Resolutions

2019 Life Resolutions

In 2019 I have three focus areas, all of which I hope will help me pace myself during what is bound to be a busy year…

Embrace the process

This year I want to embrace the process in my creative work, work as an entrepreneur, and spiritual work. Truly all aspects of my life.

Rest Intentionally (not just when exhausted)

I want to take more time out to rest my mind and body and not feel guilty about it!

Stay Grounded in Faith 

I want to nourish my spirit and give my buddhist practice more attention. My faith is the pivot point from which I make all decisions so the stronger that is the more confident I am in every aspect of my life.

2018 Resolutions Report Card

It is 2019. Even though I have been looking forward to the new year for weeks now, it still feels odd that we are here. Maybe it's because it seems like just yesterday I was writing my 2017 version of this post, or maybe because I have so many long term goals coming due in 2020! Either way we are here and I am going to share with you how I felt I did sticking with my theme for last year and my resolutions.

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2018 was the year of courage for me. I went on (and on) about it in my post without revealing what exactly I have been summoning courage for. Well if you've been following along with me on Instagram you probably know I started a business last year. And it was bumpy to say the least. Venturing into something brand new and public facing can shake ones confidence to the core and it took a whole lot of courage for me to stand up to my insecurities each day and plow forward.

Read My 2018 Goals

creative expression

A+ I am very proud to say 2018 was a year of creation for me. I started Two Days Off and began thinking creatively to design the clothing line and solve entrepreneurial problems. I invested my time and money into this part of my life and it feels great.

habits and routines

B I stuck to many of my intended habits this year, like hydration, meditating, and maintaining a skincare regimen (woohoo on this one!). All in all I made progress but there are a few habits (like taking time to rest and unplug each week) that could use more work.

sustainability

B+ I am probably most proud of this one because I have made lot of small but thoughtful changes in my consumption and the products I use. On the household front I have realized it isn’t as challenging as I thought it would be to reduce my waste and begin eliminating plastic. Similarly with my toiletries I started to take a pause before replacing a product to make sure it was something I did need and if there were lower-waste options available (something in glass I could buy, a dual-purpose product, or if I could buy it in bulk). I also started to reduce my dependence on Amazon because I loathe the excessive amount of packaging they use to ship products. Some of my favorite low-waste solutions I started using includes Who Gives A Crap recycled toilet paper that helps build toilets in underdeveloped places, and napkins from fabric scraps. I also started carrying reusable utensils and straws on outings and trips (although I really should just keep them in my purse all the time). Although I do think I have made great strides, I could have done better with food. Last year I began relying on Trader Joe’s pre-packaged meals much more in the past (not cooking as much was a trade-off for working full time and starting a business), and that is something I want to tackle this year hence the B+.

2018 Life Resolutions

2018 Life Resolutions

I love goal setting, and I am all for new years resolutions. I think they are a great way to keep moving forward and growing. I also think any day is a great day to set one, and the ringing in of the new year is the perfect inspiration to refresh any goals that may be on the back burner. So I will stop blabbering on and get down to what you're here for, my 2018 resolutions!

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2017 Resolutions Report Card

For the past few of years I have shared both my annual travel resolutions and report cards on how I did on them. So I will give you on guess as to what today's post is about... You guessed it! I want to share how I did on my 2017 Resolutions.

Taking a moment at the  Real Alcázar de Sevilla
Taking a moment at the Real Alcázar de Sevilla

Before the grades, Read my 2017 Resolutions

Self Care

A This year I really worked on taking care of myself. I turned 30 in September and almost as if a switch was flipped I faced health issues. Self-care for me was about devoting time to my wellness. Putting my mental and physical health first. Treasuring me. This care manifested in creating relaxation habits, challenging myself to 100 days of mindfulness and meditation, saying no more often and not overstretching myself, and working in more rest when I travel (like an entire day spent on the beach instead of exploring all day).

