I have always had mixed feelings when it comes to the month of January. On one hand, school or work starts ramping up again after the holiday shutdown and lull, but on the other, I get to celebrate my winter birthday and hibernate on the couch under the blankets and not feel guilty about it since there's not much else to do when it's so cold here in the city.
I've actually been able to travel the last couple of January's since I went to Singapore for New Year's three years ago and then Vienna and Prague in the beginning of 2017. There's really nothing quite like kickstarting off a new year in a different country, and I hope I get to spend the start of 2019 somewhere warm and exotic! It's actually kind of scary how quickly time passes by, and every time I casually check Facebook, I am reminded with photo anniversaries and memory throwbacks that really make me feel older by the hour. Photos have always been my way of documenting the way I spend my time, whether I post anything to social media or not, and when I reflect on my year at the end of every year, I am always reminded of just how much I've done and accomplished in 365 days! In retrospect, time passes by so quickly, but don't estimate just how much can be done and the amount of growth you can experience in a year.
I'm definitely a very avid list maker, from writing down my vacation outfits on my iPhone notepad one the subway to making detailed bullets of future blog post ideas on Google Sheets. However, I've never had a big habit of writing my new year's resolutions down (with the exception of last year on P&D), but instead have always just had mental goals I occasionally revisit throughout the year. I wanted to jot dot some of the things I wanted to do and achieve this year because I do thing it's an awesome way to keep track of my goals and progress, and at the end of the day, it's always fun to look back on the mindset you had at a certain point in time.
Revisit a place I’ve already been with someone else or a different group of friends
How we perceive a destination is often determined by the people (or maybe lack of people) we travel with. I’ve been to many places with groups of friends that have either made a place extremely special and incredible, but I’ve also been on a few that I would put on my “probably should forget” list. For example, my first visit to Prague was in September 2015 with a group of 5 girls and 2 guys, some of which I didn’t really know very well but became great friends with after. I never fell in love with any places (besides Vienna) like I have with Praha, and it really is because I had the best company a girl could ask for. Between our picnic on the island overlooking the Charles Bridge and eating trdlniks walking through town in picturesque weather, it is to date, one of my favorite adventures of all time. Flash forward a year and a half to when I visited again in the winter, and it just wasn’t the same! Still beautiful, but definitely very different vibes. Regardless, I had the chance to see the same place at two different points in my life, although not very far apart, and it was worth all my time. No two visits to the same place is ever the same, and this year I’m hoping to revisit a few places that I hope to see in a different light!
On this list? Cancun (check!), Iceland (Golden Circle), Spain, Los Angeles
As I'm writing this post, I am planning out a very busy week on my calendar! I just got onto a new project down in Raleigh, North Carolina, which means I am flying out tonight and need to squeeze in everything into my short day before I leave. My schedule for work is so unpredictable that it really makes time pass by very quickly. What a short 1.5 years its been since I started working after graduation! Coming up on the end of this fiscal year at my company, I'm looking forward to getting promoted, which will hopefully also come with a salary bump to fund my never-end wanderlust. For those who may not know, I work in supply chain consulting and have had the opportunity to travel around a lot, which always keeps me on my toes. I'm definitely happy in my career progression but long term goals are still to be determined!
Explore 3 New Places I've Never Been
One of the questions I get asked the most by friends, family, and acquaintances, is how I am able to take so much vacation throughout the year. To be honest, I think social media can be very deceiving and I usually am not traveling for very long periods of time like Instagram may make it seem. I strategically use my personal days, holidays, and vacation time to fit in time to explore new places. I am heading to South America soon with a few of my besties to a place that I have never been before, and to be honest, was never on my radar up until about 3 months ago! I want to travel to Asia at the end of this year, but we will see where spontaneity will put me in due time.
Step Up as a Volunteer
Living in New York City, it’s really hard to ignore many of the issues around me everyday. It feels guilty to turn an eye and look another way sometimes, but problems can’t be fixed without action, and I really think that everyone becomes part of the problem. I’ve joined New York Cares, a nonprofit focused on volunteer management, but have only attended orientations to start signing up for “projects”. This year, I’m really hoping to find some time during my weekends to visit homeless shelters, help out with food rescue and work with the elderly. I’ve been able to do some of these things in other cities but have yet to in New York, which is unfortunate considering I have lived her for over a year now. Sometimes it really is difficult to find time with such a weird work schedule, but at the end of the day it’s all about prioritizing and figuring out what is important to do with your free time.
Try New Gym Classes
I’ve been very into health and fitness the last couple of years, and I’m happy to say I’m probably in the best shape I’m ever been! I feel stronger and more motivated than ever, and I think it has a lot to do with holding myself accountable to working out and eating ice cream and cookies in moderation. I do want to talk about my fitness routine in a more detailed post in the future, along with which Classpass classes are my favorite, but I definitely want to branch outside of my rotating favorites: Pilates reformer, barre, and kickboxing. I’ll definitely keep up with the 3 going forward along with cardio (my favorite!), but I’m looking to trying out spin classes and hot yoga, which I’ve always steered away from for some reason.
Give Meditation Another Try
Back in college, there was a brief period where I tried meditating with an app I downloaded from a quick search of free apps on my phone. Truthfully, I always thought it was a waste of time and wrote off that it would help me in anyway, but I think I just wasn’t giving it the fair chance it deserved. My boyfriend has been meditating in the mornings pretty consistently for the last couple of months, and he definitely thinks it has helped him concentrate better at work and has helped him cope with better with stress. Other benefits of meditation include: increased awareness, cardiovascular and immune health, and increased happiness! I’ll give anything another try- it doesn’t seem like there’s too much to lose here. He recommends Headspace and Oak.
And just a few hours later in between getting some work and meetings done, it looks like I've written a lot more than I imagined I would fill for this post. I have even more thoughts in my head, but these are the ones that rolled out of my mind first, so here they are! Setting goals and have some metrics to measure them are always a great way to track your progress throughout the year, but it's always good to remember that results you want don't always happen haphazardly, but that you are in control of what you want to achieve at the end of the day.
"A man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones" -