2016 was a crazy year (and I am sure that 2017 will be just as crazy), but if I have one hope for this New Year I hope that it is a more productive year. Even though I went to Europe last year, spent three months on the island of Lesvos, Greece and volunteered with unaccompanied minors and helped the refugee crisis (which was by far one of the best things I have ever done in my life and definitely reaffirmed my love of this kind of work), I felt the year was altogether a bit unproductive. I felt stuck, and I didn’t accomplish even a third of what I had intended to. But I am determined to make this year better, and actually, achieve some goals.
I recently got some advice from one of my employers, who knows all about my dreams of photography, exploration, and desire to make the world a better place. She told me that no matter what I wanted to do, and no matter the number of obstacles in my way, I needed to make it work. She said if she could do it all over again, she would. She would have gone to college, traveled, the whole shebang. She said it is easy to let yourself get stuck in a situation (like the one I am currently in) and let time slip away. That is why I am setting five concrete goals for myself this year:
- Even though I do not intend on finishing the 2017 Reading Challenge, I would like to read at least 12 books off the list (one for each month)
- I would like to start writing again (I really want to write a book – no seriously, an entire book – and I would like to have a draft done by the end of the year)
- I want to complete at least 3 worthy photo essays (so that I don’t forget my passion for photography and bringing to light important issues)
- I want to travel more – I want to visit at least one new U.S. state this year, and one new country (I already have a little something lined up)
- I want to take a risk, go for a dream job, and move across the country (even if it means living on the bare minimum for a while)
I think by setting these concrete goals, I have something to strive for and I am hoping to keep myself accountable by putting them out on the blogosphere. So I encourage y’all to help keep me to the promises I made for myself and I can’t wait to share the journey and progress with you (and thanks for all the support over the last few years).
I wish everyone a very productive new year and look forward to following your goals and journeys as well.