Here's a glimpse into what's on my mind for 2016. Half of my ten intentions are more about building on or continuing some of the good habits I've established in 2015— I think that's a good sign, right? I think I'm growing up, you guys! (Cue eye roll.) Others are very practical things I've put off for too long— like becoming more financially empowered and making long-overdue improvements to my apartment. Creativity, health, and fitness inform the remaining. Check it out and tell me what you think. What are your resolutions? If you don't have any yet, this post about financial resolutions or this post about mental health resolutions might inspire you. I also like the idea of choosing a word to describe and motivate your intentions for the year (see this post).
- Complete apartment-related projects that have gone unfinished for way too long— This will include giving away/selling items that no longer serve a purpose. I’m usually good at keeping clutter in check, but we could use some work in the clothing and kitchen tools departments (my two weaknesses). Framing and hanging pictures and photos that deserve a place on our wall. (Yes, I’ve been telling myself they look just as good on the floor, propped against the wall, but I know it isn’t so.) And actually fixing the lighting in our bedroom, which will involve hanging curtains and putting sconces on the wall by each side of the bed.
- Plan one long(ish) trip abroad— Travel has been such a meaningful part of my life for the past few years. I’d like to continue our tradition of going abroad for a few weeks each year. I know we won’t be able to spend as much time as we did this year (more than six weeks when I sum up all our trips!!!), but I’ll be thrilled if we can plan get away for two weeks or so to one of the destinations on our list.
- Keep meal planning weekly & experimenting in the kitchen— I mentioned in my last post that I’m finding home cooking and meal planning to be more enjoyable and sustainable than ever before. I chalk it up to all the travel we did this past year. When we went to Israel, Adam’s family showed us a world of recipes, techniques, and ingredients we hadn’t really experienced before. Same goes for Thailand— we made it a point to take several cooking classes while we were there,which really increased my confidence in experimenting with new flavors and ingredients. In 2016, I want to continue to add new recipes to my repertoire and to fit my experimentation into our weekly meal plans.
- Take two or more photography classes— I have a great interest in photography and graphic design, and I’ve loved experimenting with my new Canon 70d and my Adobe Creative Cloud membership this past year. In 2016, I’d like to push my digital design and photography skills a little further by taking a few classes and challenging myself with coursework and maybe a few personal projects too.
- Prioritize good sleep habits— I have been a terrible, terrible sleeper my whole life— until 2015. I’m not sure what clicked, but I am slowly turning into a pro sleeper!! Maybe all those years of poor sleep have caught up with me and my body is just over it. In any case, I seriously had no idea how good a full, uninterrupted eight hours feels when you wake up in the morning. It’s like I’m a different person. A calmer, more patient, happier person. I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on all this time!! Whatever it takes, I’d like to never go back, please.
- Continue barre classes 3x per week— Barre is my workout of choice… something to do with the combination of a classroom environment (where you are accountable to show up or they charge you $$!) and the way it improves the same type of strength and techniques I need for ballet class. Barre makes me feel like my strongest and most toned self. No matter how my schedule evolves this year, I want to continue to prioritize my commitment to this workout.
- Be more thoughtful— I love sending little notes to my family and friends, giving really well thought-out and beautifully wrapped gifts, having my friends over for casual weeknight dinners, or finding other ways to show that I care. And yet— every holiday season, I am last-minute with my gifts, too late to send cards, and usually lagging behind with thank you notes. This year, I not only want to start shopping much, much earlier for the holidays, but also to keep family and friends in mind year round. The best gift givers I know always have their loved ones in the back of their minds while they're out shopping. This year, I want to adopt that mindset and be more consistent about preparing for the holidays and acknowledging birthdays and other milestones in the lives of my friends and family members.
- Have more LA-focused adventures— I love traveling abroad, but I also find playing tourist in my own city to be a fulfilling way to relax and spark inspiration in between trips. This year, I hope to keep up with rotating exhibits at our favorite museums, hike and generally spend time outside, try new restaurants and coffee shops, and even splurge on tickets to go see some of the wonderful dance, theatre, and music that’s available right in our backyard.
- Continue making time and space for hobbies— I’m proud to say that 2015 is the year I finally prioritized my hobbies. I carved out a consistent routine in which to read, write, shoot and edit photos, take dance class, and (of course!) share bits of my life and interests on my blog. I also set goals in each of my hobbies, so that, when things get busy, I understand exactly why these things are meaningful enough for me to spend my time on them. This year, I want to keep up the consistency I’ve created and maybe pursue one or several larger projects that incorporate my interests and hobbies.
- Adopt better financial habits— My main objective here is to fully understand my spending habits and overall relationship to my money. I’ve never been able to set a budget that completely reflects how I want to save/spend my income. By setting a realistic budget and a weekly routine to work on and check in with my finances, I hope to fix this and have my money truly reflect my priorities, like purchasing a house, saving for my retirement, traveling, keeping a little extra on hand for things like entertaining, gifts, and random expenses… and also, let’s be honest… clothes. I’d also like to pay more attention to my investments and think about how my money can work even harder for me this year.