Countdown to 2018

It’s funny how 52 weeks equal both 364 days – which sound like a very long time – and nearly a year – which doesn’t sound like much, really. Today marks the end of the 45th week of the year and only 50 days are left until 2018. Two numbers so close to each other, with different orders of magnitude.

I don’t know where all this time went. Well, if this isn’t your first time visiting this blog, you might wonder where I have been all year. I have been busy, as I’m sure you have too. I was so caught up in my ups and downs that I didn’t take the time to write about what was going on in my life, about the changes I wanted to monitor and reflect on.

In fact, I gave up on self-tracking entirely – I even let my Fitbit go flat in June and never thought of charging it. I still keep track of how much I work, how many words I translate, and how much I earn since I need to pay taxes, but that’s it – I don’t think there is any trace of anything not work-related.


Of course I put a few noticeable things on my Google Calendar. I took four trips to Paris between April and October, spending 37 days at my best friend’s – which must be the most we have seen each other since high school. I can also tell that my future brother-in-law spent a grand total of 255 days at our place, for reasons I won’t get into.

One date I won’t forget is September 22nd, the day we started moving into our new apartment. This is one change I had been waiting for patiently – and sometimes less patiently – for years, which became necessary when I started feeling like our guest was overstaying his welcome. The new apartment is twice as large as the old one and I now have my own office – and a very comfortable new couch, too!

On the professional front, I went from struggling to find work as a freelance translator to working full-time for my main client as a linguist and programmer with translation as a side job. This was a big change for me and I’m still getting used to the idea – in fact, I’m not sure things will stay this way, and I’ll probably explain why in a later post.

Just looking at the stats and comparing them with those of previous years, I feel overwhelmed. But I won’t get into that now – I’ll save them for an end-of-year report, if I have the discipline to make one before the end of these 7 weeks. After all, I still have 50 busy days ahead of me and a challenge to take on!


So what is this title about, “Countdown to 2018”, and what is this challenge? I attempted challenges before and was quite bad at them, so why would I set myself up for failure again?

In fact, I thought several times about getting back into blogging, but never got around to actually doing it. I know now that I missed out on opportunities to record things that made me happy, things I was grateful for, things I looked forward to. As a result, I mostly remember what scared me, what annoyed me, what got me angry. And this isn’t OK.

This is why, for the last 7 weeks before 2018 – since every goal requires a realistic time frame – I would like to challenge myself to post every Sunday about what happened that week. If I can get into this habit and stick with it through the new year, great! But as I wrote in the past, I don’t want to pressure myself – this is a process I would like to enjoy.

In addition, I will write about some of the topics that worry me, as I’m convinced that putting a problem in words can help – maybe not solve it, but at least relax about it. It has happened before and I hope it will happen again. What’s more, writing about these issues on a blog means that you, my readers, can share your opinion – and, hopefully, advice – and maybe help me solve them!


Of course I’m only challenging myself, but you are welcome to join in if you feel like it. If you need rules, here they are:

  • Dedicate one post to this challenge, every Saturday or Sunday, until the end of 2017.
  • Sum up what happened during the week – at least, what seems worth mentioning.
  • List 3 or more things that made you happy or grateful.
  • List 3 or more things that are worth looking forward to.

The next rules are optional:

  • Pick one thing that is affecting you negatively and dive in – explain why it’s a problem, how you tried to solve it (if you did), what else you could do about it.
  • End your post with a positive note – how this issue isn’t that bad, what good can come out of it, why it isn’t worth worrying about it, why your solution will work.

If you do join in, please let me know in the comments or with a ping so that I can read your post. And if you notice that I haven’t posted as I was supposed to, do remind me – knowing that you care could be the extra motivation I need to stick with this challenge!

Have a wonderful week.


Week in Review #01 – Loneliness, your silent whisper…

Loneliness, your silent whisper

Fills a river of tears through the night

– X Japan, Dry Your Tears with Love

Once upon a time, I met a really sweet guy with a very demanding job.

Before we knew it, we were falling in love and living together; but one day he had to go away. We spent three months apart from each other, unsure whether our new feelings would survive this trial. While his job kept him busy, I had nothing to do at the time and spent each day binge-watching series or playing video games. Continue reading

It’s that time of the year again

Remember me? That would be surprising.

