2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review:

2018 Year in ReviewThe 2018 year in review is going to be different than 2017’s. Last year I had a review of only my wins. For 2018 I want to review the misses AND the wins. But instead of calling them “fails,” I’m going to think of them as “course corrections.”

I was inspired to use this specific language by Dan Norris’ Create or Hate. Because words are important, and if we’re going to learn from our mistakes, then we have to examine them.

Then we can celebrate the wins!

2018 Miss #1: making too many sewing plans

Let’s start with sewing though, shall we?

I had such lofty goals last year: RTW Fast, #sewmystyle2018, SWAP Capsule, #makenine, #menswearmakenine, and my own #sigcotm. Plus I joined 52 Weeks Sewing Challenge AND 100 Items in 2018.


I had to abandon the SWAP project. Too many mistakes in a row on that one, plus finding the coordinating fabric proved too difficult.

I did okay on #sewmystyle2018 plans. I sewed the Sunny dress, Kalle shirt, Suki kimono, Lander shorts, Halifax hoodie, and the Fringe blouse. 6/12 is better than I expected!

Ryan got 4/9 on his grid while I only managed ONE of my original patterns. I half-heartedly swapped out the Simplicity cardigan for the Circle Cardigan. And I guess I could count my Dana Point top as my shirt with special feminine details—or the Roscoe! Both certainly fall in that category. That brings my count up to a grand total of 3/9.

Here’s the ONE original pattern, New Look 6399 lounge pants:

2018 year in review

I made up my own challenge to make clothes inspired by the monthly birthstones. Out of 12 months, I was able to manage a grand total of 6 as well. Less than I wanted, more than I realized.

Course correction: make fewer, and less conflicting, plans. I put a lot on my plate this year. Trying to stick to a color theme while churning out at least 8 makes a month is insane. What I should have done was picked patterns I could make out of one fabric. Or at the very least coordinating fabrics. That would have helped. Mimi G managed this with her color collections.

For next year: I don’t currently have any concrete plans! But if I do make any, they will be much more flexible.

2018 Miss #2: being able to do a pull-up

My gym goal in 2017 was to try to do one pull-up before I turned 40 in May 2018. Just one. Shouldn’t be that hard!

Unfortunately, I was derailed by a car accident in April. So I gave myself until the end of the year. I started training for that again in October. And that’s when my shoulders gave out. So here we are in December, no closer to the goal. I’ve been strongly advised against doing ANY kind of overhead movement for a little while.

This is a huge bummer for me. It makes me feel stuck.

I really wanted to be able to do a pull-up. I never in my life have been able to. I wanted it so bad I could almost taste it.

But my body needs a reset. I have to start at square one with my weak shoulders and upper back. The program I chose was a little too advanced. I bit off more than I could chew trying to run before I could even crawl. I need to go back to fundamentals. It’s humbling, but it’s necessary.

Course correction: restart at zero. I may not be able to do a pull-up until the end of 2019. I have to be okay with this.

For next year: concentrate on chest-opening and core exercises. Keep strengthening my grip with deadlifts. Make progress every week. Check again in 6 months.

Now let’s talk wins! They were pretty sweet. There were two major ones.

2018 Win #1: the deadlift


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My first win was hitting my deadlifting goal of 250 pounds (113 kg). So even if I can’t pull my body up over a bar, I can still pull significantly more than I weigh off the ground.

This was huge for me because 4 years ago I was able to pull 245 pounds (111 kg), but I really hurt my back doing it. There’s no point in hitting a goal if you can’t actually function.

The deadlift is my favorite lift because I’m good at it. But it also has a huge carry-over to real life:

The Deadlift develops the muscles you need to actually carry something, like a bucket of water, those heavy grocery bags or your neighbor’s dining room table.

Since we’re moving next week, the ability to lift heavy things is going to come in real handy!

Oh, and since I hit 250 in October I’ve since surpassed that. Just last week I hit 255 pounds (115 kg)! I didn’t even mean to, meaning I didn’t walk into the gym that day looking to hit a personal record. But my husband put the weight on his barbell and I thought I could do it, too.

And I did.

2018 win

2018 Win #2: a new home

We finally found a new home where I can have my own studio. I’ve spent the last 2 years creating stuff in a cramped corner of my kitchen. Fabric and scraps were strewn across my living room. We couldn’t eat at the table anymore, so we’ve taken to eating at the only available space: the couch. In front of the TV (something I hate to do).

But starting next month, I’ll have my own room, with plenty of storage for my fabric and machines. The living room will be for entertaining! Dinners will be served at the table!

I’m so excited!!!


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Our new home is also in a much nicer area of the city, with a high walkability score. It will be sad leaving our current home since it’s the first one we lived in together as a couple. But sentimentality aside, we’re looking forward to being able to rely on our car less (yes, this is possible in LA!). Before we moved in together, we used to do a lot of walking around our respective neighborhoods. We’ll be able to do that again!

I’m still trying to figure out how to decorate my new space, so watch out for updates!

And that was my 2018 year in review of wins vs “fails.” I hope your 2018 had more wins than not. If not, hopefully you at least learned some good course correcting techniques!

What are your plans for 2019?

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John Rieber
Dec 18, 2018 8:58 am

Pinned this – great post of the year’s goals…I always say it is better to have goals and not achieve them all and not have any goals at all! Bravo to you and here’s to a fulfilling new year ahead!

Dec 18, 2018 9:43 am

I love that you looked at your goals from this year and updated them to make them more attainable next year! Congrats on your new home, I moved recently too and it has been a truly amazing experience. I can’t wait to get my craft room set up!

Dec 19, 2018 8:22 am

Love your post so inspiring. My goal is to be able to do pull-ups again as well! Let’s do it!

Dec 19, 2018 10:15 am

I love your honesty. Sometimes you just see people talk about their wins and not their fails. But there are always lessons that can be learned. Great post.

Dec 19, 2018 5:37 pm

I have started thinking through my goals/fails/wins from this year too! I also participated in the RTW Fast because I pretty much already didn’t buy RTW, and I stuck to it. But I’m glad I’m not going to do it next year — not that I want to buy more clothes, but so that I don’t have to feel bad if I do. I still didn’t make all the pairs of jeans that I had intended to make… sigh… I hope to get to that within the next month though!

Dec 24, 2018 9:31 am

Congrats on 250! I was working my way to it, but I totally lost my motivation halfway through the year. I am back at the gym, taking things slowly, and hoping to hit big numbers in 2019.

Thanks for the inspiration!