Last year around this time I was setting all kinds of resolutions. I had just finished a whirlwind six months of traveling and I was desperately trying to find my feet again. I thought it would be nice to have a look back at the resolutions I set for 2016, see how I did, before attempting to set any new goals for the year ahead.
2016 in Review
1. Consume Less, Create More
This was one of the first years that I read fewer books than months in the year. I think I read a mere 10 or 11 books. I took a huge step back from reading other blogs and random time wasting Internet sites and focused so much more on writing. I published a whopping 113 posts on this blog alone (thanks in large part to the three amazing writers that came along in August).
I also started another blog focused solely on travel and life abroad which you can see here. I have felt so creatively fulfilled, but I’m definitely ready to get back to the library in 2017.
2. Remember the People I Love
I really wanted to make a big effort to keep in touch better with the people I love across the world. I guess you’d have to ask them if I was better at it this year, but I think I was better. I called my parents more often, wrote emails more often, upgraded my phone so that I could keep in touch with my palls via iMessage. Being in a timezone similar to the old EST has been a total game changer too.
3. Work More
I did this and I sort of didn’t. At times throughout the year I became so hyper-focused on one blog over the other and in order to rectify that, I’d switch over completely and focus all my time on the other blog. I definitely learned A TON this year about blogging, about social media, about making money online, about SEO and about what I want to share and what I want to keep private in this whole digital influencer game. I definitely have so much more to learn.
4. Get Organized
Nope. Still a damn mess.
5. Pursue My Hobbies with Vigor
Sometimes I totally wasted my free time and binge watched episodes of Graham Norton or Breaking Bad. Other times I studied Spanish or listened to podcasts. This is still a work in progress mostly because I spent so much of my time Working More that I didn’t save very much time for pursuing any hobbies.
6. Focus on my Health
I would definitely give myself an A+ on this resolution. I ate well, fell back in love with cooking, I exercised often and found workouts that I really truly enjoyed. Most importantly though, I stopped shaming myself. I stopped weighing myself, stopped freaking out if I ate a chocolate cookie or one too many tacos. I’m happier than ever with my body. I feel strong and confident and healthy. What more could you ask?
I think it’s good to take stock of the year gone by. It’s good to take a moment to be grateful (I’ve been reading The Gratitude Diaries – it’s good for your health!) for what you have and what you’ve learned. I also think looking back at the year really helps me focus on the year ahead and what I want to spend more time focusing on.
I decided to give myself more concrete goals to focus on this year. I’ve found specific goals are much easier to plan and execute than simply stating: I want to eat healthier. So here are my specifics for 2017.
1. Get Back to the Books
I’ve missed reading this year and I really want to try to at least read a book a month. I’ve been dreaming of getting back into my favorite Norwegian author, Karl Ove Knausgård among other things.
2. Organize Myself and My Business
Going to give this another attempt. I’ve already given myself a bit of a head start. I’ve created one master spreadsheet with my income and expenses. There are different tabs for each income stream. I’ve got a spreadsheet for posts that I want to publish and even notes on what I want to talk about in them. Now it’s time to really clear out all the papers and make plans that I can stick to.
3. Write an (e)book
This is something I’ve been mulling over a lot lately. As I try to think of ways to monetize both this site and my other site so that I can live anywhere I damn well please, the idea for an ebooks continues to loom over me. I think this is the year I finally at least plan it out and begin to write it. I don’t want to rush it and publish something I don’t feel is the best, but I do want to start creating digital products that I’m proud of and that help people create a life of pure unadulterated happiness.
4. Explore More of Mexico and Mexico City
I don’t know how much longer we’re going to live here so I want to make the most of the good weather, the amazing beaches, the great bars and restaurants and all the tacos. I’m looking forward to getting back to the city and getting to know it even better (and sharing it all with you on Eternal Expat!).
I’m really looking forward to 2017. I love the clean slate of a new year, even if it is only arbitrary. I’m really excited to map out my year, grow my blogs, help more readers, and eat more tacos.