2016

3 weeks into the new year, and I finally feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things. It's been gradual for me, but I hope everyone had a nice time relaxing over the holidays!

As someone who is goal-oriented, I get excited to make resolutions every year, even if I'm not perfect about sticking to them (Where's the fun in that, right?!). I like to strive to get better, but not get caught up in the possibility of falling short.

I prefer to aim high.

Here's a glimpse at what goals / ideas I'm thinking I want to focus on this year:

1. Run my first full marathon. Where? I'm not sure yet. All I know is that running keeps me inspired; it keeps me creative and awake and alive. It sounds very cliche to non-runners, I get it. But the electricity I feel when I am gliding through the cold air outside has changed my life. I always run at least one half marathon every year (and I intend to this year too), but why not step into full territory this year? I have nothing to lose and I am motivated to train and do this. 26.2, I'm coming for ya!

2. Continue to freelance + build my design business outside of work. 2015 was the first year I made a serious income from freelance design work, and I really want to continue that. Now that I have a new computer with a working trackpad (hallelujah), I will strive to push my creative limits in my work. I want to create wedding collateral, web materials and start learning Sketch + more about UX design. At my day job, which has been going wonderfully, I've been learning SO much about web and digital design, and I feel very comfortable in Photoshop. I hope to build on that too so that I can eventually make a bigger leap to designing for digital platforms + experiences. 2016 is my year to grow more as a digital designer, as well as build up more of a client base on the side. Practice, practice, practice! I'm proud of how far I'm come since I started working.

3. Explore more cities + states. I went on several trips in 2015. It was the first time I ventured up north to Connecticut and Maine, down south to Tennessee and North Carolina, as well as out west to several parts of California. I would love for 2016 to bring new cities and states into the mix for me, too. This means putting away more money than usual, but I know it's worth it to spend on travel. Experience > Things. I have yet to visit places such as Portland, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, Austin and even Canada. Maybe one of those will be a trip this year for me.

4. Read + watch + listen more. I always want to educate myself, and 2016 is an important year to do so because of the election in the fall. I want to watch more documentaries and listen to more podcasts regularly, too, to keep up on issues I am passionate about, such as public health and women's rights. I'm not in school anymore, but I never want to stop learning, listening, engaging. I want to spend more time learning and less time binge-watching shows at Netflix. OK, so there's a time and a place for that, too. But there should be more of a balance!

5. Be more present. I'm not very good at this. If it's 2016 and you have this down pat, I really am jealous. After being out of my apartment for 12 hours a day during the week (commute, work, gym, commute) I'm just happy to eat dinner, take a shower and pass out at the end of the day. In the middle of all of the commuting, working and craziness, I'm constantly on my phone or my mind is elsewhere. I need to actively shut down my phone and my brain sometimes. Maybe at the beginning and end of each day I will get better about this, but I think it would improve my anxiety in general.

There are several mini-goals I haven't sprinkled into this post (learn to play guitar better, cook more vegan food), but you get the idea. Reflection and striving are good, and they're where I'm comfortable. I like fresh starts. You should, too.