Looking Into 2015

Now that we’re all done celebrating what happened in 2014, it’s time to look forward. Although many things I listed were accomplishments, there were many fundamental things about the way I tackled last year that bothered me. For one thing, my lack of agency in how things happened—or shall we say, lack of planning. It all really just fell into my lap in a whirlwind of… a few decisions: to study abroad, to take an Americorps position in Austin. I would say that those two decisions, if asked, would be the ones that sum up all of 2014. Everything else that happened was either in preparation or as a result of those decisions. (Say decisions one more time, Michelle)

There are so many hours in a day that I feel are wasted on leisure. Yes, Elizabeth Gilbert told us all in Eat, Pray, Love to learn how to just be in the lament that we are all obsessed with crafting perfect lives. Many articles followed this year in the same vein, like Omid Safi’s “The Disease of Being Busy.” But there is a difference in being, being “busy,” and stagnating and the difference lies in the balance.

Ultimately, in 2015, I want to be more conscientious of how I approach things; I want to know that everything I do is for the sake of achieving a goal—but with balance. Focused.

So, in the same order as I did my roundup, here are my goals for the new year (other than remembering to date things ’15 rather than ’14)! It does concern me a little bit that my list of resolutions are about the same length as a month’s worth, but hopefully I do things right and break it down by month. Further breakdown/updating to come later, because of course, you should always reevaluate goals as your trajectory changes ;)

Looking into 2015

Travel

Knowing that it’s going to be a difficult year on the travel calendar for me, these are highly fantastical ideas and the closest I’m going to get is planning out every step of the way only to find out I have no funds. So, realistically, my resolution is basically to travel to another country for over 2 weeks. Ideally… 

  • Backpack across Peru. And South America officially tops my priorities for travel!
  • Teach English in Taiwan for the summer. I’ve been REALLY wanting to go back to my roots recently, but am too poor to go there for a whole summer without at least breaking even. Unsure of the qualifications needed to teach English in Taiwan or whether they even have job stints for that amount of time, but I do know that I have a lot more connections through family there than I have here.
  • Visit best friend in San Francisco. Also go to San Francisco! I haven’t been there in YEARS. My parents went recently as a “Yay, we’re empty-nesters!” trip and I’ve been jealous ever since.
  • Visit grandparents
  • Put in systems for passive travel rewards. The more lodged I get in a place, the more bills there are and less savings that I could cultivate… which makes me realize how important travel rewards will come to play in my travels! The more rewards the better (any recommendations out there?) and the happier I would be.
  • Racking up enough travel points for a RTW within the next two years. Assuming that I do get myself hooked up and find enough honey in the pot to cash out, I want to have enough points to do another RTW within the next two years. That’s my deadline. I’m setting it now. It’s also the deadline that my current airline rewards program is calling on the points that I do have right now… so either way, I’m going!

Personal

  • Read 52+ books (friend me on Goodreads so I can creep your bookshelves too). Lately, I’ve regained the reading habit simply by reading a bit every day and getting back into the mindset. Having a goal of a book a week will hopefully force me to continue, which helps my writing a bit as well.
  • Break the habit of mindless TV-watching. I’m growing to hate this habit… but it’s such a difficult one to argue with. Coming home from work, the last thing I want to do is to work more, even on things that I enjoy doing! But that’s not productive for my personal or professional growth, so I want to limit the intake to one or two episodes a night before bed.
  • Eat 80% natural. I want to become one of those people that eat food as fuel and feel squeaky clean from inside to out. Of course, knowing me, I know there will be a few weeks days here and there where I absolutely have to have my fried-covered things covered also with cheese; I’m an American after all! That’s why it’s 80% and not 90%.
  • Register & run a half-marathon. It’s time to run again! Let this be the year of running—or the year of deformed feet and more athlete injuries than I can count. Speaking of athletic injuries…
  • Cure shoulder bursitis
  • Improve photography! Try to get a little more serious with photography… you’ve got the lens after all! I’ve said before that I noticed I’m only in “photographer mode” when I’m traveling. And maybe that ties in with seeing the wonder in the ordinary back at home… but I want to break that habit and start photographing for real.
  • Create more (more blog posts, more gluten-free recipes, more crafts). This might be my newly invigorated Pinterest habit allowing me to buy into the quaint “ideal” of all these perfect women, but I want to try to be a quarter of the crazy, maniacal Pinterest fairies that run that site. I want to try new things, create little projects—as long as it’s for a greater good… like being a better cook or having a cuter room.
  • Get large shoulder tattoo. Do I need to say more?
  • Stop eating out. For those of you that know me, you’ll know what a feat this’ll be if I even cut down my restaurant habits by half. As a person who is already pretty stingy, if I splurge on anything, it’s food. Right now, I eat out about twice a week and if you think about it, that’s a lot of travel money that I could be saving there.

