Looking Forward: Goals for 2016

We’re nearly through the month of January, so, in a typical show of timeliness, I thought it would be suitable to share my goals for the current year. I could supply a proliferation of excuses related to the 40-hour work week, a visit from my sister, and weekends filled with biking and stymied attempts to find comfortable, work-appropriate footwear, but I will spare you the details.

So, without further ado, here are my 9 resolutions for 2016. To keep it visually interesting, I’ve interspersed them with beautiful photos of Portland, all courtesy of Greg.

Finding the Meaning in Life

1. Start reading again before bed

Unfortunately, I have been using my chronic inability to obtain 8 hours’ sleep per night as an excuse for not having time to do any substantial reading. Ironic, because reading before bed calms me down as I then contemplate fictional conundrums instead of my own.

Sellwood Park

2. Work out 5 times per week, on average

This may seem unrealistic, but I was already hitting this target maybe 75% of the time in 2015. And my definition of “work out” is fairly mild – a 20-minute yoga video after a tiring day at work is worth just as much as a 4-mile run on a Sunday afternoon. All of the usual arguments apply: working out makes me feel better, helps me sleep better, and reminds me to eat better, too.

Ferns in a jar

3. Wear lipstick once every two weeks

This one may seem like pure silliness, and it is. But one lighthearted resolution is necessary, I think! For others who also enjoy makeup, I highly recommend adding Auxiliary Beauty and Cheap as Fuck to your reading list.

Hawk and Mt. St. Helens

4. Buy a car

A year in New Zealand turned me into a hiking enthusiast (no surprises there), and it’s very frustrating to be able to see Mt. St. Helens (above), Mt. Cook, and Mt. Adams on a clear day yet not be able to access them!

Pine branch

5. Continue training so that I can run home from work (7 miles)

In mid-December, I was consistently able to run 4 miles without feeling overexterted. That may not sound like anything much to proper runners, but it was a huge accomplishment for me. Unfortunately, since I am a pansy, I refuse to run when it is raining and/or below 50 degrees, which means that training has been on hiatus since before Christmas. But that will change when the weather finally improves!

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

6. Pay off student loans

I’ve written about my student loan debt before on this blog, and I’m ready for it to finally come to an end. I was pretty lucky to leave school with a modest amount of debt — at least in comparison to the average American graduate — but my ability to pursue a Master’s degree, etc. is severely curtailed and I insist that the financial side of higher education (in addition to other aspects) is broken.

Portland downtown at sunset

7). Obtain a promotion/make a tangible career decision

I’m now an entry-level professional in my mid-twenties, so this shouldn’t be too surprising. Many of the people I’ve known since high school have taken on an air of the professionalesque, and, after a year gallivanting around New Zealand and Australia, I’ve come to crave some sort of career development.  On one hand, these feelings strike me as odd because the liberal curriculum to which I was exposed in college pushed me to question and invalidate many of the cornerstones of corporate America. At the same time, though, it’s not fun to flounder aimlessly for a prolonged period of time, and professional advancement is not wholly in opposition to intellectual curiosity.

I’ve thought seriously about including some more work-related posts here on my blog, but wasn’t sure if readers would be interested or if I would come to regret it later. Any thoughts on that? I’d try my best not to write them in a cringeworthy LinkedIn style.

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge II

8). Write to grandparents once a month

This is more of a “be better at keeping up with your family and friends” sort of resolution. I like to use my military background as an excuse for why I’m not good at staying in touch with people, but I’m feeling more and more strongly that this is something I ought to be doing a better job of.

Among the trees

9. Start following international news again

New Zealand is a fairly isolated country, and its denizens are, on average, fairly unconcerned with international developments. I’m afraid some of that attitude rubbed off on me. Also, I hate feeling ignorant about current events. So, in an homage to my high-school-debater younger self, I bought a 2-year subscription to The Economist and have started learning about record low oil prices, prolonged intercontinental quibbles, and dry British humor yet again.

What do you hope to achieve or change in the new year?

P.S. I should also stop promising to write specific blog posts, because I am fickle and it never happens.



4 thoughts on “Looking Forward: Goals for 2016

  1. Funny you should mention subscribing to The Economist; I began 2016 in exactly the same fashion! I felt that my attempts to stay up-to-date had been sporadic and my knowledge meagre, so I decided to get a subscription too. And I’m glad that I did.

    1. I’m glad someone feels the same way! Have you signed up for the Economist Espresso daily newsletter? It’s included in the cost of your subscription. I enjoy reading the quick email update each day on the train to work, since I never manage to finish reading the full magazine each week.

      1. No I haven’t. Antiquated and archaic as I am, I subscribed to the print edition. I rather enjoy opening my letter box and taking out my copy every week. Plus with the digital edition I would have felt swamped by all the articles available (recent and archived). The wry sense of humour and its wide coverage make it a thoroughly enjoyable read.

  2. […] A post that was made in December (but I read it in January so it counts) from Literary Vittles, Alina documented her reflections and highlights from her year of 2015 which included some splendid travel around the magical country of New Zealand. In true Literary Vittles style, there is some absolutely gorgeous photography – all of which were taken on an iPhone 4, which blows my mind. I also really loved Alina’s post about her goals for 2016. […]

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