2018 Favorites: 25 Things That Worked for me This Year

Consider this my Top 25 List of 2018

After I wrote, “What I did and didn’t do in 2018”, I realized that I had a lot more to share about what really worked for me this year. 2018 was a year of transformation and growth. After I turned 27, it seemed as if a flurry of new experiences and new lessons helped me grow exponentially.

I have listed the experiences, products, and applications that affected me in 2018. While the results may vary from individual to individual, perhaps something on this list will help you grow.

2018 Experiences / Classes

  • Vision Board Hangout- In January, I went over a friend’s house and had a ‘vision board party’ where we created vision boards together for the year. This is an experience that not only gave me an excuse to hang out and be creative with friends, but it also helped me create a visual reminder of my goals for the 2018 year. I plan to do this again in 2019.

  • Connection Camp- Amy Silverman from The Connection Movement invited me to go to her Connection Camp in June. While I wrote a post about what I experienced at camp, I definitely recommend for others to do a ‘camp-like’ or weekend getaway experience that gives you the time and space to grow.

  • Landmark Forum- At the office I work at, the majority of the people in it have completed the Landmark Curriculum. This year I went through the ‘Curriculum for Living’ at Landmark which consists of the Forum, the Advanced Course, and SELP. Landmark Worldwide is as the name implies, world wide, so I highly recommend others who want to grow to do the Forum and Advanced course. Also contrary to popular belief, no one gets any commission for inviting you to go. Or at least I don’t.

  • Secret Santa- My group of college friends have been doing ‘Secret Santa’ every year. This consists of picking a day six months in advance to meet up, eat, exchange gifts, and hang out. For most of us, this is the only time of the year that we get to see each other in person after graduating college. If you don’t have a yearly tradition like this, I highly recommend it, it does take some patience to plan and execute this gathering, but it’s so worth it.

  • The 5 Day Profit Plan- Allison from Wonderlass has several courses on her website. Some are free, others require payment to access. I recently completed her course, the 5 Day Profit Plan and it’s certainly something I recommend for others to do. Her course forced me to spend time planning for 15 Minutes of Creativity and while some things on the course seem like ‘common sense’, I never took the time to do those obvious things for my budding business.

Books

  • Getting Things Done- I recently completed the audiobook of “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. As someone who juggles two small consulting business, two blogs, and everything else in my life, I constantly am feeling overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done on a daily basis. Now that I’m implementing the concepts from this book, I do certainly feel some pressure off of my plate, but I still have a while to go before I get to ‘stress free productivity’.

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck- For people who are sick of reading a ton of self help books that sound too good to be true, I highly recommend this book by Mark Manson. I personally love the tone and humor that is packed within this book that reminds you that you can’t care about everything. You need to know what you can and cannot put your time and energy into so that you can focus on what really matters.

  • Deep Work- Towards the beginning of the year, I listened to the audiobook of “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. This book helped me convince my co-workers at my workplace that I sometimes need time to be left alone so I could be more productive. After all I love the people I work with and I love the concept of open co-working spaces, but getting constantly interrupted really ruins my ‘workflow’. So for those struggling to get things done in this modern age of interruptions, this might be for you.

  • Eat that Frog- At Red Sapiens, we tell all of our clients to read this book. It’s a book that not only teaches you methods of being more productive, but it also has assignments between each chapter to encourage you to actually implement those lessons into your life. Which is a huuuuge issue for many people who read self-help / productivity books.

  • How Entrepreneurs Thrive- This final recommendation is a book I personally had a hand in creating. “How Entrepreneurs Thrive: Your RoadMAPP to Success” by Joe Rojas is a short read that helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, and solopreneurs start focusing on working ON their business as opposed to working IN business.

Applications

  • Notion- Notion my note-taking application that doubles as a dashboard/personal wiki for my life. It is an application that works on web, Mac, and iPhone that has helped me keep a working database on my life. It does have a bit of a learning curve, but it’s definitely worth the price if you find that Evernote and other programs are not working for you.

  • Todoist- After reading “Getting things Done” by David Allen, I have shifted my task management from Things 3 to Todoist. I find that Todoist has a lot more integrations with other platforms such as Google Home and IFTTT which is why I made the switch. After a few more months of use I’ll write a more formal review on the program.

  • Google Photos- My iPhone used to nag at me all the damn time about my iCloud storage. It was frustrating to deal with on a daily basis. This is why I now love using Google Photos because I can upload ALL THE DAMN PHOTOS I want for the great great price of $0. It has been so great to me that I even wrote about how Google Photos changed my life.