Habits I want to cultivate

  • Writing (serious, non-bloggy stuff) & reading daily. I realize that while I’m busy living a normal life, I’ve stopped cultivating my ideal life when I get home. This includes writing; although I write basically every day for this blog, I haven’t done anything serious in a while, least of all submitted anything. How am I supposed to one day become a published author when I don’t even make steps towards that goal?
  • Making an effort to reach out to people more. I’ve realized that I’m quite passive about how I approach experiences and friendships, taking them up as they’re being offered. I need to take charge more—if I feel like dancing the night away one weekend, I want to be able to drag some people along with me; if I feel like needing company, ask someone to come over, etc.
  • Travel-like curiosity at home
  • Patience. The older I get, I feel like the less patient I get. And that’s not quite the direction I want to be heading… I had no plans of turning into a grumpy old woman and I’m not going to start now!
  • Not multi-tasking. In the past, it’s proven to be one of the worst ways to be productive
  • Exercising & exploring as a stress reliever
  • Not limiting myself

Professional

  • Land a professional full-time job (hopefully in my field) in Austin/Chicago
  • Take a programming certification course
  • Set up education award to pay off student loans for 3 years
  • Write & submit 5 essays/articles
  • Look into freelance photography

What are some of your 2015 goals, looking forward? Comment or post a link below!

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  • http://snowintromso.com/ Van @ Snow in Tromso

    I would love to be more active and read more instead of hanging on Netflix all the time but it’s difficult, especially in winter! Your travel plans sound awesome, I mean backpacking in Peru?!!! Must be so awesome! Good luck!!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Haha I KNOW. Even as I looked over my day today, I was already realizing what a monumental task I gave myself! Progress, I say… as I sit here watching Netflix :p

      And thank you :)) Hopefully these vague ideas will come to fruition somehow! Good luck on your plans as well!!

  • http://www.rotten-one.com/ Tee @ Rotten One

    I’m down for all your travel dreams! And reading 52 books – wow! Let us know how that goes for you :) Would be cool to see a post at the end of this year to see how you went with your goals :)

    Tee @ http://www.rotten-one.com

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Tee!! First time we talked, I think… I remember trying to find your Twitter page one time and failed D:

      I’m also looking forward to what happens at the end of this year but I always forget how proactive I have to be to get there ;)

      • http://www.rotten-one.com/ Tee @ Rotten One

        I think so too! I don’t have a Twitter page unfortunately. Keeping up with my website is already hard work for me! But will keep in touch with you on your blog for sure x

  • http://www.slightlyastray.com/ Anna | slightly astray

    I have a lot of the same goals as you this year :). I feel like I wasted a lot of time doing nothing productive in 2015 too (like playing iphone games, lol). I want to be more self-motivated. Blogging is all I do now while I travel, but I haven’t really tried hard to take it up to the next level. So I think this is probably the year to make more of an effort!

    I always have the goal to read more books too! I love just reading for fun and it’s the only thing I do leisurely that I don’t feel like is a huge waste of time. Would love to add you on Goodreads!
    Best of luck with your goals this year!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Yay for blog goals! Boo for iPhone games, haha. Luckily I’ve never really gotten into gaming on the phone… and I plan for it to stay that way!

      I agree about taking blogging to the next level—looking back on all my posts, I definitely thought that I had a lot more done than I do. Need to fix that pretty soon, haha.

      Add me!! :) And good luck on your goals too!

  • http://www.crumbsinthebed.com/ Kerri

    These sound amazing and I can’t wait to see you achieve them!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Thanks, Kerri!!! :))

  • http://www.californienne.com/ Marianne

    Not sure how I missed this because I seriously love these type of goal posts. You have so many goals!!! but they definitely seem attainable and I’m sure you’ll be able to knock them out.

    One of my goals this year is also to read/listen to audiobooks more. I’m on goodreads but I haven’t added all that many books so far. Your goal to read 52+ books – holy crap that’s amazing and I wish I had the time to do that. I’m also trying to get into running. Having never been a runner, this is really hard for me but I hope to do a 5k without walking this year, maybe more!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Daw, thanks Marianne! :) I know, I think I’m a little overzealous sometimes… but if I break them down well I think I can do it.

      Add me on goodreads!! I recently rediscovered the beauty of audiobooks too and I’m loving them. Especially the ones read by the author themselves :) Can’t wait to see how your goals go!! Did you have a New Year goal post??