Issue 27: The Joy of #Goals

Melody WarnickBlacksburg, Place love, Virginia

As lovely as Christmas was this year—and believe me, eating cookies and bingeing The Final Table on Netflix satisfied the soul—I was like “BRING IT” to New Year’s. Fresh starts! Clean slates! Hooray!

That I sing this particular hallelujah chorus won’t surprise anyone who’s read This Is Where You Belong—but it may surprise you that I still, despite all the research, believe in my heart of hearts that there are moments when big change is indeed possible, and New Year’s is one of them.

I love setting goals, pulling some purpose out of my general aimlessness. January 1 isn’t magical, but it does remind me to push past inertia and kick the ball of my life somewhere else. In fact, I’m still crafting my resolutions, using the newness of the year as an opportunity to reflect on what I want to do differently.

One thing I’m doing now. I invited some neighbors to dinner this week. Nothing fancy, just some veggie lasagna on a week night, but I’ve been meaning to do it for months. It feels good to finally make an effort at connection instead of looking for the reasons why I can’t now. (Too busy, too stressed, and so on.)

Are you looking to change? Consider joining Janssen Bradshaw at Everyday Reading for her January book club where they’ll be discussing, ta-da, This Is Where You Belong. A few chapters a week, no big deal. If it’s on your nightstand and you haven’t gotten around to it, this is for you. Or if you’ve read it but want a refresher or someone to talk with about all your awesome placemaking ideas, come on over. I’ll be chiming in answering questions later in the month too.

And as a second impetus for January-related changes, I’m overjoyed to share this printable Love Where You Live checklist, designed by reader and calligrapher Emma Ashby. It’s a lot to get on one page, but she achieved it, and it’s adorable.


Shameless self-promotion portion of the newsletter: Haven’t we had quite enough shameless self-promotion already? No? Okay, then get yourself and your geographically unstable friends over to enroll in Relocation Recovery, the new online course I helped create. Tons of tricks, tips, and guidance for feeling settled after a move, all for $25! And if you don’t already, come follow me on Instagram. It’s my favorite social media platform (not saying a lot), and I’m almost to 1,000 followers. The suspense is killing me!


7 items of interest

1. “Be comically aggressive in your efforts to make friends” and other lessons from starting over in a new city.
2. No one’s buying starter homes anymore. (I WAS QUOTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES! WHAT.)
3. You don’t have to put your startup in Silicon Valley.
4. 101 books about where and how we live. I loved Our Towns, Evicted, and The Perfect $100,000 House.
5. A discussion from On Being about landscapes and beauty and what they do for the soul.
6. What it’s like to have 12 homes in 15 years. (She beats me.)
7. Hackable Cities, a beautiful guide to placemaking where you live.

Want more goodness? Book recommendations, video links, articles that have helped me? You have to be a subscriber.