Seeing as I took last week off to properly celebrate and take part in the holidays, I figured I’d start whilst on the plane to Mexico, trying to ignore the fairy sounds from the little girl’s iPad in front of me. The mom was good for the first few hours, constantly hushing her two noisy children, but she’s since fallen asleep and they’re letting loose.

But I digress.

Every time I look back at 2016, my feelings are mixed. Right off the bat, I kept thinking about all the things I didn’t accomplish and goals I still had yet to cross off. As always, I had big plans for myself. Yet they simply didn’t pan out due to their unrealistic nature, or simply timing. It wasn’t until recently when I was walking home from a charity punk rock karaoke event (only in Brooklyn..) was where I realized all the goals I HAD also accomplished. Let’s take a quick look at some of them:

Old Goals of 2016

  1. Run a 5k (lol nope)
  2. Travel to a new country (Faroe Islands and re-visited Iceland)
  3. Read 35 books (made it to about 25..)
  4. Move to NYC (June 13th, 2016)
  5. Level up in Krav Maga (passed my test in March 13th, 2016 )
  6. Visit 3 new states (0/3, whoops)
  7. Attend a writing conference (went to WITS in California in March)
  8. Shoot a personal project a month (I really neglected personal photography this year in favor of client work)
  9. Get signed into an agency (nope)
  10. Make 10k more than I did last year (close, but not really)

Those “failures” had a lot to do with timing, funds, or assuming I would be Superwoman whilst dealing with everything else. I expected a lot of myself, more so than what was possible at the time. When I think about it, I assumed I would be able to be in great physical shape, cook most of my meals, set aside time to read 10 more books, take a roadtrip or two, set up and shoot an involved personal project each month, get an agent, all while making more money after a big move.

My First Week Living In Brooklyn

My life was all over the place.

I didn’t know what I wanted to shoot. I needed to take on jobs from CT and things that didn’t fit my “idea” just to make rent. With a portfolio I wasn’t proud of or adding to consistently, how could I expect to be signed? I barely had money to explore my city, let alone 3 new states and a “stretch” goal (one of my favorite unrealistic expectations I put at the end of any goal or to-do list) of 3 new countries.

I expect so much of myself simply because there are so many things I want out of life. As always though, without enough time to do them all. Where I saw myself as a failure for not getting it all done, I decided to instead look at the positives that came out of the year. I moved to a place that makes my heart swell every time I walk out the door. I gained back some of the confidence I had lost by sticking with Krav Maga classes before my move. To get serious about my writing, I flew to California to attend a conference where I made a ton of new friends. Though I didn’t make as much as I would have liked this year, I managed to save enough to travel to one of the most expensive countries for two weeks.

Setting Goals for 2017

With that being said, I’ve crafted a newer, kinder list of things that I can actually give myself the chance to accomplish.

New Goals of 2017:

  1. Travel to 3 new places
  2. Read 5 really good books
  3. Do another sober month
  4. Reach out to more clients that I’d genuinely feel good about working for
  5. Write at LEAST once a week on the blog (I’m aiming for 2 because I can’t not have a stretch goal..)
  6. Increase my pricing because I am worth it
  7. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise
  8. Spend more time on self-love and meditation
  9. Finally make a functioning spreadsheet system
  10. Stop worrying about the little things and spend more time accomplishing the big ones

I want to live a life filled with experiences and good memories, not one held up by doubts and constant worrying. The fear of failure is always there; have I done enough? Should I be doing more? What is it exactly that I want out of my life? What I do know is, I want to continue to make travel a priority and give myself some realistic expectations and goals to get me to where I need to be. So much of my time after college has been spent prioritizing the destination and not the actual journey. This year, I plan on prioritizing positive self-talk, realistic life goals, and ultimately becoming the best version of myself.

Whatever that may be in the end.

Setting Goals for 2017

So what are your goals for 2017?


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