Tuesday, January 10

2017 Goals

Every year, it feels like half the people on my news feed are super into resolutions, and the other half hate everyone in that first group, haha. I feel like the new year is a perfect time for reflection: for looking back on the past year, giving credit to yourself for the ways in which you made yourself a better person, and marking the areas in which you still need to grow. If the new year is the time for you to reflect, more power to you. If you reflect at a different time of year, great.

This year, I tried something new: I brainstormed goals. I looked at the goals I had last year, I looked inwards at the things about myself I wanted to change, and I made bubbles on a sheet of paper. It was fun to do because there was no self-judgment for a goal not being "good enough." I just wrote things down, sometimes getting more specific and sometimes getting more generalized. I found that some goals were related, so I combined them. 

Usually I'm all about measurable goals, but this year, I tried to let that go. This past year, having all measurable goals actually caused me a lot of stress. I'm trying to balance the analytic side of myself and the artsy side, and I feel like this past year, the analytic side won out simply due to necessity (graduating, bar studying, etc.). I'm trying to reconnect with that other side of myself, and part of that meant choosing some goals that were more free-flowing, if that makes any sense.

So, let's get into them!

1. Read 12 new books this year
I felt really bad about not reading 12 books last year. I could have taken the failure and decided not to read (publically) this year, but that's not my style. I don't know if I'll actually blog about all the books I'm reading, but I'm committed to reading 12 new books. I've already started my first!

2. Make an effort to connect with nature
One thing that I haven't really done yet here in Colorado is to go hiking. I went for a bunch of walks this summer and fall, and I've been out in the mountains a few times, but not nearly as much as I expected, nor as much as I wanted. One thing I want to do this year is get out more. I want to go walk. I want to take it all in. I want to appreciate my surrounding. I want to buy (or find) fresh leaves for our apartment.

3. Blog 3-4 times a week
This is pretty self-explanatory. After hardly blogging at all last year out of exhaustion, I'm going to try very hard to post here regularly! Partially this is because I want to monetize more, but partially this is because I've been finding it really fun and meaningful lately.

4. Limit how often I watch tv/Netflix
I like a good Netflix show as much as the next person (ok, maybe more). Over the last few years, I've used shows as a way of zoning out. I often felt too mentally tired to read, while watching tv or movies was a way of letting my mind rest. There are some really kick ass shows out right now, and I'm not hating on them - I just want to be more particular about when I'm watching, and try to find other outlets to relax too so that I'm not dependant.

5. Listen to 30 new music albums
J buys a lot of albums and often lets me have the digital downloads that come with them. This means I have a bunch of albums on my computer that I've never listened to, and I want to change that. I want to try listening to new things - not just individual songs, like on Pandora (yes, I still use Pandora), but full albums. I like more folksy music than J does (he's generally into darker stuff), so I'm totally open for album ideas beyond what he's given me! 

Also, J thinks it's important that I clarify what "new" means: I mean new to me, not just albums that are new this year.

6. Eat out once a week or less
I finally made a budget for us as a couple, and while I cook at home almost every night, we do have a tendency to eat out and order in. As the person in our relationship who does the majority of the cooking, it can be so nice to give in and go, "Yeah, let's just order pizza." Domino's sounds sooo good. We don't have to wash a pan afterwords? Score! And sometimes it really is awesome, but those orders add up, and I'm trying to keep our budget as low as possible. Plus, the food I cook at home is probably healthier for us. 😊

7. Become actively involved in a legal organization
I've gone to a couple events around town since moving here and I've definitely met a lot of people in the legal community, but one thing that's important to me this year is that I actually get involved. Like, actively involved. I want to join a committee, or run for an office, or help in some way beyond just showing up to some events. It's partially to network, but I also want to meet more people (particularly people my own age) here in town! It's so hard to make friends once you're out of school, and I don't really have any lawyer friends that I didn't go to school with.

8. Go to the gym at least 4 times a week
I know, I know - can't have a yearly resolution without having some cheesy "weight loss" goal in there, right? I just joined a gym this past month, and it's been one of the best months I've had in Denver. For so long, I felt heavy and lethargic and totally out of control of my body. I couldn't see a way of implimenting an exercise routine (and boy, do I need a routine) in the colder months without a gym, and I couldn't choose a gym for the life of me.

Since I joined one in Glendale, I feel so much better about myself and my body. It's not even that I've seen progress or that my clothes have fit better (yet); it's that I'm growing muscles again and running consistently! I still want to run 8 miles at one time - one of my goals last year - and I truly believe I'll be able to this year. At the beginning of last week, I was running 1 mile and walking 0.5. Yesterday after work, I ran 2.2 miles and walked 0.3. I've been upping my distance and my pace, and it's giving me so much confidence!

9. Balance giving a fuck
My favorite t-shirt is from Sex + Ice Cream. It has a gravestone on it that says, "In memory of when I cared." But the thing is, I do care. I care a lot. I care too much about others' opinions of me - I care if people are proud of me, if they think I'm pretty, or successful, or good enough. I give a lot of fucks about people seeing me as accomplished and impressive. I want to work on actually caring less about how others see me and focus more on how I see myself. I know myself. I know if I'm a good person, or if I'm a hard worker, or if I'm lazy, or if I'm accomplished. As much as I want to hear it from other people, I really want to find satisfaction inside myself and stop looking for it in other people so much.

At the same time, I don't want to stop giving a fuck about everything. I care very deeply about justice for those who are oppressed and hurting and I don't want to become apathetic to injustice, especially this year. So my goal is to try to balancing these competing fucks. Others opinions? Care less. People hurting other people? Care more (or maintain - I already care a lot).

10. Encourage my creative self
I had a couple different goals that all related to this one, overarching idea: being more creative, or at least, actually express that creativity more often. As I said above, I feel like this past year has been very analytical for me, and while I appreciate that side of myself, I want to make sure I'm letting my creative side flourish. I really want to cross-stitch and sew again. I want to learn more songs on the guitar and ukulele. I want to record music more often. I want to dance. I want to write. I want to do things because I feel them, not because I have to or because someone else expects me to.


Guys, I'm really excited for this year. I'm so ready to make positive changes in my life, and I don't care that it takes a new year to inspire me to make them. NEW YEAR, NEW ME. Or at least, BETTER ME. Looking back, my goals in 2017 are really about feeling myself, and I couldn't be prouder of that. 💖



  1. Great goals for 2017!! If I can make a recommendation on books I think you might love Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert! Might also help with the last goal. :)

    1. Thanks so much, Julia! :) I'll check it out - I have a ton of books on my shelf that I still have to get through, but I'm always pumped about a new recommendation!

      xo M