistance I felt toward uploading that amazing new inventory? It was suffocating. The last thing I wanted to do was promote or sell anything, edit the gorgeous photos, or even look at the clothes. The realization that I was procrastinating created more heaviness, and it became an ugly little cycle I kept shoving to the back burner.
Eventually, it dawned on me for the first time: many of my creative endeavors have been sweet, innocent ideas that get swept up and reframed into ego-feeding monsters. Rather than just do something cool, like shop for and post vintage clothing finds on the blog when I feel like it, I felt that I needed to revive the vintage store I had in my 20s, outshine the other vintage shops on Etsy, and post new products on IG every day.
Um, what?! It may sound dramatic, but this is how I’ve been operating for my entire adult life: chasing beautiful distractions that satisfy the ego. One of the most profound revelations I have had this year is that I can let go of these billion ego-fueling projects… and focus on my heart-centered goals.
I may continue the Etsy shop in the future if it becomes a heart-centered goal, but right now? The shop is on vacay mode, and I’m distributing the inventory among friends. It feels amazing. ✌️
12. …and an even dreamier summer lookbook
Update: See above.
13. Grow herbs to use in recipes
Update: Um, maybe? 😂 I’ve come along way with other domestic goddess-type traits, so I’m not going to say it’s impossible.
14. Rewatch Sailor Moon, start to finish (probably not in one weekend… heh heh heh)
Update: Totally doing this. Perfect end-of-summer viewing.
15. Rewatch Sailor Moon R & Super-S movies
16. Go to Europe
Update: Europe trip is officially postponed to 2020. Currently slated: Italy in March, London in September.
17. Go to Mexico
Update: Booked! Heading to Oaxaca in February 2020! Also, fun fact: booking Cuba November 2020. 😍
18. Winter writing retreat with the girls
Update: Not quite winter, but heading to Bermuda in November with Krystal for a long weekend of writing in paradise.
19. Take a kickboxing glass (or a regular boxing class)
Update: Definitely still want to do this. It’s out of my comfort zone, which I haven’t admitted in the past, but I feel like it’s my cup of tea. The kind of tea that includes punching things.
20. Wear more nail art! (I’m super in love with the creative press-on designs you can find on Etsy)
Update: I’m actually moving away from this, but sometimes I like to get fancy around the holiday season. I find that I can type—and function in general—a little better if I am not wearing nails.
21. Take photos with a disposable camera
Update: Fall photo-ops imminent! 📸
22. Get a restored vintage record player
Update: Working on finding one! E wants to get one, too.
23. Get rid of another 2-3 bags of stuff from my apartment (this will probably happen anyway when I’m moving in the spring)
Update: I got rid of way more than that. I’m finally on the road to minimalist-inspired living. I have a long way to go, but the wiring in my brain is finally lending itself to waaay better consumption and organizational habits.
Also, we moved to an adorable apartment and signed a year lease! It’s been about 5 years since I lived anywhere for more than 8 months, and most apartments I’ve been in over the past few years have been less than half year stays. It feels good to be stationary for a bit.
24. Girl date at Bibble & Sip (they have Totoro macarons!)
Update: Forgot about this one! I am still freelancing for a client 1/2 of the week nearby, so I’m going to arrange a latte & pastry date, stat.
25. Donate more than last year:
Update: I’ve already donated to various causes more than last year (it wasn’t a huge amount to eclipse). But I hope to give plenty more before the year ends. There are so many causes that need funding and people who need help, from the indigenous tribes of the (currently burning) Amazon rainforest to local NYC families. I wish I could do more, right now. 😭😭 I’m putting it out into the universe that I will become massively wealthy so that I can channel more resources to the right people!
26. Host 3 Rose Gold Dinner Club gatherings
Update: I’ve shut down this dinner club to put more focus on my main goal this year. I’d still love to host more dinners, but again: ego project! I don’t really need to fully brand and become ringleader to a gathering of my female friends. We can have dinner, talk shop, and come together without it having a name or a theme.
27. Build something for my room (shelf, bed platform, end table? We’ll see!)
Update: This sounds fun but I’m just going to hire a carpenter if I need one. 😁
28. Launch my online course at Day Job Optional
Update: Woah! I guess I forgot how recently this switch was because it feels so established now, but DJO was lovingly packed away so that the Freelance Writing Cafe could be born! This new site will house thorough training and all kinds of resources to help freelance writers grow low-stress careers. I’m really, really happy with the way it’s evolving. It’s currently under construction, but now that I’ve picked off these little ego-projects, I will have a lot more time to dedicate to making it real.