  • Forest- I adore Pomodoro apps. If you are unsure about the Pomodoro method, it’s about setting a timer for yourself while doing a task so you focus only on the task at hand. Then this is followed by a 2-5 minute break to do whatever your brain wants before going back into focusing on another task. Forest takes this concept PLUS it encourages users to use the virtual coins earned to plant real life trees. So it’s basically a win-win situation for me to use this app for productivity and a greener Earth.

  • Duolingo- I know so many people who tell me that they either wish they could travel more, speak a second language, or both. Duolingo helps you learn another language which in my opinion can not only help you travel more, but it also opens doors to new opportunities. And the best part… It’s FREE!!! There’s literally nothing to lose than to give this app a try. It’s also available to use on your web browser for those who want to have a decluttered iPhone/Android home screen.

Skincare Products

  • Arbonne Soothing Facial Cleanser- This year I had the pleasure of meeting Gina who introduced me to the Arbonne line of products. My relationship with skincare is a budding one and I still have a lot to learn about what products work well with my skin type, which ones fit into my budget, etc. Currently I’m using the Arbonne Soothing Facial Cleanser and like how it has been cleaning my skin.

  • Shea Moisture Clarifying Problem Skin Toner- I keep hearing from various people and YouTubers that ‘Toner’ is the most critical part of a skincare routine. This is why I purchased the clarifying problem skin toner since it was cheap and has tree tea oil, which I also believe to be good for your skin. I’m almost done with my bottle so I might experiment with other toners or I might just make this purchase again until I get a good recommendation.

  • Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm- I love my tinted lip balm. It hydrates my obnoxiously dry and chapped lips while also making me feel ‘pretty’ by adding a bit of color to my lips. I consider myself low-maintenance when it comes to make-up, especially day-to-day so this product makes me very happy.

  • Extra Soothing Balm- While I do not always use this product by Bobbi Brown, I do like to incorporate this extra soothing balm into my morning routine. After all I have dry chapped lips and especially in the winter time I find that this helps me a ton in the morning.

  • Pure Metal Lip Lacquer Glow- I got this product from a friend. Initially I hated it since whenever I tried it on, it made me feel like a duck. After all I’m not the kind of individual to play around with ‘abnormal’ lip color, so it just felt off for me. However using this gloss as a top coat for nights out and special occasions adds a bit of ‘pop’ to my other lip sticks/lip glosses.

Lifestyle - Miscellaneous Products

  • Bamboo Cutlery- I purchased two sets of these Bamboo Cutlery sets by Bambaw. They come with their own carrying case, they turn heads whenever you use them, and they help you transition into a ‘greener’ lifestyle. As someone who wants to be more green, use less plastic, and create less waste, I love my bamboo cutlery set and definitely recommend this cheap, but awesome step towards a greener Earth.

  • reMarkable Tablet- While I got this in 2017, I really started to use this in 2018. While you read my more in-depth review about it in another post, I’ll say that having this e-reader/notebook has helped cut down on my spontaneous purchases. Now that I have a notebook that doesn’t require any ‘pretty’ markers or pens, I don’t make any impulse purchases. I still have a way to go before I use this 100% of the time since I’m still a bit biased towards real paper, but I’m getting there.

  • Airpods- I used to laugh at people who transitioned to airpods after Apple got rid of the headphone jack. After all, why would anyone toss a ridiculous amount of money at Apple for wireless earpods? One of my co-workers came into the office with them and after chatting with him I decided to give them a try… And now I can’t imagine a life without them! I love how smart they are, I take them off and the video/song I’m playing pauses (which seems like a DUH thing but I appreciate it), and surprisingly enough I haven’t lost them or the case yet!

  • Braun Silk-epil 9- I purchased the Braun woman’s epilator as a gift to myself after deciding that it was about time to try to stop shaving the old school traditional way… However I quickly realized that I couldn’t adjust to the pain that comes with the beauty of using an epilator. However the shaver head attachment and the facial brush have been great additions to my skincare routine. This is definitely something I recommend for others who are unsure of whether or not they will stick to using the epilator since it comes with extra products that will make the investment worth it.

  • Detox Dry Shampoo- I love the concept of dry shampoos, especially because I really really don’t like washing my hair frequently… But I also don’t like having greasy hair. This is why Detox Dray Shampoo from Drybar was my go-to this year for my hair. I just finished using up my bottle so I’m on the fence on whether I should continue using what works or if I should try other brands of dry shampoo.

What would be on your Top 5 List of 2018?

I’d love to hear what experiences, products, or media really affected your 2018 experience. Perhaps it was something small such as a new pair of socks to an incredible traveling experience of a lifetime. Regardless of how grand or small your list may seem, I’d love to read about it! After all maybe it’ll show up on my Top 2019 list!