Weekend Trips

A+ I think this resolution to make the best use of my time and explore more is where I really shined this year. In the past, I usually have one big 2-week long vacation a year and maybe a weekend trip or 2 out of state to see family. This year I spend a week in LA, a weekend in Woodstock, day trips upstate and out to Long Island, a long weekend in North Carolina, a trip to DC, many summer days at the Rockaways, and most recently a trip to Las Vegas for the holidays. Not only was I able to find the funds to make these small trips happen (hello there tiny wardrobe budget), but I also found the stamina! And one of the big reasons my partner and moved to California a month ago was to be able to take more road trips (year round) and see more of this gorgeous country. So stay tuned in 2018, this resolution is sticking around!

Human Component

A+ This resolution was all about connecting with people and using travel as a way to have conversations and expand my worldview and relationships. I had so many incredible trips that were centered around being with people I love. From a weekend in upstate New York with a group of great friends, to visiting Grandmother in North Carolina, and even traveling to Europe to meet up with my partner's side of the family that lives in different corners of the world. I even got to meet another Instagram friend while visiting LA in March, and she even helped inspire my move out west (thank you, Kristin!).

All in all, I did pretty great this year. Later this week I will share my 2018 goals but in the meantime check out some of my past goals (and my nearly not as stellar report card from last year).

 

2017 Travel Resolutions

I am a goal setter. That's why I love the process of looking back on the year and setting new years resolutions. Resolutions are firm determinations that I view as essential to living an intentional life. 2016 was the first year I made goals specifically geared toward travel and I found it really useful when preparing for my trips so I decided to do it again this year!

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So here goes, 3 resolutions I am making to myself in my quest for even more enjoyable travel in the years ahead...

Self Care

I set big themes in addition to my specific resolutions to hone in on characteristics I want to develop in myself. Last year's theme was hustle, a few years before that it was compassion... this year it is self care. I want to make a habit of practicing self care everyday, including when I travel. Whether it is 10 minutes of meditation, or spending more time on my cleansing my face, I want to take better care of me (I talked a bit about this in my birthday post too). This theme may be a direct consequence of my year of hustle which allowed me to see a need for it in every aspect of my life. Practicing self care when traveling is something else I have noticed I skimp on. Sometimes I trade off packing light for bringing leaving behind some of my favorite products in exchange for multi-use ones. Or I rush through meals or sleep less to fit in more activities. Or even book inconvinient flights to squeeze in the most daylight hours at my destination. I want to make sure I don't sacrifice to much comfort when I travel so that when I return home I am not craving a post-vacation vacation!

Weekend Trips

This year I did a lot of local exploration (which is another new habit I've adopted!) and I plan on expanding this in the new year to short trips around the US! Last year I made the resolution to see more of this vast country, which I did. But I realized late in the game that I could see even more by taking advantage of long weekends and holidays. These types of 2-3 day visits to nearby cities may be just the thing to stave off the lull leading up to a vacation and the post-vacation blues!

Human Component

My final travel resolution has to do with connecting with people. I am an introvert, and while not rude I generally don't go out of my way to meet new people when I travel. But that is something I want to change. On a recent trip to California I had the opportunity to meet up with a couple of instagram friends, @brownkids (Roe and Erin), and it was truly a life expanding experience (and there aren't many times you get to say that about brunch!). This showed me that although museums and architecture are fine ways to spend your time there is nothing like a conversation amongst people with a variety of perspectives on life.

That pretty much wraps up my travel resolutions (so far)! I would love to know if you have any resolutions for 2017, or if you believe in resolutions at all. And either way, how do you try to travel deeper and improve your experiences overall? Please let me know!

I hope you have a safe and fabulous time ringing in the New Year. Heres to an incredible 2017!!!

2016 Resolutions Report Card

Each year after the busyness of the holidays and just before diving into the new year I like to reflect on the year we are leaving behind. This year my reflections brought me back to the travel resolution I made last year. Looking back I am grading myself (in a way) on how well I stuck to my resolutions and if my sentiments changed about any of them.