I started this blog just over a year ago as I set off on a journey of self-tracking, goal-setting and self-discovery. The latter is a bit of a stretch since my journey only lasted five months, but I did learn a few things along the way.

From August to December, I kept track of how many steps I took and how much time I slept, exercised, worked, etc. At the end of every week and month, I would gather the data I had collected and try to make sense of it, setting new goals that I would consistently fail to meet.

Continue reading

Monthly Report #05 – December in review…

…how well did I do?

Before we start, allow me to wish you an amazing new year! I will take some time to review my year 2015 and set goals for 2016 in a later post, but for now, let’s see how well – or not – I did last month. As I already explained, I knew it would be difficult for me to work on my goals during the holidays, and since I was to leave for Paris on December 21st, I set goals for the first three weeks of December. Let’s see which one(s) I met… Continue reading

Weekly Report #020 – Away on holiday I go

But first, one last report

As I announced in my previous post, this is likely to be the last weekly report, or at least the last report to take this shape. Over the holidays, I intend to rethink not only my goals and the best ways for me to reach them, but also my tracking spreadsheets and reporting method. I would like to come up with a ‘reporting spreadsheet’ that gives me an overview of a day, week or month by inputting just two parameters – start and end dates. In the meantime… Continue reading

Weekly Report #019 – Antepenultimate report

“third-to-last” doesn’t have that mysterious vibe

This week: a new tracker, more steps, less languages, more work. I am considering putting an end to weekly reports – with only monthly reports – to get back to a more “normal” posting format. The last 11 articles on this blog were reports; I haven’t posted anything else in two months. I would like to go back to prompts and challenges, to sharing meaningless and meaningful things that happen to me. I want to finally launch that “Travel Tuesdays” series. And I need to find a way to do it that won’t take too much time and won’t get in the way of my goals. Also, I need to start thinking about my goals for next year. But for now… Continue reading

Weekly Report #018 – Back to work

Can’t be worse than last week anyway

This week, as usual, I met some of my goals, failed at others, noticed some improvement that can be quantified and some that can’t. I failed miserably at my work-related goals – as I always do – but made some efforts and progress that I am happy about. As I suspected, my American colleague and our weekly phone calls have a positive influence on my motivation and ability to get things done. Now, if only she could ask me to work on my website! Continue reading

Monthly Report #04 – November in review…

…with hopes and goals for December

Last month’s report was the first one to have charts showing my progress throughout October. I thought they turned out great and would love to do some for November as well, but they took me forever and I don’t have as much time to dedicate to today’s post. Maybe I’ll add them later, though. Anyway, on to report #04… Continue reading

Weekly Report #017 – Vacation, part 2

… and my worst report ever

As these reports cover weeks that begin on Saturdays and end on Fridays (so that I can post my reports on weekends instead of Mondays), last week’s report only covered the first few days of my vacation in Paris (which began and ended on Wednesdays). If you thought that report was a bad one, take a deep breath because this week’s report is absolutely terrible. But hey! I got to see my friends and family and had a great time, so who cares? (I do. Obviously.)

Now, on the bright side, a quick look at my goals for November:

  • Sleep: I should reach my ‘getting-up’ goal provided I don’t super-oversleep the next two days.
  • Exercising: I have reached my step goal for November and still have a shot at beating last month’s step count. I don’t think I can reach my fitness goal but should meet last month’s.
  • Entertainment: I haven’t even used two thirds of my allotted TV time so things are looking really good.
  • Language learning: I am confident that I will reach my study goal although I wish this time was equally divided between German and Spanish. I still have a shot at reaching my writing goal too.

Continue reading

Weekly Report #016 – My first real vacation…

… Since I started this project

The week began rather well as I managed to catch up with my Spanish ‘time goal’, getting some speaking practice despite two cancellations, and working on follow-up e-mails with my new colleague. Once I left for Paris, though, I was out of control: I barely practised any German or Spanish, didn’t do any exercise – at least I walked! – and didn’t work on anything beside the said e-mails. I guess that’s what a real vacation is supposed to look like.

I had hoped to get more done before I left to make up for what I wouldn’t be able to do while I was away, but that didn’t work. And since I am writing this on the Thursday after the date of this post, I can add that I wasn’t able to catch up with my goals in the days that followed my return either. With only a few days to go before December, I am really starting to worry about my goals… Let’s see how I did this week. Continue reading