That Time of Year Again: Goals and Resolutions

I've pretty much decided that I'm in control of my destiny.

I am the queen of goal setting.

I like lists, and I like knocking stuff off those lists. I make lists for shopping, packing, chores, work and just about anything else that can be compiled in a linear fashion.

I also set goals, and I LOVE New Year’s Eve for this reason (though my husband is anti-goal setting and only half-heartedly puts up with my lists). Every year I set new goals, and periodically throughout the year I revisit, revise and review them. I think life is a journey, not a destination, though, so I also give myself permission to remove any goals from my list that just don’t make sense anymore.

And since it’s my list, that’s okay.

Last year, I set two perimeters for goals: My professional goals and my travel goals. Midway through the year, I set a list of personal goals as well (some of which I’m currently working through with Linda Formichelli and her new wellness coaching program).

To give you a rundown:

My Professional Goals:

I had three of them:

  1. To reach a certain financial goal with my writing, which was more than a 30% increase over last year’s goal. I have met this goal with invoicing, but a few more people need to pay up before the end of the year in order for my bank account to reflect this achievement.
  2. To publish in three new print publications. I not only met this goal, but I far exceeded it with clips appearing in Pathfinders Travel, American Way, Vegas Magazine, waka-about and others.
  3. To send out one editorial query per work day this year. I took the month of July off while we traveled around the United States, and I don’t count that against my goal. It was simply impractical to keep pitching while I was traveling so much. Other than that, I’m on track to meet this goal by the end of this year.

My Travel Goals:

It’s only fitting that I revisit my travel resolutions for 2011 today since it’s the first day of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel Blogging Challenge, which encourages people to take a peek into the past year. I had four travel goals this year:

  1. To continue to see the world in wide-eyed wonder. My travels took me to two new countries this year (Costa Rica and the Cook Islands) as well as Mexico, Canada and large portions of the United States, and I took the time to suck up the little details that make a place special. Traveling by car through much of the U.S. helped me appreciate the trip all that much more. I also visited places I never would have thought to explore before, such as Oklahoma City. This is a goal I will continue to pursue as long as I travel.
  2. To step away from my work. On two of my trips this year, I made a very conscious effort not to work. When others were racking up internet fees in the Cook Islands, I was reading a book on the beach. And when I traveled with my dad to Costa Rica, I checked in every once in awhile, but the vast majority of my time was spent enjoying the country with him. I still struggle to separate work from relaxation, but I’ll be sending off the year with a trip to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico with my husband, and my computer is not invited.
  3. To learn how to tip. I still don’t think there’s a magical formula for this one, but I’m much more prepared for any situation now with a handful of small denomination coins and bills whenever I travel. When others don’t tip, I still leave a little something behind. Nonetheless, tipping when I travel is something I need to keep working on.
  4. To help others reach their travel goals. This is one of those immeasurable goals, but I like to think that when people ask or email me for advice on travel-related topics that I’m flexing my goal-oriented muscle. Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about the two rims of the Grand Canyon, which has turned into an advice column of sorts (see the comments) regarding information on the national park. It’s times like these that I think I’m achieving what I set out to do.

My Personal Goals:

These tend to be a bit squishy and are ongoing things that I attempt to do to live a longer, happier and healthier life. These include:

  • Drinking more water.
  • Stretching every hour.
  • Stopping work at a decent time every day.
  • Reading for enjoyment.
  • Embracing change.
  • Writing what I enjoy.
  • Being great (and grateful).

So what’s in store for next year? It’s still too early to say. I have another two months to think about it, but instead of looking too far forward, I’d prefer to continue to live in the present.