Instead of setting resolutions for the year, I like to set goals. To me, resolutions imply that you are resolving to change something that needs to be fixed. Alternately, goals imply that you’re working towards something. It may be a small nuance, but the shift in thinking helps me focus on the act of moving forward in a positive way rather than the negative perspective of feeling behind or needing to catch up. I also appreciate that goals aren’t instantaneous changes I make as of January 1st (feeling bad when I don’t keep pace by February 1st.) they’re long-range plans that I can continue to build upon. The following list are just some of my goals for the year.
This is a mainstay on my list every year. Last year we were lucky to be able to travel quite a bit, spending more than 2 weeks in Europe visiting Ireland, Scotland, England, and France at the end of spring, our Thanksgiving holiday in Kauai, and a few other quick trips to Chicago, Spokane, and St. Louis. This year we are skipping the big trips in favor of several smaller domestic trips. Our potential list this year includes NYC, Nashville, Houston, SFO, and Chicago.
Last year we planted our first garden full of fruit, veggies, and herbs and I loved it! It was so great to be able to go outside and pick fresh ingredients right out of the ground for dinner. There was a pretty substantial learning curve in our first year, so I’m excited to apply that experience to our second year. I can’t wait for all of the fresh tomatoes and basil!
Learn to water bath can
I grew up helping my mom water bath and pressure can everything from jam to chilis, but it’s been so many years that every time I go to make something I get nervous about whether I’m doing it right and end up scrapping the idea. This year I plan to take a canning class so that I can feel more confident in my canning skills and hopefully preserve some of what I grow in my garden this year.
I’m thankful to have inherited my mom’s prized vintage Bernina sewing machine. In September, I bought the supplies for a baby quilt for my niece, but I’ve yet to make a single stitch. My goal for this year is to not only finish the quilt but learn to become reacquainted with my sewing machine so that I feel comfortable jumping in on more difficult projects. In addition to sewing, it’s been at least a year since I’ve knit or crocheted anything (for shame!) and I’m interested in taking embroidery back up because I believe some things can be both practical and pretty.
Switch to more natural beauty products
The amount of chemicals and unhealthy garbage in our beauty products is ridiculous and unnecessary; each year I kick a few more products to the curb. I’ve swapped out several regular beauty products for natural alternatives and hope to make more changes this year. Deodorant is next on my list and I’ve heard great things about Soapwalla, but have yet to make the plunge. A great natural liquid liner would also be fantastic, so if you have any suggestions please send them my way! Some things that I’ve already swapped and love include:
- Shampoo and conditioner by Acure. I like the Ultra Hydrating blend because it smells a bit like almond, which is one of my favorite scents.
- Body wash by Dr. Bronners. Almond is my favorite scent, but I like to swap it up with lavender and peppermint from time-to-time.
- Shaving cream by Alba Botanica. My sister recommended this shaving cream to me several years ago and I’ve never looked back. The consistency is closer to a waxy jelly instead of a traditional lotion or foam. The bottle lasts me way longer than a traditional shaving cream also.
- Moisturizing Rosehip oil for face and body by Radha. This is a great dry oil for everyday use and so much healthier than that bottle of Cetaphil that I know is lurking in your cabinet. If you choose another brand make sure it’s Organic and cold-pressed 100% rosehip oil.
- Mascara by Pacifica. My favorite is the Dream Big Lash Extending 7 in 1 Mascara, but their Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara is also good. This Portland company makes natural, vegan, and 100% cruelty-free makeup and body care products. If you’re not in the Portland area, no worries because many of their products can be found at Target.
- Cream blusher and powder blush by Beautycounter. The Color Pinch Cream Blusher in Umber is my favorite everyday cheek color year-round. I also love using it as a lip color because it has a great buildable color. When I’m feeling like something a little brighter, the Powder Blush Duo in Flamingo/Apricot is my jam. This company has quite a few options for beauty products. I’ve tried their Tint Skin Foundation and thought it was just okay, but have yet to find a natural option that will make me swap our my NARS Sheer Glow foundation full time.
Condense my wardrobe and invest in better pieces
I feel like my clothing buying habits haven’t changed that much since college. I’m still snapping up items that can take me from the office to the weekend, with as little investment as possible. I absolutely despise shopping malls, so online shopping is where 95% of my clothing choices are made, with the other 5% being inexpensive impulse shopping in person when I’m picking up laundry detergent from Target. Not to snub my nose at the occasional Target find, but there has to be more planning that goes into my wardrobe than cheap, impulsive buys and the annual sweater haul from Loft.
I’ve always favored pieces that have classic staying power rather than trendy pieces I likely won’t want to wear the following year, but that also leaves me feeling like I’m a bit of a boring dresser (guess how many bleeping cardigans I own?!). I’ve also been known to keep items that no longer fit, need tailoring, or need mending for far longer than I should, leaving my wardrobe packed to the gills full of things that I never wear anymore. Additionally, the “once I lose x amount of pounds I will invest in better clothing” excuse lacks weight (oh, puns!). My weight might change this year; It also might not. That’s really not a great excuse not to invest in a quality piece that I love, especially when there are endless tailors and consignment stores that I can recoup my investment in if I actually do find the sizing off down the road. My goal is to invest in pieces that make me feel good in my current body and deplete any that don’t.
Grow my blog
Blogging is hard and anyone who tells you otherwise has a well-oiled staff to help. Actually, they’d probably still tell you it’s hard – because it is! Working a blog into my time in addition to my full-time job has been a challenge. It’s also kind of awesome and exciting and I often find myself inadvertently getting proud of myself for the smallest things. This year I’d love to grow my blog into something that I can continue to be proud of, allowing myself the grace of imperfection, mistakes, late posts, and occasional poor lighting.
Read at least 50 books
I set this goal for myself last year and
failed. Actually, strike that. I made it to 40 books, which is nothing to scoff at. Who has time for 40 books? That’s awesome! This year, I’m going for 50 and I hope you’ll join me in my challenge, however big or small your reading list for the year is. I challenge you to make sure that at least 50% of your reading list this year are books by female authors. Check out my list of favorite reads from 2017 to help get you jump-started.