Hold on to your saddles folks, I’ve got a long post ahead.
2016 was quite a year for me (so was 2015 if I’m being honest). Coming back from Australia in late 2015, I used 2016 to travel and expand my horizons even more. I visited both Guatemala in the Spring and London in the summer and planned even more trips for the upcoming year. So, between the years of 2015 and 2016, one could say that I found my passion for travel and the inspiration to make it work. However, when I came back from study abroad, I felt very isolated and alone. I felt like I was coming back to a place that no longer had room for me to grow. My friends had continued to bond, filling my place with other things, leaving me in an awkward space where I no longer fit in but had no place else to go.
In addition, I took my hardest semesters ever in college taking 22 credit hours in the spring and 17 credit hours in the fall, all in major related courses, in order to graduate on time with two majors. On the plus side, my second major is Entrepreneurship, which is an application-only major and I was selected to participate.
I will admit, there were some great things that happened in 2016. I began to let go of the things that bothered me the most and the negative feelings I harbored for people I felt had done me wrong in the past. I met my boyfriend, who some of you may recognize from some of my posts, while I was volunteering in Guatemala. Which, for a travel blogger, I would expect to meet my boyfriend in any other place besides on the soil of my own country.
As far as my blog goes, in the summer of this year, I decided to stop messing around and make this a real focus in my life. If you can tell, my content has definitely gotten better and more consistent. My Instagram has grown from around 1k to 3k in a short time and my blog readers have definitely grown as well.
I can honestly say that 2016 was a year of extreme highs and lows and I am definitely excited to ring in the New Year. With that being said, I suppose it’s time to share my New Years Resolutions. Since I don’t like the term “New Years Resolutions” as the name implies that it’s only a new year thing and I generally don’t keep up with them anyway, I am going to be using the word “intentions.” This year, I will be intention-setting. These are things I am promising myself to do in order to have a more fulfilling year and, in the end, a more fulfilling life. In the end, I hope each of these intentions brings me to a goal, but in general, I hope they change my perspective toward goal setting. I hope that these help me to focus on the progress I’m making and changes I’m implementing instead of setting a concrete goal and getting discouraged when I don’t reach it.
I plan on reminding myself of my intentions with my new mala from Tiny Devotions. Tiny Devotions specializes in malas for spiritual uses and focuses on intention setting. This mala, the Visionary Mala, is my second from them. Each one is crafted beautifully with high quality, natural materials meant to manifest certain things in one’s life. My first mala was created with the intention to seek adventure, something I definitely did last year. This year, I will be reminding myself of my intentions with this mala, which is made for those who want to envision their goals and bring them to reality. Perfect for me. It’s made with black labradorite, moonstone, grey labradorite, and rosewood. It looks beautiful and feels perfectly crafted when I hold it. It’s the perfect reminder for myself.
Spend fifteen minutes a day meditating.
I have officially decided that I don’t spend enough time focusing on myself. Each and every minute of my day is spent either at work, in class, thinking about all the things I have to do, thinking about what I can do, etc. Having my mind running at 100 miles per minute is actually exhausting. Sometimes, when I get to the end of the day, thinking becomes more than mentally exhausting, it actually becomes physically exhausting. This year, I have decided to spend a few minutes each day clearing my mind and taking a few minutes to myself to relax before jumping into my routine.
Spend a half hour every day writing [something other than schoolwork].
I love writing. Obviously, I have a blog, which is plenty of writing most of the time. However, with the increase in schoolwork I have to do plus my blog, I take much less time to simply write than I used to. I have seven journals filled out somewhere in my house, but journaling was all but forgotten after I studied abroad. I truly wish I had more time to spend on it, so maybe, if I take a few minutes to do it each day, I can pick up the habit again.
Invest more in experiences and less on material things.
I think this goes without saying. I have to start saving for my adult life coming up here in the next year or so. You’re probably going to start seeing a lot more outfits that I found in the back of my closet and fewer new things, especially from really high end stores. Sure, I’m not against a new pair of shoes every now and again, but it’s time to start investing more in my future and life experiences rather than investing in my already-expanded-closet.
Implement daily physical activity into my routine.
No more sedentary lifestyle for me. I will be attempting to do something physical every day and you can read about my fitness journey in the Fit Tuesday posts I will be continuing this year.
Eat more whole foods and drink more water.
More fruit and vegetables and less pasta. Dehydration has also become a large problem in my daily life and it’s time to focus on my health by simply drinking more water every day. It will definitely improve my health and fitness. I will be attempting to track my diet every day to make sure I’m sticking to these goals (and if I’m not, at least I’ll know exactly what I’m eating).
Find ways to entertain myself when I’m bored (other than eating).
Again, it goes without saying. I am someone who eats when I’m bored and it’s time to kick the habit. This year, I will be finding other things to do when I’m bored, like writing for example, and when I really really have a food craving, I will be trying to find something else to do to dispel those cravings.
Blog and Business Goals:
Produce high quality content every week.
Have you all noticed that I’ve been producing way more content than I used to? And, the content has been of way higher quality? Well, this year, I plan on continuing that. This blog has become something way bigger than I expected, especially in the last few months, and I plan on bringing this growth trend into 2017.
Spend 1 hour each day replying to comments and reaching out to other influencers on Instagram.
I heard this is the best way to continue growing your account. Instagram is the holy grail of social media accounts for bloggers and I’ve finally started implementing some serious growth strategies that are starting to work. The ultimate goal is 20k by the end of the year, but I’m hoping this dedication each day is the baby step I need to get there.
Invest in my blog’s success.
I’ve started investing in a few blog courses and I will be spending time this year looking for other courses for my blog as well. Hopefully, I can also start paying for an email subscription service that lets me send automated messages to subscribers and start developing a content library exclusive for subscribers as well. For those of you who are already subscribed to my blog, get excited, I’ve got some awesome content upgrades coming your way!
How to Set Your Own Intentions:
- Identify the things you want to change. Figuring out what I truly wanted to change took some time. First, I had to identify the things that I thought were causing stress in my life. However, instead of looking to eliminate the bad, I am seeking to replace the bad with something good. This way, I can phrase my intentions in a more positive way. Instead of saying “I am going to stop…” or eliminating entire things from my life, I tried to say things more positively. “I will” instead of “I will not.”
- Write it down. When you write your dreams down, they become goals. It’s easy to go back on our own word. Once you write things down, they become real and more concrete.
- Remind Yourself. I am using my Visionary Mala to consistently remind myself to follow the intentions I’ve set for myself. Whether it’s a daily ritual or holding on to a mala, like me, think of a way to remind yourself daily of the intentions you’ve set.
- Revisit and Revise. Sometimes, our short term goals change. Sometimes, even our long term goals change. Whether you’re thinking of smaller goals to get you to your large goal or changing the big picture, revisit your goals often to keep yourself on the right track.
Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Tiny Devotions. All opinions shared are my own.