2017: New Year New Goals

Happy 2017! I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling so inspired to make this year better than the last. The Everygirl turns f i v e next month, Conor and I will celebrate 2 years in May, and August will mark s e v e n years in Chicago. I know, I know. I’m talking about things 5 and 8 months from now, but wasn’t it just fall?

As 2016 came to an end, I found myself thinking a lot about what really matters to me. How I can be a better person and what will bring me joy. After recapping my goals for 2016 and talking to Conor about what we want to do this year, I came up with a list of goals for 2017. Hoping some of these tips might inspire you in the new year!

Meditate / calm the f down
Last fall, I started seeing a therapist to work through some things and to figure out how to better cope with stress and anxiety. I can be very tightly wound and  want to continue to work on keeping my stress levels down. During our most recent appointment she recommended that I download headspace (among a few other things), so I’m going to give that a go. As I get older and life continues to throw things at me, learning to be a calmer, happier, and less-stressed out is something that’s very important to me.

Give back / spread kindness
I did more of this last year and along with becoming a more involved PAWS board member, I’d like to do a lot more to help people, too. Last year, I shared the photo of a rescue dog at PAWS and someone adopted her, so I’d love to help get some more dogs adopted this year. This is about so much more than writing a check. It’s about taking time to do something. Think of the lives we could touch if everyone reading this signed up to volunteer somewhere this month and even better, if we each got a friend to join us. We can all stand to give more of ourselves. Volunteer, buy someone in need a hot meal, and make a concerted effort to connect with (and help) others.

Do things
It’s so easy to get stuck in the day-to-day. Work, gym, grabbing that same old favorite salad, and repeat. When it’s cold it’s even easier to be lazy and stay inside most of the weekend. This year, I want to do more. To visit different neighborhoods, get some more culture on (concerts, museums, theater), try new restaurants, visit new coffee shops, and make more plans with friends. You get the idea.

Stop making the same old roast chicken

So I like roast chicken but have a handful of recipes that I make on repeat week after week. Conor and I talked about cooking something new each week which seems pretty doable considering the internet, pinterest, cookbooks, and food blogs. Along with aiming for at least one new recipe each week, we’re planning on inviting friends to come over for dinner more often. And by more often I mean at all because we never really do that.

Keep up with current events
This one’s all about reading more articles and staying informed. If there’s an issue I don’t know a lot about, I’m going to take the time to do learn more.

I won’t even bother setting a goal for the number of books I want to read since last year was a joke, so let’s just say it’s my goal to read something. I start books, read a few chapters, get bored, and move on. And then I just give up altogether. This year, I’d like to be one of those people who starts and finishes a few books. Simple enough, right? Starting with Girl on the Train since according to the internets, people seemed to like that one. Any more suggestions for me?

Fix my back and actually stick to a workout routine
I love working out but my back has been a mess for about a year now, keeping me from being able to work out regularly. There have been a few decent months but ultimately, I’ve been in pain most of the year. So once again, I’m giving a new physical therapist a go and hoping to go into this summer in better shape than last year. It’s time.

So much of what I do is online and I’ve gotten much better than I used to be, but I’d like to be more present and spend less time on my phone in 2017. It’s so important to stay connected with people and to disconnect from social media. Conor and I talked about having a few nights a week when we’ll cook, read, or watch a show without checking email or social.

Listen and be a better friend
Staying in touch with close friends isn’t usually a challenge for me but I can be bad about making regular plans with them. And we could all be better at really listening and being supportive, so that’s something to work on, too. Take the time to really listen to others.

I can’t not have a travel goal since traveling is so important to me. This year, I’d love to visit a new country.

Try not to let my blog die
The past few months, I’ve really enjoyed blogging–something I used to love and don’t necessarily have a ton of free time for. It’s meant writing and shooting nights and weekends, but I’ve enjoyed it. That said, I hope to stay motived and to hopefully continue to inspire you and share what I’m hoping is decent content.

Alright, 2017. Let’s do this. Happy New Year!

image via stil classics

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  • Reading is a goal of mine this year too. I just finished Nightingale and highly recommend! Cheers to 2017!

  • Danielle, I agree that if 2016 taught me anything, it’s that I should be doing more for other people. I loved The Girl on the Train too, but you might think of trying Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing about two sisters born in Ghana, one sold into slavery and one who is married to a slave trader. The book follows each sister’s descendants up to the 21st century, and it was hands down my favorite book of the year. It’s deeply moving, and since each chapter focuses on a different person, the book is almost like interwoven short stories. I think it would be a really good choice for someone trying to get back into reading, since each chapter can almost stand alone, and you can return to it easily if you do walk away from it after awhile (all the stories are interconnected, but each plot doesn’t necessarily rely upon the others). You might also enjoy All the Light We Cannot See, which is set in France and Germany during WWII. I’ve really enjoyed your return to blogging this past year, so selfishly, I hope that resolution sticks! I hope you have a wonderful 2017!

