An Update on My 2018 Goals

Before I share my goals for 2019 in a few days, I wanted to share an update on my 2018 goals. I, for one, am always curious about how people's goals are influenced by what they did or didn't achieve the year before.

I didn't check off all of them, but I made significant progress on quite a few. 2018 was quite a year for me. The nine months I spent in London and the month I spent at home were some of the best of my life, but I've had a bit of a struggle since moving to New York. But more on all of that in upcoming year in review post!

One: Go to an exercise class. 
I went to a yoga class at my gym in London in February. While I enjoyed it a bit, it wasn't exactly my thing.

Two: Read twenty-five books. 
There are still a few days left in the year and I'm hoping to bring my count for the year up to twenty, but there's no way I'm reaching twenty-five. I think I underestimated how busy I would be when I set this goal.

Three: Learn to use my DSLR. 
I definitely know how to use it passably well, though I want to do more photography. I'm very comfortable with using it for video after filming many YouTube videos of my own and videos for BroadwayWorld.

Four: Visit three historic sites I haven't been to before. 
I actually managed to check this off in February, thanks to lots of exploring while my friend Stefanie visited. We went to Oxford University and Warwick Castle and then I went to Strawberry Hill House with my friend Patrizia.

Five: Reach 350 subscribers on YouTube. 
I couldn't believe when I hit this in September because I kind of thought it was a goal I wouldn't reach. I'm now nearing 400 which probably doesn't sound like a lot, but it means a lot to me.

Six: Get a job post-graduation. 
I'm happy to be able to say that I'm now settled into my job at Spektrix, being at the end of my fifth week working there. After a bit of a painful job search, it's such a relief.

Seven: See 50 shows. 
I actually saw 83 shows this year, which is incredible to me. Six of them were in New York, one was a US tour, and 76 were in London. I'm willing to bet 2018 will forever hold my record for most shows seen as London prices are much lower and I was also writing reviews for BroadwayWorld UK. (I also saw The Grinning Man...six times.)

Eight: Practice French or German at least two times a week. 
I admittedly gave up on this goal. By a few months into the year, it just was no longer a priority to me and I had other things I would rather work on with my time. I do want to work more on keeping up my French in 2019, though I think I have to admit that German may not be my thing.

Nine: Meet new people. 
I certainly did this! In addition to becoming very close to some people I already was befriending at the beginning of the year, I made lots of new friends too. I got very good at actually making plans with people from going to the pub with my Dickens Museum coworkers to eating lunch with RADA friends outside the British Museum. I do feel like I need to renew these efforts in New York.

Ten: Be vegetarian/pescatarian for one week every month. 
Okay...I did this successfully until about mid-year when I gave it up. It wasn't that terrible, but it certainly was inconvenient at times and I realized that (like above) it's simply not a priority for me right now.

How did you do in upholding your goals and resolutions for 2018? I'll be back soon with my goals for 2019.

Top Ten Non-Christmas Christmas Movies

Sometimes you're in the mood for a Christmas-y movie, but not a Christmas movie, you know? Don't get me wrong; I love Christmas movies. I have Love Actually and White Christmas practically on repeat for all of November and December. But I also have non-Christmas movies that I love to watch during Christmastime.

Some of these are holiday movies because they feature Christmas in them while some came out in late December and thus are tied to it in my mind. And all of them are ones that I love to watch during the holidays...and all year round.

Meet Me in St Louis 
This 1944 classic is actually my favorite movie musical of all time. Not only is it a heartwarming story of a family of all girls growing up in turn-of-the-century America, it also features my favorite Christmas song of all time: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" as sung by Judy Garland. (And yes, it should always be sung by Judy Garland and no, I don't approve of anyone who uses the "hang a shining star upon the highest bough" line.)

When Harry Met Sally
In all fairness, When Harry Met Sally is actually my favorite New Year's Eve movie. Has any movie ever had a more iconic NYE scene than the one at the end of this film? It also happens to be my favorite film of all time and every time I see a Christmas tree stand on the streets of New York, I think of Meg Ryan dragging a tree along the sidewalk.

This movie came out late November in 2013 so I kind of associate it with Christmastime. I unashamedly love Frozen (though I will fight anyone who says it's superior to Tangled) and it's such a great movie to watch with the family that doesn't require too much brain power.

This is a very underrated rom-com with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale being brought together by fate. And it takes place during Christmastime in New York City. This is one of those movies that veers on being a Christmas movie, but I think it has enough of a plot apart from the holiday that it counts for this list.

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday 
As you would expect of any young American woman who loves period dramas, I grew up obsessed with American Girl dolls. Samantha was always my favorite and her movie is an absolute delight, even now at the age of twenty-four. A turn-of-the-century movie about a beautiful rich girl who fights for a better life for her young orphaned friends? Throw in some wonderful performances by Anna Sophia Robb and Mia Farrow and a lovely Christmassy ending and you've got yourself a great film.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Speaking of children's movie's, I always associate the first Harry Potter film with the holiday season. Maybe it's because the scene in which Ron chooses to stay at Hogwarts with Harry for Christmas was always so poignant to me or maybe it's brainwashing by ABC Family. Either way, it's a great one to watch in December.

While You Were Sleeping 
While You Were Sleeping is another extremely underrated rom-com that takes place around the holiday season though this one is set in Chicago and features Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. Something about this movie just feels cozy to me and I love that it's not your traditional rom-com in the slightest.

Felicity: An American Girl Adventure
I'm not even mad that I'm featuring two American Girl movies on this list. How could I be when this one gives me a great performance by a tiny Shailene Woodley and a colonial Christmas ball? Add in some plots about rescuing a horse and navigating friendship as war threatens to break out and I'm hooked.

You've Got Mail
This movie is the reason that I used to dream about seeing New York during the holiday season. I think it shows NYC to its best advantage in all seasons but there's something dreamy about the winter part. Plus, it's the rom-com dream team of Nora Ephron, Tom Hanks, and Meg Ryan. Could it get any better than that?

Little Women 
I think what writing this post revealed to me is that my favorite Christmassy films are all period ones. Little Women is an absolute beauty of a film and features one of my favorite ensembles of all time. While the film is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, the holiday section is heartwarming.

What are your favorite Christmassy non-Christmas movies? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter. x
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