2023 Goals: Balance, Accomplish, Simplify, Upgrade

It’s time for one of my favorite posts to write and look back on each year. For the past several years, my friends and I have sat down in January to look at our goals for the upcoming year, and we revisit them each quarter. We’re also all oldest daughters. You shouldn’t be surprised.

For better or worse, my goals don’t change drastically year-over-year. It seems I’m always looking for the same things: balance, minimizing or simplifying, and growing my work. Okay, I’m editing this to add…I need to take a beat to realize how much I did accomplish, even if it feels like my goals generally stayed the same. In 2022, I reached my biggest goal of getting published in print, along with taking an incredible international trip (which we coordinated with multiple friends!), so many weekends in DC and away with friends, almost 200 freelance articles written, a new day job at an exciting startup, awesome blog travel opportunities, and creating a place, Rosehill Cottage, that became a spot for so many people to make memories.

So, consider this your permission slip to also pat yourself on the back and remember all you did this year. And, with that being said, I’m feeling good about 2023.

My 2023 Word of the Year: Upgrade

I actually got this idea from a Facebook group I’m in, and I loved it. To me, Upgrade as my word of the year is closely tied to both balance and simplifying. It means focusing only on the best things. Getting rid of everything else. Tossing the B team items and the B team plans. Going for bigger things in my career. If it’s not something I love, it’s not worth investing my time, energy, or money.

2023 goals

My 2023 Goals

I split my 2023 goals into the same categories as I have in the past, which seem to encompass all my goals neatly into buckets. In related news, I got an Everygirl planner again this year and 100% recommend.

Daily Routine

Create a realistic to do list: It feels good to check everything off! Create a to do list every day where I can actually accomplish it all. I’m going to make a concerted effort not to overcrowd my schedule.

Settle into my morning routine: I posted on Instagram this week that I really like the routine of getting up, showering, eating breakfast, reading, knocking out some work, and then going to a workout class around 8 AM. We’re a few days in and I’m into this lifestyle.

Get out for a midday walk: And that doesn’t mean a grocery store run. I’m trying to get back in the habit of walking around my neighborhood and taking in the sights. Even if it’s just 15 minutes between meetings.

Keep an evening routine: I’m trying to go to bed earlier, drink tea, and wind down. Really, I’m trying. I’ve got the tea part down.

Intentional Consumption

Keep on cleaning out: Over New Year’s, we stayed at the most darling farmhouse (look out for a post on that soon!) and it’s actually the family’s full-time home, that they also Airbnb on big weekends and when they’re traveling. And it’s not the type where you’re like oh, people live here…nope, it’s super minimal. Like that’s how they live. That’s what I’m striving for. I got rid of so much over the the PTO week between Christmas and New Year’s, but I’m still going. I put 8 sweaters in resale pile this morning. If it’s not an A team item, it’s out.

Do a major digital clean out: Seriously. The photos need to be culled. And then they need to be culled as they’re taken. This also includes finally making all my travel and personal photo albums!

More clean products: I’m switching over to more natural bath and body products, trying to do even fewer processed foods. It’s always a journey.

Meal plan: Not in the meal prep and diet sense, but just know what I’m buying at the grocery store and have a plan for the week. Get more creative!

Nail down my personal style: I’ve touched on this before and again in today’s newsletter, but I feel like it’s time for a personal style overhaul. I want to come up with a three word description that guides everything I buy. Getting my colors done was also immensely helpful

Exploration

Travel abroad: High on my list to schedule this year is a long weekend in Mexico (San Miguel de Allende or Mexico City) and Scotland.

Explore buying a second weekend/Airbnb property: This is still on the list, though I’m incredibly happy the one we put an offer on this past year didn’t work out. It was the most darling cottage and was the countryside home I’d wanted, but I don’t think it’s what’s right for us. Now, I’m leaning more towards a forever home in the country that we would rent out part-time until it’s our full-time home (always keeping Rosehill Cottage as a part-time home).

Career & Work

Create a business plan: I have some big ideas for the coming years and I need to get them in writing. I need to just set a weekend day aside to solely devote to this. Somewhere there’s a merging of writing, design, and hospitality coming.

Keep on getting published: I finally achieved my big goal of seeing my words published in print this year — and then saw them in print again, and, soon, again. But I want to keep on going!

Focus on growing blog traffic again: I lost steam here amidst the 181 pieces I wrote for online publications, the multiple website copy projects, and, of course, a demanding day job. But I’ve got some creative energy boiling and I’m ready to dig back in! I’d love to do two posts a week, but we’ll see.

Add a few big-name collaborations: As I grow the blog, I’d love to see some of the fruits of my labor pay off in terms of collaborations. I’m going to throw some vibes out into the world…

Build relationships in my day job industry: I work in tech marketing by day and one thing I admired about my old boss (she just left last month) was the number of meaningful connections she’d made in the industry. Because I’ve always been so busy just working between day job and freelance, that’s something I haven’t done as much — this is the year I change that!

Social

Entertain at home: I love to entertain — it’s when I enjoy cooking most! And, so often, I convince myself that our place is too small. But it’s perfect for 4 people! Or a few friends for drinks. We also have loved sharing Rosehill Cottage with friends and planning out an entire weekend itinerary. More of this, please.

Join an organization: This has been on here for a couple of years, but I’m re-joining Junior League as a sustainer this spring, so that’s one down!

Reach out to friends more often and make more spontaneous plans: This is on my list for a second year in a row. I’ve been way more present this year, but it’s always good to keep this top of mind. Plus, I’ve found it easier and easier to make last minute plans lately — maybe we’re all just craving social connection?

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2 Comments

  1. January 12, 2023 / 6:32 am

    Yay to re-joining Junior League!! Love your goal about more spontaneous plans. I was so great about this with friends in college, and also my early/mid 20s in Charlottesville. Since moving to Virginia Beach, I’ve found that I’ve really fallen out of making last minute plans attempts with friends and I kind of miss it! A good reminder that it’s never to late to try again.

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    • January 12, 2023 / 4:14 pm

      Yes! I’ve actually found that after a few years of living those “Let’s get dinner! How does Tuesday two months from now look?” memes, everyone seems more available. My guess is it has something to do with most of my friends having babies and small children now, so there are fewer big social gatherings, but everyone’s around and up for getting together on a whim. All three of our plans this past weekend were made 24 hours-ish (or less!) out.

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