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2016 field GOALS

Photo: Courtesy chezgagneletterpress Instagram

Photo: Courtesy chezgagneletterpress Instagram

OK…so I wanted to make the title semi-sports related, so there you go. But in all seriousness, 2016 is going to be my year.

Wait, quick poll – who doesn’t say that every. single. year?

OK – we’re all on the same page.

As the New Year approaches, I remind myself to be realistic with my goals. I’ve always been pretty good about that, but especially as January 1st hits, I don’t want to start the year with disappointment if I miss a goal I set too high. (A University of Scranton study suggests that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals, so we’re not alone…)

In a nutshell, here are some of my goals for 2016. As friends/family/readers, help hold me accountable for these and I’d love for you to share what your big goals are.

Financially: For those who don’t quite understand the world of freelancing, let me put it in simple terms: I have no idea how much money is coming in each month, if any. I have had clients simply not pay after the work has been done, I have had clients cancel our monthly blogging arrangements three days before, and I have had websites shut down literally overnight that not only erases my work, but doesn’t pay me for the work I was right in the middle of. I have had assignments stolen from me and I have had articles cancelled and not run because photographers didn’t submit photos. It’s seriously a hard-knock life when it comes to freelancing + bank accounts.

With that being said, financial goals are HARD for freelancers, but I’m going to try and be reasonable.

I want to make $10k more than I did in 2015. (So if you’re hiring, HELLO!)

I want to pay off remaining credit card debt (should be by February).

I want to save $700/month. I know that sounds like an arbitrary number, but I have my reasons.

(For all my other freelance and small-business owner friends, check out these top resolutions via Entrepreneur.com.)

Be Brave and Active: I feel I’m already pretty brave and more active than most, but like all things in life, there’s always room for improvement.

I want to try something new each month. This can be as simple as a new restaurant in town, a new workout trend, or a new adventure. I’m leaving this one pretty open-ended, but this will help boost my creativity and not feel like I’m in a rut. I plan to keep a journal of all the “new things” from each month and recap. We’ll see if that actually happens though…

Growing and sharing my faith is a goal in 2016

Growing and sharing my faith is a goal in 2016

Positive Thinking: I’m positive I want to be more positive in 2016. I want to start each morning with a positive thought. If that sounds simple to you – congratulations.

Faith: I want to grow my faith with God. Not only do I want to grow it, I want to share it with others.

Share: Being a creative individual is an attribute not everyone has, and sometimes I forget that and take it for granted. I absolutely love volunteering and working with kids, so in 2016 I want to volunteer to teach creative writing classes, whether at a local school or library or a non-profit.

Walk it Out: Although I’m proud to be an athlete and decent runner, I want to start walking more in 2016 – and not just for the sake of burning calories (although, what a bonus!). I can count on one hand how many walks I went on with friends in 2015 and guess what? Every single one of them was a great time – it was a great way to learn more about Houston and to reconnect with a friend.

Read: As a writer, I’ll admit it’s hard to read. I have this rush of guilt that I should be writing, not reading someone else’s work. But that has to stop. Each week, I plan to read for an hour – uninterrupted. No cell phone, no to-do lists, nothing – just reading. I love this article on how busy people can find more time to read more.

The truth

The truth

In the Kitchen: More about my upcoming move later, but with a kitchen I actually have room to maneuver in, I have no excuse not to cook more. I want to try one new recipe each month and cook at least 3x a week. If you have suggestions for great websites/blogs for recipes, let me know!

Memoir: The time has come. Actually, the time came a long time ago, and then circled back, then did it all over again, but now I’m serious. I wrote a hilariously self-deprecating memoir two summers ago when I moved to Hawaii and it’s just been sitting on my computer. If word documents could rust, this would be completely rusty and dangerous to touch. Mark my words – my memoir will be picked up by a literary agent in 2016. I realize this will be hard work, but I’m ready for it.

Hawaii: There’s no other way to describe this one, except for the simple fact I will step foot back on the North Shore this year. If you’ve ever met me, you know I moved to Hawaii for four months in 2013 and it was by far the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. Hawaii is my happy place, and you better believe I’ll be hopping on a plane for a visit back.

If you’re looking for more reading on achieving New Year’s goals and hacks and tricks to doing it, I loved this Lifehack article. Here’s another great piece from ABC News with top resolutions and apps to help get you there.