Goals for the New Year, 2017

Happy New Year, everyone!

The year is finally over, and I think we can all agree it has been a tough one.

I don't really want to get into enumerating my personal failures during the last twelve months, I think I've mentally punished myself more than enough for them at this point. Suffice to say I've taken quite a bit of time to think about what I could have done better. I've made peace with the things I can't change, and I'm working very hard to change the things I can. That being said...

Here are 10 goals I have for the upcoming year

1. Live more minimally. Get rid of 50 Articles of Clothing and/or Accessories. As a kid I was blessed with a basically limitless amount of storage space for all my junk. But as an adult living in the Bay Area I'm learning just how expensive space can be. I know 50 items might seem like a lot, but I've managed to schlep an enormous amount of stuff with me over 3 moves in the past 5 years. I haven't grown much since I hit 16. I have still have a sweatshirt I got when I was 15. It's time to dump the stuff I no longer use or need.

2. Look more consistently put together. I'm not ashamed to say I've struggled with depression and anxiety, but both have taken their toll on my overall appearance, especially in the last few years. I haven't been taking amazing care of my skin or hair, and heck, I could stand to floss more too. Many mornings I'm too tired or lazy to do much besides roll out of bed, throw on whatever clothes I can reach quickly, do a quick rinse and walk out the door. I rarely put on makeup. I'd like to look more consistently put together, especially at work. I feel a lot happier and more confident when I'm well dressed and well groomed.

3. Read (or listen to) one new book per month. I set this goal for myself last year, but fell incredibly short. One thing I've learned so far is that if I try to only read physical books, I will absolutely fail. I love the feel of a real book in my hand as much as anyone, but carrying them around with me (especially the giant tomes I've been gravitating towards) is too much hassle. I've actually done a ridiculous amount of reading on my iPhone and MacBook via iBooks. Once I switched to digital I ended up reading a lot more in my down time. I've also found it really helps to have a copy of the audiobook so I can listen while cleaning or driving, etc. 

4. Make at least one blog post per month. I've set the bar pretty low, but I'm more concerned about the consistency and quality rather than the quantity of posts. I think keeping it to one per month minimum super doable! And I really want to have more content here.

5. Donate at least $200 to charity this year. I know it's not a huge amount, but it's a goal I know I can meet. I made a few donations over the past year where I could afford it, and I want to exceed that amount in the next year. The world can be a dangerous place, and you never know when the next disaster (man-made or natural) might strike. This way I have a little cash put aside specifically for the purpose of helping people. If I get the chance to do some volunteer work, that would be something I'd also be interested in!

6. Be more responsive; start unpleasant or annoying tasks immediately, instead of continually putting them off. This one is probably every procrastinator's New Year's resolution, but I cannot even begin to tell you how many horrible things I've brought upon myself as a result of procrastination. This is something I've been working on really hard for the past few months. I've still got a long way to go, but I'm proud of the progress I've made so far.

7. Overhaul the blog. I threw Blackwell & Bone up in less than a day when I first put up the website. It's very minimally tweaked from the original design. I'd love to come up with a logo for it and customize it a bit more. I'm also working on some regularly scheduled posts on certain topics. By the end of next year I want this to be a space I'm really proud of.

8. Spend more time being creative. I'm a lot happier when I make time to draw, write, take pictures and play music. I'm going to try very hard to dedicate more of my spare time to being creative. I just got an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and I've enjoyed using them a lot more than I initially thought I would. That alone has been getting me to sketch more frequently.

9. Be more physically active. This will become hugely easier once I move, which I will be doing at the end of the month. I also need to find my Fitbit.. it's been missing for several months. I also need to get some proper workout clothes.

10. Use my planner and have specific plans of action for tasks! This one sounds boring but is incredibly key to me being productive. I have a bad habit of trying to multitask, when really I should just be focusing on doing one thing at a time. It's much easier for me to focus when my time is budgeted in advance and things are broken down into manageable pieces for me. I have a great planner, but never quite got into the habit of using it regularly. I'd like to nail down a good workflow that includes a planner.

I'll be doing FOUR updates during the next year specifically to check up on the progress of my goals:

1 Month - End of January
3 Months - End of March
6 Months - End of June
12 Months - End of December

I'll link my progress posts up to this master post for comparison and do a big summary at the end of this year. They'll be fun little freebies towards my one post per month quota, and I'll have something to chart my progress with.

If you have any new goals for the coming year, my biggest piece of advice is not letting the little slip ups discourage you from continuing to work towards your goals. Too often I've given up on projects because everything wasn't 100 percent perfect. Print out your list of goals and go through it regularly; once a week, once a month, or however often you need. It'll help you stay mindful of the progress you have made, and how far you ahve to go. Journal about it if you like to track your progress that way.

Good luck and I'll see you in a month!