2018 Planning

We are SO OVER you, 2017.
Helloooo 2018!

Hey all–Marty here. I’ve put together some things I find incredibly useful around this time of year and thought I’d share with YOU, dear listeners! I hope you find them as helpful as I have. And thanks for being with us this year, I wish you a fantastic 2018.

Note: I like the following products so much that I’ve registered as an affiliate–each purchase at no additional cost to you will help keep Expat Sandwich up and running in 2018.

MAKE A PLAN

image: courtesy of Best Self

I’ve always been a part-time journal-er. I’ll do it for a few weeks, then not add anything for a month or two. I started using this journal last year and I love it. Here’s why — it divides the page up into the way I like to journal. On the left pages it has a daily planner–I just use it as a place to record thoughts. It has space for morning and evening gratitude, goals, today’s targets, lessons learned and wins. I’ll admit I’m not using it completely the way it is designed/intended but I like having the spaces as reminders of things I want/need to keep track of. You can get one of these at Best Self. Adding the Wall Calendar made me waaay more disciplined about daily entries because I knew I would be reviewing everything at the end of the year for the annual assessment, so the necessity to document was evident.

image: courtesy of Best Self

Combining Best Self’s wall calendar with the journal was a game changer for me. There are a lot of ways to use these tools — here’s my current process. At the end of December I review my journal entries and assess how the year went and I can adjust for the following year and change priorities. And in the first week in January, I plot out where I’m going on vacation, what conferences I want to attend, classes I want to take, etc. and I put all of that on the big calendar where I see it everyday. I put Expat Sandwich’s production calendar on there too. I have found that if I don’t plan out my year and get vacations and conferences on the calendar, it just doesn’t happen. There are a million things that can and WILL fill that space if you don’t block it out. I’ve learned this the hard way. Also, make deposits on these events/vacays/classes asap so you are on track and committed early on. NOTE: I’ve been using dry erase markers on the old calendar but this year they’ve changed it to a paper only option instead of laminate. We’ll see how this goes.

 

Expat Sandwich’s “Tour de France”
(coming June 2018)


image: courtesy of TripAdvisor

We all need something to look forward to. Here’s what I’m putting on my big calendar for June: Expat Sandwich’s own little “Tour de France!” I’m mapping out some itineraries for cycling and hiking through the south of France in June 2018 and would love for you to join us. A few different options–a coastal tour from Nice to Marseille. Or a tour through the Loire Valley. Or Bordeaux. 5 day excursions. Charming inns. Insanely good food and wine. Cycle. Repeat. Sound fun? I can’t wait. Shoot me an email at marty@expatsandwich.com and let me know that you’re interested. I’ll contact you with all the details in mid to late January. Stay tuned!

 

Yaaaaaaaas, Master.

Avoid burnout. Fuel the soul. Learn something new. Great goals for 2018. A friend of mine gave me the unlimited year pass as a gift and I am freaking out–these classes are SO good! I’ve never taken online courses but these are a good primers from the pros. They’re fun and fit your schedule so you can go at your own pace and on your own time.

My first Masterclass

Hahaha, yes, I know, I’m not auditioning for The Voice anytime soon. I signed up because I wanted to learn vocal exercises. I’m 4 lessons in, there are 11 videos total. All come with worksheets. In this class, you turn on the microphone of your computer and sing along with the scales and you’ll get a vocal range analysis. Pretty cool! Mine was 2.2–Aguilera is at 4.5. No surprise there! I have been hesitant to “online classes” especially in an academic setting because I just thought they’d be boring, dry and unedited. To me it I thought it would be kind of like paying for C-Span. But this is polished. And you learn about getting to the essence of singing, of performance, she tells you what her mindset is right before she’s going to have to hit some really difficult notes. And what it’s like to forget the words to the National Anthem in front. of. all. those. people. It’s amazing what we survive, isn’t it? Highly recommend this one.

 

Next up: Tomato, To-mah-to.

I’ve signed up to take an acting class with Helen Mirren on Masterclass that will start in January. Why am I signing up for acting classes? Because it is hard as hell to sound natural talking into a microphone all by yourself. I don’t normally have animated conversations with myself, you know? Few of us do. So, I want to understand the mindset of acting. There are a ton of people signed up for this one. Alot of actors. I’ve never even had an acting class. That’s another great thing about taking the Masterclasses. It allows newbies to dip their toe in to see if it’s something they want to pursue further sans humiliation. I know that I would probably be too intimidated to take an acting class if I knew my classmates were going to be experienced actors. Let me know if you notice a difference in my narrative skills in Season 3, dahling!

 

When it just all gets to be too much.
Stop the noise with this app.

This app has been a life saver. I can get on social media and procrastinate with the best of ’em. But the daily onslaught of the chaotic geopolitical sphere gets to be too much. And now with “fake news” you have to cross check with multiple other sources, so we’ve at least tripled our news intake just from trying to discern facts from fiction. If you’re like me and worried about your head exploding or having a stroke, it’s good to limit your intake of daily news. The Freedom app allows you to block your social media apps on your phone as well as desktop. It will also block you from accessing news sites and any URL you wish. And you can edit/schedule the hours and days of WHEN you want the app to be enforcing your self-imposed ban. Ahhhh, serenity is now as close as the keyboard.

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That’s all I’ve got. I hope 2018 will be productive and fulfilling for you. I’d be interested to know your thoughts if you try any of the above tools/services–shoot me an email at marty[at]expatsandwich dot com and let me know.