Monday, January 30, 2017
It's been a while since I've written about my goals - mainly because I'm really good at making them, and really bad at accomplishing them. Part of the problem is that I tend to set really ambitious (read: unattainable) goals (like a list of 50-100 things to accomplish in a single year - whaaaat?) and part of the problem is that I'm lazy.
But I limited myself to 17 goals in 2017. They're all fun/personal goals - things to do for my own enjoyment. (Though I totally cheated and I also have business goals, and a list of house projects, and habits that I want to work on that aren't included in this list. Oh, and I want to make a difference in this world, because things really suck right now.)
It's unusual for me not to set a reading or a cooking goal, but I realized that I'm already good at doing both of these things, and there's no need to make an assignment out of something that's supposed to be fun and that I'm already doing pretty well at. So, I plan to read and cook a lot in 2017, but I'm not putting any numbers on it. I also hope to make good art, establish a daily meditation practice, simplify my life, reduce the amount of time I waste on social media... (You know, the usual: ACHIEVE PERFECTION! Did I mention that I tend to set unattainable goals?)
But back to my 17 personal/fun/selfish goals. And yes, I realize these are pretty darn ambitious, too. And many of the them have been on my list for several years. Maybe I'll find a cure for laziness in 2017?
+ a new continent
+ a new country
+ a new state
+ a new U.S. city
+ a new national park
+ a Virginia getaway weekend
Traveling as much as possible will always be my number one personal goal. I hope this is the year I can make it to a continent I've never been to before. In December, I thought it would be Africa. At the beginning of the year, we thought it would be Asia. Now we're really not sure. Our travel circumstances seem to always be changing, so I know better than to count on any travel being certain. In August, we're going to Alaska (new state) and plan to visit Denali (new national park). And I'd like to explore some more of our own state, particularly, southwestern Virginia, and return to Luminhaus in the fall (a trip we've been trying to take for 4 years, but keeps not happening). I'd love to finally visit Savannah, visit Portland, and road trip across Texas. Can't wait to see where the year takes us.
2. Hike 3 major VA hikes.
Last year, we set a goal of hiking 100 miles and it was one of the best goals I've ever set. 100 miles isn't that far, so it was an attainable goal, but we also had to dedicate ourselves to going hiking a couple times a month, so it was challenging, too. My only regret is that we didn't tackle some of the longer (by longer, I mean 7+ miles) and more challenging hikes within our own state. (This is mainly because even though these hikes are in Virginia, they are far enough away, and long enough that most of them require an overnight stay.) We will definitely hike many more than three times this year and we will hike in different states (and hopefully a foreign country or two), but my goal this year is to take advantage of some of the incredible day hikes in Virginia. Virginia's Triple Crown is McAfee Knob, Tinker Cliffs, and Dragon's Tooth. Old Rag is still on the list, as is Virginia's tallest peak, Mount Rogers. Brumley Mountain Trail in The Great Channels of Virginia looks awesome. And I'd love to tackle Devil's Bathtub and Devil's Marbleyard. I want to do them all, but I'll settle for crossing 3 of them off my list in 2017, especially since my joint pain has been consistently getting worse.
3. Embroider 3 large pieces.
Embroidery became my new favorite hobby last year. I love that I can sit down and work on it any time I have a few minutes free, or while watching TV or listening to an audiobook. (And there are no brushes to clean!) It is definitely a slow art form, which makes it relaxing and almost meditative. I started two large abstract pieces at the end of 2016, so I need to finish what I've started. And I have the colors picked out for a third project. I might like to challenge myself to a mixed media painting/embroidery piece, too. Hopefully, I can finish these projects without ending up in a neck brace again!
4. Swim x48.
Looking for consistency here, which is not my strong suit. Swimming is my favorite form of exercise - I'm not fast, and I'm not good, but I enjoy it and it makes me feel good. Strike that, it makes me feel AWESOME, which is pretty incredible, because as a non-athletic person, most exercise makes me feel like dying. But I'm pretty inconsistent with this - I'll swim several times a week for a few months, and then I won't swim at all for months. If I can average 4 swims a month, I'll call this a win.
5. Paint family portraits.
This project has been on my list for a while. I keep putting it off because I don't feel that comfortable painting faces.
6. Frame and hang art and photos.
And this one has been on my list forever because I can't make decisions. No more blank walls!
7. Take lessons/a class.
Another thing I keep putting off because of...fear? It's hard to be a student again and even harder to be a beginner when you're an adult. But I've always wished I had learned to play piano as a child. It's never too late, right? And I have a ukulele I want to learn how to play, too. I'd like to take a ceramics class. (I took wheel when I was a teenager, but I'm more interested in hand-building now.) And I've always wanted to learn how to paint with encaustic.
8. A big painting!
No fear! No blank walls!
9. Learn to use chopsticks.
This skill has eluded me since childhood. I've never been able to use chopsticks. It's embarrassing when I go to Asian restaurants, and it's a skill I definitely must master if we go to Asia this year. Larry and I decided that we would eat all our meals in 2017 with chopsticks, which also sounds like a good weight loss plan since less than half the food will actually make it into my mouth. But at the beginning of the year, I watched a bunch of instructional YouTube videos, and I'm happy to say that I can now feed myself an entire meal with chopsticks. I need to keep practicing, but I think I can do this!
10. Bike a quarter century.
25 miles is not far on a bike. But the point of this goal is to just get back on my bike (which currently has two flat tires) and ride. A couple years ago we started to really enjoy cycling, and then last year we only rode once because we were working on our hiking goal. So this year, I just want to get back on the bike, have fun, and pedal for 25 straight miles.
11. Sew 4 accent pillows.
Giant sectional sofa with sad puny pillows needs a make-over!
12. Finish 2 quilts.
I sewed 2 quilt tops during the 2014 Olympics. Just finish them!
13. Make photo books.
This one is overwhelming. There's so much backlog and so many photos to edit. Over ten years of travel, plus our wedding...
14. Get rid of 1/3 of our stuff.
15. Make a video.
Potential videos: travel, a hike, the dogs, a day/week in our life. Oh, and I need to practice using my GoPro this year, too - I got frustrated with it last year.
16. Learn to make a great cocktail.
Most fun goal on the list, right? Cheers!
17. Minimal wardrobe + organized closet.
A simple, curated closet would be life-changing for me. Or maybe I'll just get rid of all my clothes and wear nothing but black yoga pants and black t-shirts from now on.
Alright, now I've made all my goals public, so if you run into me in public you can ask me "How are those ukulele lessons going, Rachel?" and watch me turn 37 shades of red. But I really would love to be able to cross all these off by December. However, I know that it's important to roll with whatever life throws at me in the coming year and that things change and my goals/situation might change, too. For now, I'll try to make progress on the 17 things on this list. I've already been working on the cocktails and chopsticks...