Goal-Setting For 2017: Travel and Beyond

I’m pretty sure everyone makes New Year’s resolutions – even your moody cousin Alghbert (its pronounced, “Al-Bert” – OK?!” Gosh……) quietly makes a list of things that he would like to accomplish in the coming year. I believe that the key to setting manageable New Year’s goals is doing it either a few weeks in advance or a week or two after. By being either early or late to the game, you’re more likely to keep a cool, organized head about what is actually realistic. They hype surrounding the “new year/new me” is a solid 37% of the reason I prefer to just treat it like a (slightly more luxurious) normal night.

The two big rules I follow are: long term = general, short term = specific.

I believe in making really broad goals for the year… things like: “I want to become a better baker by July” -or- “spend more time with puppies.” After I’ve set what I want, I can then narrow it by month. January I want to test 2 new recipes, and in February I’ll fine-tune the one that was received the best by my test subjects. In January I’ll volunteer with a shelter and then look into pet sitting gigs – maybe in the summer I’ll try to touch every dog that crosses my path (which would either earn me the endearing title of “the Somerville doggie petter lady” or…. get me arrested for being a nuisance). The possibilities are endless. Keeping the long-term goal general allows a little leeway in the means by which you get there.

You also need to accept that you may fail at your initial goal. Maybe you wanted to get to the gym on January 1 but you went out for NYE and gym was simply not happening. Damn, you failed already?! Well you should probably just take it as a sign that you were never meant to exercise. Shut the laptop, lock the phone, pop that bottle of wine (or twist that plastic if you’re on the boxed vino)… time to hibernate and sleep off the failure. lol NOT! If you go into it accepting that you may not meet each goal the exact way you intended, it becomes way easier to forgive yourself and move on. Feed that hangover, hydrate, and before bed on January 1st, pack your gym bag so it’ll be ready to go in the morning.

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I feel like I probably read this somewhere, but I have no idea where: the only real failure is not trying.

I approach setting my travel goals a little differently than I do my regular NY’s goals. You’ll need to carefully examine your work/school schedule and your finances before you can list out where you would like to go. There are so many articles about why you should drop everything to travel- and I generally disagree. If you’ve read my Things to Worry About Before Travel you’ll know how I feel on that topic. Spontaneity and flexibility are wonderful- usually.  A little preflection (I’m seriously ‘inventing’ words at a rate of like one every post) can go a  l o n g  way towards setting realistic goals and actually meeting them.

My 2017 Goals

(1) See new places. Ideally, 2 new counties and 3 new states.

I live in the US where I don’t have multiple international borders within a 300 mile radius. Given the vacation time I have stored up, my overall savings (um, and credit limit) I know that 2 international trips can be an easy goal to meet if I work at it. And what I lack in proximity to international options, I more than make up for in yet unexplored states (and I already have Wisconsin on the schedule for the Women In Travel Summit!)

(2) Get stronger.

Realistically, I don’t need to see the number on the scale go down- and there is like 0% chance of me becoming a runner. I have bursitis in several important joints, and one really great way to keep it from really impacting my life (I’m thinking both daily life and potential treks/hikes) is to make sure that my muscles are strong so my joints don’t need to pick up any slack. I’m breaking down each month into daily challenges. For example: in January I’ve been doing (and will continue do) daily 1-minute forearm planks. I missed a day and will be using Jan. 15 and 31 to make up for any days I’ve missed. February will be straight-arm plank. March is elevated push-ups. Ideally, I’ll be able to do standard push-ups and some pull-ups by the end of the year. I’m focusing on upper body and core because typically better with the leg strength– but arms, upper-back, and core are all really important for….. carrying a backpack!

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(3) Merch.

I’ve had a specific idea for an travel item kicking around my head for about 9 months now. I was looking as a packing pile and thought, “Man, I wish that item had this feature – that would make my life so much easier!” So I drew it. Picked materials. Can’t make it until I grow my readership a wee bit more. [Largely due to being able to fund the project and make sure that I can at very least break even. I could achieve this by getting another job- but I already have 2 and 2 more volunteer gigs… so adding one more thing to the pot could spell burnout.]

…that’s it. It doesn’t seem like a lot – because I intentionally chose to not over exert myself.

My 2017 Promises

(1) I will not sanitize my online presence of my personality.

This is equally for me as it is for you. Jenna Marbles doesn’t do it. Lauren Toyota doesn’t do it. Kristen from Hopscotch the Globe doesn’t do it. Neither will I. I realize this may impede my success, but its the best way to remain true to myself, ya know?

(2) I won’t try to peddle anything I don’t really believe in.

I’m not going to tell you that I love something or someplace that I don’t just because gushing about it may make for a better read (or more affiliate link clicks).

(3) You can rely on me to tell it how it is.

I’ll balance the fantasy of travel and (gah, hopefully!) inspiration- with the necessary realism. If you’ve seen my post about my 15 Derpiest Travel Photos, you’ll already know that I’m not ashamed of sharing even the shittiest of images. I think that fantasy and inspiration are really important to get the ball rolling, but a healthy dose of realism is important to make smart decisions. Never guna tell a lie…. and hurt you.

  • What goals have you set for yourself for 2017?
  • Share any 2016 goal success stories- or lessons learned from the failures!
  • What is your best tactic for maximum goal-reaching?
  • I’m not sorry that I RickRolled you.
Posted in How To, Inspiration, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , .


  1. Nice read, I really like your point about accepting that we may fail at our resolutions, but not letting that be an excuse to give up completely! And indeed the only real failure is not trying. All the best with your resolutions for 2017! Ellie

  2. I love goal setting! I also do short and long term goals then review them every 3 months. I agree with not getting upset if you don’t reach all your goals. I often either push them forward to the next 3 months or sometimes change or remove them because they don’t fit with my plans anymore. Good luck with your goals this year!

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