resolutions for 2017

happy new year! as cliche as it is, this time of year tends to be a time for personal reflection about the past year and goal setting for the year ahead. as an introspective lover of new beginnings, this is one of my favourite times of year. 

globally, 2016 was not one of the best years in history: we lost many incredible people, witnessed countless tragedies, and watched the world change in new and terrifying ways. on a personal level, however, 2016 was an incredible year. I grew tremendously as a person, got promoted at work, became comfortable facing my fears, and exercised bravery at every opportunity. I went on several transformative camping and hiking trips, took vacations with so many people I love, saw a few of my favourite artists in concert (including queen bey), and learned more about who I am and who I want to be. 

as I reflected on the growth I had in 2016, I had a really hard time setting resolutions for 2017. while I would normally set resolutions challenging myself to grow as a person, I just want to keep growing the way I have been. I want to keep facing my fears, keep confronting the parts of myself that need work, keep trying new things. I want to keep learning about who I am, and challenging myself to be better - every day. with that in mind, I didn't set personal growth goals for 2017… but I do have a few things I want to make happen!

read more. I love to read, but I never make time to do it and it’s often easier to switch on netflix than it is to pick up a book and use my brain. I set a challenge on goodreads to read 30 books this year! once I have new glasses this will be even easier.

learn to ski. when I was 13 I broke my kneecap in a stupidly embarrassing snowboarding accident. I’ve been terrified of snow sports since then, but I really want to get over that fear and learn to ski! I'm planning to take a few lessons at the local bunny hill (literally called rabbit hill!) and get in at least one day of skiing before the year is over.

go on a multi-day hike. since falling in love with hiking last summer, I’ve been thinking about pushing myself to do a multi-day backpacking back country trip. I already have one 10km in-and-out hike planned, and if it goes well I’ll be doing skyline trail in jasper late in the summer. 

finish my 101 list. my 101 list is set to wrap up in August of this year. although I temporarily forgot about this list altogether, I think I can still get the majority of the items crossed off before the finish line.

brush up on my french. I’m going to montreal, ottawa and quebec city in a few months and I want to feel a little more comfortable with conversational french. I’ve started using duolingo, and after taking the placement test I can see that I have my work cut out for me!

drink more water. I started using the app waterminder to track my water consumption and I’ve found that drinking adequate water has really helped with my weight-loss journey. right now I only seem to properly hydrate myself 50% of the time, so I need to improve in this area.

those are my very action-oriented new years resolutions for 2017! though I normally choose one word to meditate on throughout the year (2016’s word was brave), I haven’t selected one yet this year. I have a few ideas in mind, but I need more time to reflect on what I want as my theme for 2017. I’ll hopefully have a post about my word for 2017 in the coming weeks once I settle on one!

how was your 2016? what are your resolutions for 2017? do you believe in setting resolutions?

december goals

we’ve made it to the end of 2016. it’s definitely been quite the year, and I get the sense that this last month is going to feel like the end of a long marathon. I decided to keep it short with my goals for this month as I know life is going to be crazy with work, play, and events for the next 31 days.

in terms of last months goals, I was overall fairly successful: for the most part, I stuck diligently to no spend november and I saved so much money. in this season of consumerism, it was so great to take a brutally honest look at my spending habits; I honestly really enjoyed having friends over for meals instead of eating out and watching movies I’d been meaning to get around to rather than visiting the theatre. I was fairly diligent about sticking to the gym (until I got super sick, which meant for one full week I only hit the gym once), and used the meditative breathing strategy most days. sadly, I did not clean out my storage closet as I decided to revisit that goal in january as I’m putting away all of my christmas decorations. 

one / complete the minimalism game. I heard about this from the edmonton journal this morning, and instantly knew I wanted to try it. this challenge instructs you to liquidate belongings for the whole month of december - giving away one item on the first day, two items on the second, and so on. by the end of the month, I will have given away nearly 500 items. I’m questioning whether or not I have 496 items to purge, but like no spend november, this challenge another way of examining the consumerism that surrounds the gifting season. if you want to follow along with my minimalism game, you can find my updates here.

two / stick to nutritional and fitness goals throughout the holidays. december is known as a brutal month for weight gain, and I don’t want the holidays to get in the way of the success I’ve had already or the fitness goals I’m still working towards. I won’t be skipping all of the holiday treats or events, but I’m not letting this very fattening month sidetrack me from where I want to be. this means enjoying in moderation, and making an effort to continue mostly eating whole foods and hitting the gym!

three / enjoy christmas. if you’ve ever talked to me about christmas, you know that it is my favourite holiday of the year. I love how friendly people become in december, I love snow, I love twinkling lights and christmas parties and holiday treats… and the list goes on. despite my deep seated love for christmas, I often find myself spending the month of december running around like a maniac between work and trying to do everything and be everywhere. this month I’ve made myself a holiday advent calendar that includes one christmassy thing to do every day leading up to christmas. I’m working on being very intentional about enjoying every moment of each of the activities and treats I have planned for myself. 

that’s all I’m working on this month - what are you goals for december?

november goals

I cannot believe that we’re almost completely through 2016. this year has been full of incredible growth for me as a person; there have been lots of good times and lots of tough times, but overall I would say 2016 has been pretty bomb. 