    1. That was probably the biggest takeaway for me, too. I already signed up to volunteer and am excited to give more this year.

      That book sounds fantastic. Thank you for the recommendation! I also have All The Light We Cannot See and plan on reading that one this year, too.

      We’ll see if I can keep it up. I’m so glad you’re enjoying reading. I just hope I don’t run out of things to say. 🙂 Happy New Year! Hope you have a great 2017 too!

  • Check out “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty. It’s a fun read and there will be an HBO miniseries based on it this year, so finishing it before that is good motivation. I enjoyed Girl on a Train, but preferred Big Little Lies because the characters are more likable. Both have a mystery element without being full-on who-done-its. All the Light We Cannot See, suggested by Jessica, is amazing, but it’s pretty long, so I’d ease in with something more easily digestible. Good luck with your goals!

    1. I did read your post–our goals are so similar, and you made me want to add playing an instrument back to my list but I’m just not sure there’s time to do everything. One day… 🙂

      Happy New Year!

  • This is a nice set to start off the new year. getting back in shape is one of my goals as well but after baby #3, it is HARD to get motivated. Cooking different recipes is also another goal. I am vegetarian and my daughter has celiac disease so it gets hard to find recipes that line up however we love trying new things so I am marking that one down as well!

    1. It’s hard enough for me to get anything done without any kids so I can’t imagine! There are so many great gluten free options these days! Hopefully today’s post will help with snack ideas for your daughter.

  • Have you ever tried Audible? Reading is always a goal of mine, but I, too, am tightly wound and struggle to commit time to sit down and actually read without feeling like I should be doing something else. I started listening to ebooks as a solution and get just as much enjoyment out of them as I do reading, but it is easier for me to get through an ebook because I can turn it on and listen while I do things like cook dinner, get ready for work in the morning, clean the house, fold laundry, go for a walk, etc. My husband is not a reader at all and he has learned to love them as well. Every few months we will pick a book together and listen to it (sometimes together, sometimes individually). It gives us great conversation topics and we’ve learned a lot about each other and how we view the world. Ebooks have also given me the opportunity to “read” a lot more business and self reflection books that I’d normally never get through if I sat down and read them. I seem to absorb and process those types of books much better when I’m listening, which makes me retain and enjoy them a lot more.
    Tip: If you buy a year worth of credits, the audio books are actually quite affordable and are often less than actually buying a book on hard copy or kindle.

    1. I haven’t and love the idea of that for road trips but really like actually putting away anything with a screen and actually reading a book. No kindle or iPad–turning actual pages. And the smell, too. I’m a dork.

  • I’d recommend “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt! It’s pretty thick and takes some dedication, but the story and characters are so compelling and the writing is fantastic, it’s totally worth it. It’s one of my very favorites! I also recently read “Her Again” by Michael Schulman, if you are looking for some nonfiction. It’s an autobiography of Meryl Streep’s early years, until her early 30s, how she got her start, her first great love (Fredo from The Godfather!), etc. It’s great!

    I love your list of goals! A lot of people roll their eyes at new year’s resolutions, but I think they serve as a great way to check in with yourself and really figure out where you’re at in life and where you’d like to be. Anyway, thanks for sharing, I’m looking forward to keeping up with your blog this year!

    Happy New Year!

    1. My boyfriend read that one last year so it is naturally on my list since we have it at home. Took him FOREVER to finish though. It’s huge! Adding her again to the list too. I LOVE Meryl (but who doesn’t)? Thank you!

      I think people roll their eyes at crazy resolutions (like giving up sugar for the year). I use this time to reflect on the past year, what i want to do, and who i want to be in the new year. 🙂

  • I really hope you keep blogging too! Yours is always one of my favorites to check in with 🙂 I love all of these goals, especially the do things one! I’ve lived in California for a year and half and still feel like I haven’t gotten out and explored enough of my new state. I’m a total homebody, so it’s really easy for me to make excuses to stay home because I’m happy here. I want to push myself to get out and explore more!

  • My goal this year is to be a better friend. I’ve had so many friendships fizzle out because I’m horrible at keeping in touch and making plans. I have a full time job, a husband, and 3 kids (3 yo twins and a 9 month old) so I’m very busy but honestly, everyone is busy so I can’t use that as an excuse! With all of the ways to communicate nowadays, even a quick note to tell someone that I’m thinking of them is important.