Lifestyle

2017 Goal Reflection and 2018 Goals

I like to set goals at the beginning of each new year. It keeps me focused and helps me single out the real values and priorities from the things that “would be nice,” but are less important to me, or that I think I want but really are just things I was influenced to think I want.

There are few things more satisfying than using lists to track my progress and reflect, so I like to begin with a review of the previous year’s goals, successes, and discoveries.

My goals in 2017 were:*

  • Improve my network of interesting, like-minded friends/peers and meet more of the people I admire, including career mentors/contacts:
    • Join the Ellevate Network and attend local events (I never did much with my membership. For 2018 I’d like to examine why that was. A lot of it seemed to be related to scheduling conflicts and my general unavailability.)
    • Join the Bullish Society
    • Attend Women Who Whiskey events (I attended one at the beginning of the year.)
    • Organize an introvert-friendly event that builds community around writing, creativity, feminism, and/or action
  • Improve as a writer and get paid for it (I achieved this, but not in the way I intended (as laid out below).)
    • Find more fulfilling work by putting my all into my personal blog:
      • Publish a blog post every other week
    • Use writing assignments to generate a side income
    • Find my voice and use it
  • Get a raise
  • Increase my yearly income
  • Invest $5,000
  • Adjust the way I budget so that I am first using my money to cover necessities, then contributing to my savings account, then using whatever is left over as spending money.
  • Renew my passport
  • Visit Vancouver with my sister in September
  • Visit my friend Katie in New York
  • Read 24 books
  • Do one thing a day to work on my French (While I didn’t keep this up for the entire year, I practiced with Duolingo every day for a while, and watched more French films.)
  • Run a half marathon
  • Workout with 3RUN2
  • Run 4-5 days/week, strength train 3 days/week, yoga class 2 days/week
  • Attend BullCon17
  • Attend 3 conferences/workshops on content creation/strategy, media relations, social media, public relations or corporate communications (Only attended two: the CEB Writing for Impact workshop in March and the Ragan PR & Media Relations Summit in April.)
  • Be at Pitchfork
  • In general, attend more concerts
  • See a concert at Ravinia
  • Go to The Milk Room

*Items in bold were achieved.

Other things I did that weren’t planned:

  • Made a career move that simultaneously increased my yearly salary by 30%, elevated me to a role in which I excel in and have true autonomy to flex my skills, make decisions, and grow; and landed me at a company I’m proud to be a part of.
  • Saw the solar eclipse and spent the night in a tent in rural, woody Illinois during high summer
  • Went for runs in NYC, Louisville, Vancouver, Washington D.C. and Dallas
  • Entered the lottery for the Chicago Marathon
  • Began attending barre classes
  • Did Yoga Under the Stars at Adler Planetarium
  • Karaoke in a hotel conference room

2018 Goals

This year, I’m very focused on running, my writing practice, and, as always, professional and personal development.

  • Focus on my blogging/creative writing side project by:
    • Pitching at least one essay/article/blog post idea to 5 different publications
    • Developing a daily journaling habit so I’ll practice writing regularly
    • Updating my personal blog at least once a month in 2018
    • Developing my voice and brand (KaraJAndersen.com)
    • Joining or organizing a local writing group
    • Attending more events (workshops/lectures/work groups) in the local writing community
  • Turn 30 abroad, wearing a black leather jacket over an elegant evening gown
  • Vacation somewhere with beaches and tropical sun
  • Learn to ride a motorcycle
  • Run Half Marathon #2 and PR
  • Finish the Chicago Marathon in 3 hours and 35 minutes (the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon)
  • Read 30 books
  • Be able to do the full splits
  • Present on a topic that interests me
  • Work on letting go of lingering insecurities and unhealthy perspectives, and go about my life with strength and confidence. As part of this:
    • If I want to do something, I’m not going to make excuses or engage a narrative that explains why I can’t or shouldn’t. I’m not going to wait to be given a script or behavior to follow. I’m just going to do it.
    • I’m going to stop comparing myself to others. Accept that we all start from a different place, take different paths, contend with different challenges and face different obstacles; I’m going to remember that it doesn’t make sense to compare one journey to another.