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SEE MORE OF THE UNITED STATES 

I give myself an A. This year I made a very conscious effort to take more day trips and explore more of my city which led to discovering so many new gems in my own backyard. But in addition to that I was able to play tourist in both North Carolina and California for short weekend trips. I think this resolution is going to have to stick around and become a permanent habit!

PACK LIGHTER

A+ for sure. I have finally gotten my luggage down to a carryon alone for trips up to 2 weeks long! This even includes being able to pop my personal item in there if need be. I have also cut out the frenzied pre-vacation shopping and really utilized what I already own. I think in the new year I will start sharing more of my packing light techniques because it has revolutionized the way I travel!

DEDICATED TRAVEL SAVINGS 

A+ This was much easier than expected once I really committed to my budget. I think the next step in this for me will be to start a system for tracking my travel spending that allows me to compare trips over several years and better prepare for upcoming ones.

MAIL POSTCARDS BEFORE COMING HOME

W (for withdraw). So this year I skipped the whole postcard thing altogether. While visiting Tulum this summer sending postcards just wasn't a priority (nor was it at my domestic locales). Maybe postcard sending will become a thing of the past for me, but for now, experiences I will probably try again with this resolution this year! 

KEEP A TRAVEL JOURNAL

I give this one an A+. I document my travel experiences and thoughts here on the blog and have been pretty diligent doing so this year (yay!).

TAKE A FAMILY TRIP

A big fat F. Unfortunately, this year the timing just didn't align to take a family trip (meaning my nuclear family... brothers, sisters, parents), but I have definitely redetermined to make this happen next year!!!

After reviewing my goals for this year I am more focused on what I want to achieve for next. I have a feeling 2017 will be less action oriented and more internally driven. Look out for some 2017 resolutions in the coming days!

Read More About the Why Behind My 2016 Resolutions

New Year, Better Me!

2016 Travel Resolutions

2015 was a challenging and beautiful year filled with huge life transitions and tons of personal growth for me. As I reflect and set my goals for next year I have decided to make concrete travel determinations in hopes of deepening those experiences even more.

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See more of the United States

This year I want to focus more on exploring my own back yard and my country. Although I have seen much of the East coast, I have only been to the West coast once and haven't seen any of the mid or southwest! Now that my sister is out west I am very motivated to see more. 2016 California road trip? I hope so!

Pack even lighter

I have gotten really good at packing light, but think I can do even better. I want get my usually crammed carry one to one at least 30% empty to make my trips even easier. I also have a goal of not purchasing any new clothes for my next trip. I usually keep a strict travel budget but always seen to "need" a new dress, bikini or travel pillow. This year I will make do with the plenty that I have!

Automatic monthly travel savings

I want to start a annual savings specifically dedicated for travel. I am hoping I can dedicate some of the bucks I shell out in take out and miscellaneous purchases to this fund to help me always prioritize travel in my life. I mean if this is a bank account set aside for it, it must be serious right?

Mail all postcards before coming home

I have a super bad habit of getting postcards for my loved ones, and even stamps but forgetting to mail them while I am traveling! It's pretty silly actually, I just get so swept up in my trip that I forget. But from now on I want to make the time to drop my family a line and surprise them with a beautiful card.

Keep a travel journal

I have never been much of a journaler, but I want to start jotting down my experiences. Often I will come home and many stories or feelings will feel far away after just a couple weeks but these little moments are worth hanging onto. These are the moments shaping my life and pushing me to appreciate the everyday and that might be something I would like to go back and read someday.

Take a family trip

Two years ago my sister and I went to Costa Rica, and although I have had many amazing trips this was probably the most transformative for a relationship. She and I saw each other with new eyes, learned to trust one another in a strange place and gained more respect for one another. This year I want to be sure to travel with my immediate family and grow our relationships while having a blast.