A New Year - 2018 Resolutions

*Note: This is not a sponsored post, but I did get a free set of Powersheets from an NC Blogger Network giveaway and I'm trying out Lara Casey's Powersheets for the first time with this year's goals. Thanks NCBN for the Powersheets set!

Happy New Year! This is the third year now I've set new year's resolutions on the blog, and while it's a little silly it's nice to have something publicly posted to hold me accountable and to see how my goals have changed over the years. So first let's look at how I did for 2017!

2017 Resolutions

Crappy ol' flat-lay from January 2017.

1. RUN A SUB-2:10 HALF MARATHON.

My Richmond 2016 time was 2:10:03 and I was so confident I could get under 2:10 this year, but I usually only run spring and fall half marathons. My spring half marathon (Rock'n'Roll Raleigh) was agonizingly slow, but I was looking forward to my fall race until I came down with the flu. There wasn't really enough time to recover at the end of 2017 to do another race well, so this was a bust.

2. CLIMB 5.9 ROUTES.

Well, I am technically climbing some 5.9 routes, so I guess this is a win. Mostly I'm working on 5.7 and 5.8 routes still, but I've started doing some bouldering and that's helped a lot with my fear of heights. So I have achieved progress to some degree.

3. GO BACKPACKING SIX TIMES THIS YEAR.

I'm terrible about tracking things like this, but by my count I went backpacking 4 times this year. Not bad, but not what I was aiming for. Fall in 2017 was completely consumed by photography work and that really killed some prime backpacking weekends, so it's something for me to keep in mind for 2018.

4. DO A 40 MILE BIKE RIDE.

Even though I did several bike rides in 2017 I didn't do any long bike rides. But hey! I didn't crash at all in 2017! I'm counting that as a major win.

5. BE MORE INTENTIONAL WITH MCCRAE AND RYDER.

I wanted to make sure I was better about putting my phone down and spending quality time with McCrae and Ryder. Seeing as I'm so good at putting my phone down now that I go all day without it and have to go on a big hunt to find it because someone is mad I didn't text them back (oops sorry) then I'm going to assume this was successful.

6. GO ON AT LEAST THREE BIG TRIPS.

Besides backpacking trips I suppose my biggest trip in 2017 was going to Chicago. I'd always wanted to go to Chicago so I was super excited to finally explore the city. Other than that though I didn't go on any major trips.

7. DO YOGA AT LEAST TWICE A MONTH.

Yoga was a big massive fail in 2017. I didn't find a yoga studio near me that I loved and I was terrible about doing yoga at home. I could definitely improve here (and based on my 2017 stress levels, I probably *need* to get back to practicing yoga).

8. KEEP WRITING.

Ha! I was all over the place with blog posts, but I certainly wrote a lot in 2017. I've made it through three journals, so does that count as writing three books' worth?

9. GROW MY PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS AND CLIENT LIST.

Oh wow did this grow! I can't really believe how much my photography work grew in 2017 from doing photos for the Wake County parks project to baby milestone photos to so many family sessions! I got a logo and branding from Alexa B Creative & Design and launched a separate website dedicated to my portrait photography work! Thank you to everyone who's supported me with my photography work!

Resolutions-wise 2017 was a mixed bag, but I know how much I've grown - physically, emotionally, and professionally. It's kinda incredible to look back on a year and see how much has changed, which is why I'm continuing the trend of yearly and monthly goals. And so, without further ado, I present to you my 2018 resolutions!

2018 Resolutions/Goals

Okay, so my flat-lays are still lazy and crappy. But it's not a flat-lay if it doesn't include a succulent, right?! ;)

This year I'm organizing my resolutions similar to how I do my monthly goals. My resolutions will basically be my year-long goals, and my monthly goals are the bite-size chunks to get me to those long-term goals.

Writing

Complete the first draft of my first novel. This is possibly the biggest and craziest idea I've got, but I need to stop putting this off. 2018 is gonna be the year that this happens.

Publish a short story. I don't care where, but I'm going to get a short story published!

Publish an article. I also enjoy doing journalistic articles. Researching and diving into a subject gets my heart racing with excitement, so I'd love to finally pitch a freelance article and get it published. (The pitching part is by far the scariest!)

Photography

Grow my adventure photography. My portrait photography is going well, but I want to keep my outdoors and adventure photography in focus. Outdoor adventures are why I started doing photography in the first place and the Wake County parks photography gig was basically my dream job, so I want to keep that in the forefront. I'd love to photograph some big events like sports events, mountain bike races, and other major happenings.

Running

Run a sub-2:10 half marathon. I really want to do this, so it's worth chasing again.

Just finish a full marathon. I think 2018 is the year I'll tackle a full marathon! Fall full, here we come!

