Okay 2017, let’s DO this!

Let's set some goals!
Let’s set some goals!

You guys! The next time I post a blog,  it will be 2017! I feel like just about everyone is ready for this year to be over, and I’m including myself in that bunch.

A friend on Facebook posted this article, I think it was from NPR, yesterday, and it was basically saying that everyone was naming 2016 as a sucky year because of all the celebrity deaths. It also said that if you’re complaining about a year because of celebrities you never even met passing away, then you’re already privileged and shouldn’t be whining about it.

Ehhh, I don’t want to spend a lot of time arguing these points, but whatever happened to being able to have feelings for whatever we want? I say in 2017, maybe NPR should come up with a more substantial content calendar. But what do I know?

I do know that as each year comes and goes, it becomes much more clear to me what I want out of this life and in order to get it, I continually have to set goals – big and small – so I can reach my dreams!

I never really did like the term “resolution”, because I feel like when people set resolutions, they’re vague like “lose weight”, and they hit the gym religiously until January 14, and then it’s over until the following year. I try to set goals that are reachable (although challenging, of course), specific, and at least somewhat measureable.

So, here are some of my goals for 2017:

Start With Kindness. As you can tell by the name of this blog, I’ve spend a chunk of my life feeling sour about things that have happened to me, and choices I’ve made. But in general, I wouldn’t classify myself as bitter – I’m actually pretty kind and very giving.

In the last year, I’ve thought a lot about a kindness campaign started by my favorite radio show hosts, Johnjay & Rich. Their campaign, #LoveUp, encourages everyone to do something kind for someone else – whether big or small, and whether they need it or not. Many of these little moments of kindess are shared on air during the show, and they are very touching.

I’ve already started my own #LoveUp acts of kindess, and they’ll definitely be making appearances in 2017. They can be as small as holding the door open for someone, helping out a coworker, or as big as helping someone financially, or fostering an animal.

Be a Practicing Writer. In my previous job, much of my day was spent writing. Whether or not it was stuff I actually wanted to write was not the issue, but I wrote a ton during those years. I blogged, I wrote freelance articles, I wrote books, poetry… and I really haven’t immersed myself in my craft since.

This year, I used birthday money to buy books on screenwriting, and I volunteered nearly 20 hours of my time toward the Austin Screenwriting Festival, listened to many podcasts on the craft, and have researched courses to take to learn on it – but haven’t actually DUG in there and started typing! So, I’ve got to do it – whether or not its work anyone sees, its time.

Just Go For It. I spend a lot of time analyzing situations and decisions, trying to figure out if I should do it or how or when or why, and frankly, it’s exhausting!

When I moved to Austin in 2015, I had basically no money, was living in an extended-stay hotel, and I spent my evenings going on “adventures” – where I’d basically just drive to a place that sounded cool and check it out, so at least I’d learn my way around the city and pick places I wanted to visit later. It was simple, fun, and it really helped shaped the way I look at the city. I’m definitely aiming for more adventures in Austin, and elsewhere, in 2017.

Act, Believe, & Receive. I’ve spent the last several years really trying to focus on myself. After years of abuse from various places, I lost myself and I was letting other people create my course. It took therapy, time, and lots of self-reflection for me to even begin to build myself up and allow me to just be me, and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again.

In these last few weeks of 2016, I’ve felt it, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. So, in 2017, I’m going to act more confident, believe in myself, and receive the treatment that I deserve.

Be Intentional. As of yesterday, I started listening to “The Minimalists” podcast, and although I’m just four episodes in, I am hooked and craving for more learning on this lifestyle choice. The Minimalists are particularly two men who left corporate America (and six-figure salaries) to live simply in terms of having less things, but to also live with intention and do everything on purpose – down to drinking one perfect cup of well-made coffee instead of just guzzling another K-cup.

They do things because of the joy it creates, or the meaning it brings – not because it fulfills the old school cliche of the American Dream. The more I learn on living minimal, I’ll let you know, of course!

Live High. No, I’m not planning on smoking more weed in 2017, but if that’s your goal – call me. “Live High” comes from a multitude of places. Initially, I was thinking of a fantastically mellow Jason Mraz song titled as such, but then I thought of that moment at the Democratic Convention this year when Michelle Obama talked about her approach to bullies: “When they go low, we go high.” See the video at 2:45 for the exact moment, but you should probably just watch the entire thing because, let’s face it, it was one of the most hopeful moments of the year.

Essentially, I want to give myself permission to do things just for me. I do a pretty good job already of having no shame for watching hours of TV each week (hell, each night), but I want to do a better job of encorporating happy and healthy habits into my life, and not apologizing for them.

Choose (& Plan for) Your Destiny! This started as kind of a joke between me, and well, myself, because someone told me earlier this year: “Everything that happens to you is because you let it. You choose your destiny.” In the way it was delivered to me, it seemed more of a way to avoid blame, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt it in all areas of my life.

Spent my Saturday working? Well that was obviously the destiny that I chose. No more being a victim; no more going along for the ride. We choose our destinies! And you know what? Destinies need to be planned. So, I bought myself a gorgeous new planner for 2017 – this one is nearly identical to the one I got – and I’ve already started filling it! It has inspirational quotes, folders, pages for notes, and lots of fun stickers to keep things organized.

So, there you have it! I asked my Facebook friends about their goals for 2017 and I heard all sorts of good things – from living simplistic or getting outdoors more to lowering debt and taking more pictures. I’d love to hear what your hopes and goals for the New Year are.

I’ll be right back here on Monday, and until then, have a safe and very happy New Year! Cheers!


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