Year Out, Year In

For the past four years, I’ve made a list of goals for the year. Not resolutions, mind you–nothing so insipid as “Get in shape!”. I thought about what I wanted to do or achieve and tried to think of doable goals. Probably not a coincidence that since I was teaching at a charter school at the time, I subconsciously took the idea of SMART goals–specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound. Anyway, I like to write the goals in a small notebook and check things off or keep lists to keep myself motivated and accountable throughout the year. In general, it’s been helpful and pretty successful. I’ve never completed 100% of my goals, but I know that the goals have inspired me to do a lot of things I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

This year has been full of upheaval and change–most for the better–but it meant that a lot of my goals got pretty much forgotten or ignored. Considering the circumstances, I’m okay with that.

Some of the goals I did accomplish:

I drank more water (goal was at least 16oz a day). We visited several new places (in the US and abroad). I read (more than) 80 books. I visited my grandma one more time. I’ve worked on organizing and decluttering (though I still have a LOT of work to do). I incorporated my photography business. We visited a new restaurant every month. I took a photo of us together every month. We replaced our mattress. I knit a (tiny) sweater. We moved!

Some of the goals I did not accomplish:

I did not exercise twice a week the whole year, but I had a good excuse. 🙂 I volunteered only one time instead of two like I’d meant to. I didn’t fully fund my Roth IRA, due to job ups and downs. We didn’t make it to 5 new museums (I think we visited 2 or 3). We didn’t attend 6 cultural events, but we did do a couple, I think. We didn’t cook together once a month. We didn’t make it to a Yankees game before we left New York. We haven’t gotten some of our prints framed and hung (though we did make progress in the new house!).


I didn’t spend much time in the waning days of 2012 thinking about goals for 2013. But here are a few I came up with after some careful thought about what I want to get out of this shiny new year:

Individual goals:
Do something active at least twice a week.

Keep up this blog–at least one post a week.

Continue taking a photo a day.

Read 40 books (I have no idea how my time will look, so I have no clue if this is even remotely feasible).

Rebuild/restart photography business

Go full-frame (camera)! (dependent on previous)

Family/couple goals:
Take daytrips to Mt Hood, the Oregon coast, and an orchard/farm.

Continue to visit one new restaurant a month (just us or with babies).

Attend some lessons as a family, like baby swimming or music lessons.

Do at least three family events (zoo, festivals, etc).

Take monthly baby on couch photos.

Take monthly couple and/or family photos.


I feel such pressure to have some perfect beginnings for things like plans and photos ready on the first day of the year. Honestly, I’m always so scatterbrained that it just never happens. I’m a mess and I never know what day it is, so often I have to scramble to think of anything. A lifelong procrastinator, that’s me. This year is no exception–as you can tell by getting this up on January 3rd. (I wanted an extra day or two to come up with any more goal ideas.) Also, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I haven’t done anything active yet, despite the past three gorgeous, sunny but frigid days. Sigh. Maybe tomorrow?

3 thoughts on “Year Out, Year In

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  1. I totally hear you on feeling the pressure to have perfect beginnings, and a photo to start the year, and blog posts to go with it. ha. i’ve got some big stuff coming, too (and more planned for the rest of the year, like finding a house, hopefully..) and it makes me both more inclined to write goals/take on new projects and less inclined to put more pressure on myself. if that makes any sense. but i love what you’ve decided here, and i think they’re a combination of attainable and things you may not do if you didn’t have them on a list. i’m secretly planning to start another birthday to do list on my birthday this year, and i think doing those lists when i was 27, 28 and 29 were what has kept me from writing resolutions, which i never really did (other than the year i graduated college; that january i resolved NOT to do anything crazy to my hair so it’d be long for graduation lol.).

    1. I loved your birthday lists! I remember wishing I could come up with lists like that–both to think of doing that, and coming up with good enough and attainable enough items.

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