29. Learn to make macarons
Update: I’ve learned to make a lot of other amazing things this year, but macarons might not happen. I’m taking baby steps.
30. Host a Studio Ghibli movie night with the girls
Update: Erin and I have seen all of the Studio Ghibli fest movies in theaters this year! Maya even joined us to see Kiki’s Delivery Service. I didn’t even know that was happening when I wrote this goal down. Talk about manifesting. 🤓✨✨
31. Make my Halloween costume
Update: Will this happen!? Maybe. I mean, Halloween is my jam, but I have no idea what I want to dress up as this year.
32. Send cute hand-made Christmas cards
Update: I really want to send handmade cards this year, but I’m grappling with the fact that many cards get tossed. Buying paper products for whimsical reasons also contributes to the destruction of forests, etc. I may send a few to close friends. I need to think about it a little more.
33. Do VLOGMAS for the first time
Update: I probably…won’t? I just want to enjoy the holidays this year. I’m not that worried about vlogging them.
34. Watch a few famous movies I’ve never seen (you’ll scream if I tell you which haha)
Update: I saw one, and I’m calling this one complete! I don’t have a lot of time for movies at the moment.
35. Learn to bake some cocoa-inspired treats
Update: I learned to make avocado cocao pudding and I feel like that counts.
36. Visit The Cloisters
Yikes! I should do this before it gets cold.
37. See the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum
Update: We went early in the morning on the final weekend…and didn’t get in! Tickets were sold out—surprise, surprise. But I to hang out with my big brother and fam, got a cool Frida book, and finally got to chat with Dina from La Sirena, who I’ve been connected with on Facebook for years.
38. Visit the MET with my brother (he has a membership, so we can go after-hours!)
Update: Planning this!
39. Go to the Cherry Blossom Festival
Update: Missed it this year, but there’s always next year. 🌸
40. Finish writing my short story
Honestly, I don’t know what story I was talking about here. There are so many unfinished pieces of fiction on my drive. I did bust out a short story from scratch one night, though… so, complete!
41. Finish writing my novella
Update: Same as above? I’m working on a novel and have outlined another, but writing fiction is a delightful hobby for me and I don’t care when I finish these books. I will say that I’m proud of myself for consuming more books this year (including fiction) than I have in the past few combined!
42. Re-launch my Hey Mishka DIY supply shop on Etsy
Update: Nope! Ego-tastic sidetracking goal. Donating all of this stuff to Materials For The Arts.
43. Dye my hair pink (a tribute to my 15-year-old self)
Update: My hair is finally growing out after my hack job of early 2019. I really like my natural color… so I’m debating. I am unsure whether this is an ego-based goal inspired by other girls I’ve seen on IG (especially in the online business space—it’s like an instant way to stand out) or if it’s something I really want to wake up and see in the mirror each day. To be continued.
44. Host a BBQ
Update: We’re kind of doing that on Sunday, sooo, done!
45. Take the Rockaway beach bus (the existing bus is shut down but I’m sure another will pop up in time for summer)
Update: Went to Rockaway beach, sans-bus, but considering this done!
46. Have summer brunch at Juliette
Update: Might be a fall brunch! But I still want to do this.
47. Teach a free freelance writing workshop
Update: Maybe…! Some exciting things happening in the freelance career mentorship department. I’m not going to force the timeline, though. I have complete faith that this will happen at the right time.
48. Find an excuse (other than Halloween) to wear an extremely fancy dress
Update: There are a few events coming up, like weddings and high tea—but if we’re talking allover sequins, I’ll need to keep looking.
Update: I find it funny that the Russian Tea Room is on this list. I literally booked a reservation here last week. The others are still pending.
50. …actually, publish a fun guide of places to go in NYC! I’ve been wanting to do that for years. Maybe it’ll happen this year. 😉
Update: Hahaha, nope! 😂😂 This is SUCH an ego goal it cracks me up. There are so many amazing guides to NYC out there. I don’t need to make my own. The actual work involved in creating something worth referencing makes me cringe (if you cringe at any point during the initial planning stages of a project, jump ship).
So, there it is.
Going through this list was actually a lot of fun. It feels good to release ego-centered projects and excess goals. For the rest of 2019, I want to respect myself enough to focus on the big one: publishing my first-ever online course.
I’m happy to say that the temperature is still sitting at a fresh 68 degrees. My arms have goosebumps! I’m going to enjoy the rest of this morning—and pour another cup of coffee.
Until next time…