2016 Goals

Resolutions tend to fizzle out after a few weeks, but goals are more long-term. So that’s what I’m focusing on this year. I’m planning on 2016 being a year for the books, so it’s important I start the year out with some serious intentions. That’s why I’ve put zero thought into this post – I’m gonna figure it out on the fly. Seems like the most organic way to handle it, right?

Goal #1 – Go on more adventures.
My mom recently visited and we talked about meditation. I’ve never been capable of meditating because my mind is always filled with 52 things and it races every time I try to make it be silent. Basically, it’s like a toddler. But she mentioned that meditation doesn’t have to look the same for everyone – it’s just about doing something that clears your mind. It’s about finding the thing that makes you be completely present. And I realized I do have that. When I’m exploring something new or any time I’m in the mountains, it consumes me. I don’t look at my phone, I don’t give any brain space to what happened yesterday or what could happen tomorrow. I’m completely in the moment. All I’m focused on is putting one foot in front of the other. And (of course) my mind is constantly thinking of how to capture the beauty with my camera.

Emerald Lake RMNP CO

Beyond that, I notice that I start to feel antsy and lost when we haven’t hiked in a while. Nothing makes my heart race like new experiences, and I want them to be a huge part of 2016. We’re living in an entirely new area – there is no shortage of places to explore. So we plan to get on it.

Goal #2 – Make healthy choices for the sake of being healthy.
You know that meme – the one that says “My goal was to lose 10 pounds this year. Only 15 more to go!” That pretty much sums up 2015 for me. But you know what? I feel beautiful, capable, and ready to take charge of my health. Again. At this point in my journey, I don’t at all feel like I’ve failed. Ever. Because I aways have the tools available to me. I’m always capable of being in charge. Sometimes I just choose other paths. And that’s okay.

I’m learning not to put my worth solely on the size of my body. Gaining weight doesn’t lessen the impact of my accomplishments – it simply means I’m human. I think this partly comes from getting older, but it also comes from expanding my identity. For a while, I was The Girl Who Lost 100 Pounds. It was the only thing about myself that made me proud. But that’s not all I am now. I’m a writer, a photographer, an adventurer, a DIYer and hopefully, a motivator. (And those are in addition to being a mom & wife of course.) So my goal for this year isn’t to lose a certain number of pounds….it’s to feel strong, healthy and capable of handling any adventure I decide to take on.

Goal #3 – Write more.
J bought me a book of 300 writing prompts for Christmas, and I’m so excited to get going on them. I love to write, but I lose motivation when I put pressure on myself to write about something specific or to a specific audience. When I just write for me, I enjoy the process immensely and I think my passion comes through more clearly. Sometimes I publish my thoughts, and sometimes they get lost in the WordPress drafts folder – never to be seen again. But the key is to stop getting in my own way. Stop trying to make everything perfect. ‘Perfect’ doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion. So my goal is to follow my heart and share what feels right at the time. We’ll see how that goes.

Goal #4 – Find friends.
As much as I loved it there, the only thing I truly miss about Hawai’i is the homeschooling community. It was the first place I felt surrounded by people who were just like me. And that’s really saying something. In the homeschooling world, I’m a rare breed. I made forever friends in a short amount of time, and I have no intention of trying to replace them. But my kids need friends, and J and I need to socialize periodically. So my goal for this year is to reach out, make myself uncomfortable, and keep going until I find my Colorado tribe. I know they’re here. (And as a side note, my related goal is not get jealous when my Forever Friends do the same.)

Goal #5 – Have patience.
This is sort of an ongoing goal that I pretty much always fail at achieving, but I’ll keep putting it on the list because I figure it’s at least worthy of that. My need for patience extends to all areas of my life – my children, my husband, myself, and mostly, life. I figure I don’t really need to keep talking about it because I know I’m not alone in this particular pursuit.

Goal #6 – Follow through on my challenges.
As of today, I have challenged myself to three things for this year. I’m nervous. My follow-through isn’t so great.

2016 Challenges

Starting on January 4th, I’m going to give this Whole 30 thing a try. I generally shy away from anything trendy or super restrictive, but my best friend talked me into it. She completed Whole 30 last January and she apparently wasn’t too traumatized because she’s doing it again. I personally think she’s crazy, but what the hell, I’ll jump in and join her on the crazy train. (And I’m bringing J along too…lucky him!)

My next two challenges are year-long ones. First, I’ve decided to post a photo each day of something that brings me happiness using the hashtag #dailysliceofjoy2016 (Find me on Instagram!). My personal goal is to make the images technically sound & artistically interesting, but the point of the challenge is to remember the tiny details of life that truly make it worth living. Please join in if you’d like!

Lastly, a few of my friends posted about a run/walk challenge hosted by ilovetorun.org. I was really knocking out the miles for a solid year, but then it fizzled out this past summer. So I’m thinking this will do the trick. J and I have committed to completing 1000 miles over the next 12 months. Most of them will likely be walked, and that’s perfectly okay with me. I have my treadmill set up, new wireless headphones to try out, and Audible installed on my phone. And then when it stops being ridiculously cold, I’ll get back to my outdoor strolls. This is definitely happening.

Goal #7 – Spend money wisely.
I have been getting better at this, but it’s still something I largely struggle with. I don’t go into big purchases lightly, but I have no trouble hemorrhaging little bits of money here and there and everywhere. It’s not good. We have some lofty long-term plans, and the only way they can be accomplished is if we reign in our spending and start saving. Now. Beyond that, I want to make grand vacations part of our regular reality. So I’m hoping having that in the back of my mind will help me be more responsible.

Goal #8 – Consistency.
Does this need an explanation? No, not really. But it’s by and large my biggest struggle. So it deserves a place on this list. And I’m going to try harder than ever.

And that’s it. These are my goals for 2016. They all seem pretty doable to me, and I think they’re all integral to becoming a happier, healthier person.

Happy New Year! (Share your own goals below!)

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