Hi there, and welcome to this year’s installment of, *drumroll*

Dear Internet, please hold me accountable to my goals for the New Year:

And the mandatory blog post on my opinions about New Year resolutions

I don’t know where I’d be without my Rifle Paper Co. planner and my Bic Flair pens that come in a million different colors. These babies help me keep me organized and on track every day, not just the first day of the new year!


Update: you can download my monthly goals for the year here

I think New Year resolutions often get a bad reputation as being a lazy person’s way of hitting a reset button on their life. So often we see people decide that this will be the year they will lose weight or quit smoking or start this or get good at that. Hearing people repeat the same goals every year is exhausting and I think I’m getting whiplash from all the facebook posts and #newyearnewme instagram selfies. I’m also a little sick of the other half of the internet that responds with cries of “why not work on improving yourself every day?” and “what makes a new year so special?”

To be honest though, I actually agree with the naysayers on this one.

That is why I don’t set a resolution anymore. I DO agree we should work on improving ourselves every day, not just the first, which is why I ditched resolutions and now use January first as a “check in” for my goals. If you know me, you know I love goals and lists and I have a pretty good idea of where I’d like to see myself in the next 2, 5, and 10 years. Because of this, I like to spend most of my free time in the week between Christmas and New Year’s eve reflecting on the past year and the progress I have made toward my academic, personal, and career goals. I then head into January first with a few different strategies for the new year that will help keep me motivated long past February. I don’t like to think of this time as rushing toward a “new me,” but instead as a time to pause, reflect, and learn more about myself.

So now I want to share my personal goal setting strategy with ya’ll so maybe you can try it out for yourself. And my selfish bonus? By sharing this stuff I might feel motivated enough to follow through with all of it!

Now, keep in mind that I do love list making and motivational quotes more than most sane people, so this strategy might not be what’s best for you. However, it could inspire you to try out something that’s a better fit. My goals and intentions are also pretty specific to my interests so you probably need to do some reflection and self discovery of your own (hint: lots of coffee, Pandora, and fun colored pens really help).



I start by setting five intentions for the year. These intentions are the broad themes for how I want to define myself in 2016 and grow as a friend, student, girlfriend, and daughter. This year’s intentions are:

  1. Be Present
  2. Seek Balance
  3. Show Grace
  4. Be Kind
  5. Simplify

I also set what I do admittedly call resolutions, but instead of just things I want to get done I think of these as action steps to living my intentions. While a simple resolution may be to do yoga at least twice a week, accomplishing this goal would help me follow my intention of being present. See how that works?

My list of Things to accomplish is more like specific things I want to do, such as going on a hike or seeing my favorite band live. While I don’t have a lot of control over whether or not these things happen, they can serve as reminders of what I’m saving money for or working towards. This is my favorite list to look back to at the end of the year because even if I feel like I didn’t do much, I have usually accomplished everything on the list, which is a super awesome feeling!

Each month also has it’s own theme, or a category of life I want to improve. It can be stressful to try and think about building relationships, organizing your home, managing finances, and being healthier all at once. While each month’s theme is not mean everything is perfect at the end of the month, it will serve as a way to dedicate time and energy to one specific topic. In next week’s post I’ll talk a little more about why I set themes, give you some info about this year’s themes, and explain how its possible that setting this many goals can be inspiring and not stressful.

AND GUESS WHAT ELSE? I decided to share my printouts that I use to follow my monthly themes with you. These themes are pretty broad, and are things almost anyone can add to their daily life. If you want to follow along with me this year click here to download them!

I like to print these out and hang them up on my wall at the beginning of the month as a way to motivate me, or even just give me something productive I can do when I’m bored and watching Netflix in bed.

I’ll just end with a little quote from Danielle Doby, the founder of the mega-popular “I Am Her Tribe”


I promise not all of my posts will be this long, but my goodness how I love the new year.



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