I received The 52 Lists Project a few months ago, but being the retentive person that I am, was saving it to start on precisely the first of the year. None of those muddied 2015 thoughts/goals to muck it up and get in the way (November/December Julie is way too stressed to be making goals anyway). I began filling out the first list -- aptly titled 'List Your Goals and Dreams for the Year' -- on New Year's Day, and have been taking my time this week to think of both the small and large goals I'd like to set for myself in the months to come. I think this will be a big year for me and my little family. Chris and I have been talking a lot about the future and where we want to be, and most importantly, how we'll get there. The larger goals here reflect that, but the smaller ones are important too. When I look over the list I've created so far, I can see that I desire order, investment in self and just more for us, and not in the material sense;
Travel more & plan for it
Really pretty self-explanatory. I want to get out more. We tend to stick pretty close to home and where we live now because of time and financial constraints, but I know that if we can just get out of thinking so much in the here and now and thinking a bit more in the future, we can make this happen.
Start backpacking (again)
I used to go on backpacking trips when I was much younger but over the years, as I've moved from the mountains and trails I grew up with to ones I'm less familiar with, I've fallen out of practice. This year I really want to get out camping more and make good on my idea to turn our car into a mobile tent! It's difficult to get out hiking as much as I'd like to, with Chris often working on the weekends, so now we're just determined to make the weekends that we do have together count.
Learn how to budget! (!!!!!!!)
Ohhh, the big one. The big, big one. Confession; I'm not good with numbers in any way, shape or form. They might as well be a foreign language to me and the thought of a budget, of a place where numbers are organized and congregated in large numbers makes me sweat. BUT it has to be done, especially if we want to do anything besides chill at home this year (see goal number 1... and 2). This is what I've really chosen to tackle first this year. A few people have recommended You Need a Budget and after reading reviews and browsing the site, I think that's what we'll at least start with. I like that it's geared towards paying down debt and creating a buffer from month to month. Have you tried any budgeting software? Had success? Let me know, I'm still shopping around :)
Honestly, I feel silly for not making good on this goal last year, but sometimes the thought of writing more and photographing more, on top of the 70+ hours a week I already spend writing and taking pictures is... daunting. BUT this is a big gial of mine, to get my professional work out there and partner with new outlets. It's on the list, so I have to find the time and I have to make it happen.
Less stuff, better stuff
Admittedly, something I've already been working on, but a goal I'd like to continue. Paired with this is recommitting to purchasing mostly secondhand. Since moving to Philly I've mostly stopped thrift shopping, while I've received some great recommendations, I just haven't found any go-to stores that feel worthwhile on the weekends, with time at a premium (see the last goal). But my aim is to shop less altogether and maybe hit the thrifts/vintage when I'm out of town and stumble across something good. I hit secondhand gold while home for Christmas, rekindling my love for thrift/vintage.
More tattoos... more hair appointments... more self-care
Over the past year or so, i've noticed my mindset slipping back, almost to what it was in high school regarding investing in my outward appearance. Nothing quite as extreme as my 16 year old self, but with bills to worry about and work to be done, why get a haircut or highlights or the tiny tatoo I've been wanting? This year I'm going to try to focus on investing in myself again -- in getting a haircut I love now that it's a bit longer, in getting the few small tattoos I've had on my mind for years, in the vitamins and wellness practices that make me feel amazing, in something so simple as painting my nails each week. Last year I started buying flowers every Friday, to enjoy over the weekend, I lapsed some time in the summer, but I want to start again.
Learn something new each week
Whether it's a Skillshare tutorial, a YouTube video, or a recipe on Pinterest, I want this year to be about expanding my Self and bettering the person I am. I read, sure, and I pick up things here and there from work, but I miss learning intentionally. After visiting Paris over the summer, I'd love to refresh my second language skills (or lack of), and I'm hoping to break out of my memoir habit and pick up a few new books outside of the ones I review for work.
The remainder of my goals are just as important -- including doing my laundry regularly! -- but I feel they're a bit simpler. Essentially, this year I hope to do more, learn more, and be more and have presence throughout. Happy 2016, friends. I think it's going to be a good one.