Goals + Dreams 2016

I'm BAAAAACK!!!  Over the past two months, I spent an enormous amount of time away from my computer, turned 30, contemplated life changes, stressed more than ever, experienced the new Star Wars movie, bought a brand new car (more on that later!), aaaaaand gave my blog a seriously pretty makeover, as you can see ;) A new year is finally here, and I'm so happy to be back blogging.  2016 is going to be THE sweetest year :)  I love starting the year off with new goals and dreams, and last year I purchased a copy of Moorea Seal's "52 Lists Project" book.  I saved it for the start of the year, and the first list is perfect for this post.  Let's go!

READ MORE BOOKS  Last year was THE WORST book reading year of my life.  I read the first Outlander book, started on the second but couldn't get into it, gave up, and then read Salem's Lot.  And that's it.  My grandma is mailing her copy of "Room" to me, and I'm beyond excited about it.  After reading that, I'll be reading "The Girl in the Spider's Web" (new in the series, different author).  After THAT I think I'll start "One Kick" by Chelsea Cain, because her first series is one of my favorites of all time.

SEE MORE MOVIES  I just recently discovered MoviePass.  I have't purchased a subscription yet, but I plan on it very soon.  You sign up, pay a monthly fee (around $30/mo depending on your location), and you can basically see a movie every single day if you like.  That sounds like my kinda deal.  2016 is going to be such an awesome movie year.  The Revenant anyone?  Gosh I'm excited about that one!

KNOW MY CAMERA  This is something that's been on my goals list...for years.  This is the year it's getting done.  I'm going to learn to shoot in manual mode and use my camera a hell of a lot more this year.  I would love to have the confidence to become a professional photographer.  Being shy has always been a major factor in preventing me from pursuing photography as a career.  I'm ready to blow that out of the water, and knowing my camera inside and out is exactly where I need to start.

COMMIT TO ROLLER DERBY  Oh Roller Derby, how I love you so!  I had a bout of sickness, car trouble, and life in general which caused me to miss several practices in a row.  Long story short, I felt like I was too far behind to jump back in and decided to sign up for the next practice session which starts January 24th.  I've found a skating rink closer to home that I'm going to visit once or twice a week, an outdoor skating trail that I hope to visit once every week or two (it's an hour away), and I plan on NOT missing a single practice session.  Roller Derby has (and is going to continue to) increase my confidence in myself.  The women I've met through Derby are all so incredibly inclusive and supportive, which makes it that much better for an introvert like myself :)  Also...hello perky bum and thighs!

GET HEALTHY + FIT  Roller Derby will go hand in hand with this goal.  This is another goal that's on my list every single year, and although I always have good intentions, it always takes a backseat.  Matthew and I are giving our kitchen a makeover, and I'm excited to get in there and cook more!  Aside from Derby and cooking more, I also plan on hitting up tons of hiking trails, doing a few personal fitness challenges (search Squat Challenge on Pinterest!), and signing up for a 5k!

EXPLORE VEGANISM  Vegetarianism is something I've dabbled in in the past, but have never committed to.  I tried it mainly for health reasons, but for the past few months I've been reading more and more about Veganism, and it's something I'm seriously considering.  My love for animals is the number 1 motivating factor for me, followed by health and the environment.  A friend referred me to Veganuary.com recently and it's such a great resource for all things Vegan.  I don't think the overnight method is going to be a good fit for me, but it's something I'd like to slowly transition to over the course of the year.  This goal makes me feel happy :)

TRAVEL  I turned 30 last month, and I was feeling quite blue about the whole thing.  There's so much that I feel I should have accomplished or experienced by now.  Traveling is at the top of that list.  I want to explore the world.  To start, I want to explore my state.  Texas has SO many interesting places to see, and I plan on seeing A LOT of it this year ;)

SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY  For the past few years, my visits home to see family have been few and far between, because my car has been unreliable.  I'll share more on this later (probably next week), but I finally bought a new car!  Now that the car issue isn't standing in the way, I'll get to drive home to visit them any time I want!  I'm so excited!!!

SAY "YES" MORE  As someone who often keeps to themselves and places such high value on as much "me" time as possible...saying "yes" to doing things with others is not an easy thing.  Did you ever see the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel?  If not, you should see it-it's a fun movie :)  Him BEFORE is me; Him AFTER is where I want to be.  I want to be a Yes Girl!

GROW MY BLOG  I love blogging.  I know that at times that may not seem to be the case.  I frequently take breaks from blogging, and that's typically because life just gets too busy with the way things are right now and I get discouraged/overwhelmed/sad about it.  I would love to start taking my blog more seriously, develop a stellar content plan, and share more of my life, photography, and perhaps educational content at some point in the future.  Yet another reason to improve my photography by leaps and bounds this year!

BUY A FANCY NEW COMPUTER  I haven't had my current laptop for very long, but it is definitely not built for Adobe programs like Photoshop and Lightroom.  My dream computer, and the one I'll be saving for this year, is THIS 27" iMac.  It will be my biggest purchase to date (outside of a car of course), but I desperately want to invest in the highest quality equipment that I can afford.  I could spend the money on lenses that I've been eyeballing (ahem...105mm Macro lens?!), but I am reeeeally looking forward to being able to use Photoshop and Lightroom.

GET OUT OF DEBT  Before I drop money on a computer though, I would like to get all of my credit card debt paid off this year.  It's low enough that I can get it done.  I hate being in debt!  I can do this!

BE HAPPY WITH MY LIFE  I feel like I've been in a bit of a dark place for the past year...maybe longer.  I don't like sharing when I'm unhappy, and I won't go into details right now, but this is life and it will be nice to look back sometime and see that I demolished this goal.

I love that the 52 Lists Challenge book includes a little extra something in addition to the list prompt.  Today's TAKE ACTION message is:

"What is the first step toward achieving your biggest goal?  Pick one thing you can do this week to get started."

The first step I can take this week towards being happy with my life, is to make a list of things I'd like to change for the better, and create an action plan.

Do you have a list of goals or dreams for 2016? Share them in the comments, I'd love to know what you're doing this year!