just because the year is winding down doesn’t mean that it’s time to coast through these last two months. I still have goals and plans for 2016, and I thought I would share what I’m working on this november. I decided that I would link-up with kristen and jordyn today because they're cute and I like them, I like meeting new bloggers, and I like link-ups. 

one / participate in no-spend november. this month some coworkers and I are challenging ourselves to stop mindless spending (and to save a little money for the holidays). obviously we’re still spending on essentials, like bills, groceries and transportation costs, but no eating out, no mindless shopping, no coffee out. it’s gonna be tough, especially during one of the biggest shopping months of the year, but I think it’ll be worth it.

two / practice meditative breathing. this time of year is a really happy one for many reasons, but can also be really stressful and tiring. every day I want to spend at least 5 minutes practicing meditative breathing; luckily I do have an apple watch so I’ll be using the breathe app to keep up this healthy habit.

three / hit the gym at least three times per week. I’m happy to share that I’ve now lost about 25 pounds, just by eating plenty of whole foods and being more active. I’ve officially just signed up with a personal trainer to take muscle-building to the next level, and my goal is to get a workout in at least three times each week in november (if you want to see a post with an update on my weight loss journey, let me know!).

four / clean out my storage closet. as I’ve been practicing minimalism in my personal life, I’ve gotten rid of so many of my belongings and organized so much of my house. overall, my house is pretty well kept, but I do have one very embarrassingly messy closet in my house (think monica’s secret closet from friends). since this month I’ll be decorating for christmas, it seems like the perfect time to get my storage closet into shape.

so that’s what I’ll be working on this month. I’m already devastated by no-spend november because the starbucks christmas drinks have officially come out! hopefully my goals will be worth a peppermint mocha-free november. 

what are your goals this month?

currently: a fall catch-up

it’s already snowing here in Edmonton, so I feel like fall is over and winter has started. I was even itching to start putting up Christmas decorations today! despite the fact that I feel Christmas is a 3-month period, I resisted the urge to bust out my wreaths and tree by lighting some fall scents from bath & body works and making some soup. 

it’s been a long time since we’ve caught up so I wanted to share a few of my current favourites and hear about what you’ve been up to!

C U R R E N T L Y

[watching] the good place - there is something about kristen bell’s new show that makes me so happy! it’s funny, heartwarming and the perfect 20-minute length to watch before bed.

[reading] the crown - I’m embarrassingly obsessed with the selection series. the friend who recommended it to me described it as ‘the hunger games meets the bachelor,’ which is a perfectly accurate description.

[listening] the arkells - I first heard the arkells at a music festival at the beginning of september and I instantly fell in love with them. their stage presence shows just how much they love making music, and they’re canadian!

[planning] my trip to montreal this coming february!

[making] superfood salad to bring to work for lunches this week.

[feeling] relaxed. 

what have you been up to so far this fall? I need to hear about all of your favourite things! xo.

july goals

Happy Canada Day! Canada Day is always such a fun day to celebrate. a friend and I have a tradition of playing at a park on Canada Day, but this year I think we’re going to head to the Edmonton Prospects baseball game. the baseball field has a great view of the fireworks area, so I’m excited for that!

july is also my birth month, so it’s kind of one of my favourite months of the year. this july is stacking up to be pretty fun - I’m planning my 25th birthday celebration (I can’t believe I’m going to be 25!), going camping and going hiking. but, just because july is a fun month doesn’t mean that I’m not setting goals! here are my goals for this month.

one / eat better. I know this sounds fairly basic to have as a goal, but I’ve honestly been working on it for about 2-3 weeks now because I know that getting into shape is only going to get harder from here. in the last 2-3 weeks I’ve been working on it, I’ve actually lost 14 pounds!! I just really want to stay focused on eating a very nutritious diet (and not something that is necessarily just low calorie) through july, and to do enough research on veganism that I can decide permanently.

two / hobbies. I realized on a road trip a couple weeks ago that I don’t have a lot of hobbies. I’ve been into writing for a long time, but I feel like the majority of what I do is hang out with people, watch netflix/movies and eat food. when I realized this, I decided that I wanted to spend some time discovering new hobbies. I’ve picked up hiking, slack lining and running in the last couple of weeks. the goal for july is to try as many new things as possible, and to spend more time hiking and slack lining.

three / hiking. speaking of hiking… I found that I loved it and I want to do it more. I read a study recently that suggested hiking can change your brain chemistry and make it easier to handle depression and anxiety. in the month I’ve been ‘into’ hiking, I have definitely noticed a change in my stress levels and I am way less anxious overall. this makes me want to keep doing it! my goal is to do at least one hike per week in july.

four / journalling project. I’ve been a big fan of Try with Lucie for a really long time on Refinery 29, and her journalling video inspired me. this month I’m going to try out 4 different types of journalling (one for each week of the month), and write a blog post on each one after I’ve tried it. 

five / minimalism & interior design. I want to get more into minimalism. I’m not sure if it’s something you could call a hobby, but I really enjoy decorating and styling my house in a minimalistic way. I also want minimalism to become one of the main topics for this blog, so I feel like I need to have a better understanding of it. this month, I want to read more books and watch more documentaries on the subject, and hopefully redesign my blog to reflect these changes.

so, those are my goals for this month! it feels like a few of them are a bit lofty, but I have next steps lined up for each of them. 

what are your goals for this month?