Run 800 miles in 2018. Apparently I ran 620 km (385 miles) in 2017, which seems like a lot until I realize how much time I took off in the off-season and how little running I did when I was supposed to be training. On top of that I recently helped a running friend celebrate 1000 miles completed in 2017, so my 385 miles seem measly. Running more often makes me a better runner, so putting on the miles in 2018 should help with my other two running goals.

Hiking/Backpacking

Go on six backpacking trips. Seriously, this is so doable it's just silly. I should just get out there!

Go hiking out west. Confession: I've never been "out West." Sure, I've been to California and Hawaii, but those two states have a very different feel from the big sky and big mountains country of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and all those other adventure states. Honestly I feel like a bit of a fraud blogging about outdoor adventures and I've never been "out West" adventuring, so it's time to change that.

Hike 60 miles of the Appalachian Trail. My current total of miles hiked on the AT is 63.1 (according to http://www.atdist.com) which is only 2.9% of the Appalachian Trail. Part of my problem is I frequently hike alone so I do out-and-back trips or I'll do loops but then I'll only hike a few miles on the AT and either backtrack or head out on other trails. It would be awesome to double my mileage in 2018 though.

Hike 60 miles of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Some friends and I have been section-hiking this, and at the rate we're going this is totally doable.

Complete the 52 hike challenge. I signed up to do this in 2017 and then I completely forgot to track my hikes. ::facepalm:: By the time I remembered it was a bit of a pain to go back and track them down, and honestly I don't think I actually got to 52 hikes in 2017. So let's try this again! As part of this challenge I'd like to do the Triangle Land Conservancy challenge (hike all six public locations of TLC land) - spoilers! I'm already well on my way, so look for some "Sunday Stroll" posts soon.

Go to Iceland. Oh, the ultimate adventure vacation that's in style right now, ha! Iceland seriously would be an incredible trip if I can ever get something planned.

Hike in Patagonia. There's a reason an outdoors company is named after the region: Patagonia is gorgeous and is a paradise for outdoors activities.

Get social with my hiking. I've started hiking with some friends who are newer to outdoors activities. I've been introducing people to backpacking or accompanying people on hikes who don't do much hiking. I'd love to keep growing that and to also go to some meet-ups in North Carolina with other hikers.

Complete Wilderness First Aid training. If I'm going to be venturing into the wild with others then it makes sense to complete this. I did my EMT basic training back in college but that certification has since lapsed. It would be awesome to do the wilderness first aid program though.

Climbing

Climb 5.9 routes consistently. I've ventured onto 5.9 routes a couple times, but I'm still not climbing at this level consistently.

Boulder at v1 level. I started bouldering this year (climbing without a rope - sorry mom!) but I'm terrible. Most of my bouldering sessions are spent jumping off the wall to get used to falling, but oh the adrenaline rush when you finally are confident enough to do a big fall! I'd like to improve my bouldering skills though, because if I'm a more confident boulderer then I'm a more confident climber.

Climb outdoors at least once. There are tons of guided routes in NC, so I'd love to get out and do some exploring on a real rock wall.

Other Fitness

Get blissed out and and get my flexibility back. I keep complaining about how I miss doing yoga, and I have started to notice how my brain's been affected without regular yoga practice and meditation. I need to fix that.

Do a 40 mile bike ride. This is so doable, I can't believe I didn't do it in 2017!

Try mountain biking. McCrae has really gotten into mountain biking, and photographing other women slay on the mountain bike trails has definitely given me FOMO, so I'd love to try it out.

Blogging

Grow the blog. I'd like to continue growing the blog. It's not my full-time focus or even my top-priority side hustle, but it's something I love doing and I want to share my version of the world with anyone who's interested.

Reading

Read 20 books. According to Goodreads I read 12 books in 2017. I feel like I'm always reading something, but frequently it's the newspaper or magazines or literary journals or longform think pieces, so I have to make a conscious effort to read books. I feel like 20 is a perfectly reasonable goal for 2018.

Travel

Go to Germany. Most of my big travel ideas are covered by the backpacking/hiking section, but if I could squeeze in a non-hiking trip this year I'd love to go to Germany. It's been a while since I visited, I've got friends in Germany currently, and McCrae has never gone and has expressed interest in going, so it would be a good time to visit.

Here, have a picture of Ryder because you're probably bored to tears with this post already, and apparently people just want pics of my dog. So here you go. ;)

Word of the year

I know this all seems a lot, but I am confident these are all reasonable goals to aim for. To complement this long list of goals and resolutions, my word for the year is "breathe." There were several times in 2017 that I felt stressed out or mentally disorganized, so I want to make sure I relax, take a minute, and breathe in. I want to take in all the goodness around me, breathe it in, and make it a part of me. If I breathe in the best parts of the world and fill myself with joy and goodness then hopefully I can spread a little more light in this world.

Okay, have I bitten off more than I can chew for 2018? Most definitely, but these are goals so it's worth having something to strive towards! We'll see how this goes, and Happy New Year!

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions? How are you starting off the new year? Let me know in the comments!

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