Getting the Most Out Of Life – 2017 Goals

Wow, the month of January is halfway over and I haven’t shared my 2017 goals yet? What a sad state of affairs. I’d like to blame it on preparation for far-flung travels or that I won the billion-dollar PowerBall jackpot, but neither is true. I’ve just been enjoying life beyond the iScreen.

January is when a lot of people make resolutions. Not me, I make goals. Resolutions are great, but I find that I have a stronger chance of reaching a goal than sticking to a resolution. Goals are fun for me; I make them SMART and then it becomes a game.

I do pretty well at appreciating the little moments and expressing gratitude but I know that life is fleeting and I want to be sure I am pushing myself to always be learning and living this amazing life with which I have been gifted. To that end, here  is my list of 2017 goals (in no particular order) designed to help me get the most out of life.

1. Do more local travel – in-town, in-state, regional, etc. I find that when I have time to travel, I rarely consider staying local. This is a shame, because while my city is not D.C., NYC, or SF we do have some great museums, restaurants and unique things to do.

2. Goal 1 ties in nicely with my second goal of doing at least one cultural thing a month. This could be visiting a museum, attending a play, going to a poetry reading, or even stopping in at a new restaurant in a part of the city I haven’t been to before for some authentic ethnic cuisine. Business travel may take care of this goal for me, but if not I need to have some local options at the ready.

3. Get my Spanish proficiency to at least 80% as assessed by Duolingo. I was doing really well, but when business travel started to go nuts, I let that slip to the slide. I ended the year at 55%, so I have a ways to go.

4. Take classes in something completely new. I want to step out of my comfort zone and learn something new. Last year, it was the ukulele and I still LOVE to play. I can’t believe how much that little achievement has enriched my life. For 2017, I am going to learn American Sign Language, or at least the basics so I can have a general conversation.

5. Take the dog on a road trip – It has been years since we took the dogs on a road trip so before any more time passes, I’d like to pack the car, load up the remaining pup and hit the road. The last time we went to Bahia Kino and the dogs played in the waves for hours. Perhaps, this time the mountains beckon? I found a resort in the mountains of SoCal that purports to accept dogs, so maybe that will be the destination.

6. Read a book each month. I love to read and haven’t been doing it enough the past 2 years. For 2017, I have a list of books queued up and enlisted a friend (who lives across the country) for a virtual book club. This will ensure I make the time to read. First up is The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I am 40 pages in and so far, so good.

7. Perform a quarterly day of service. There are a lot of worthwhile charities that can use help. Of course, donations are always good, but I think that getting personally involved is beneficial to the volunteer and the charity.

8. Make 1000 paper cranes. I love origami and like the idea of sitting still long enough to make 1000 paper cranes. Almost meditative, I think. Now, I’ve done the math and where I stand right now I need to make 91 cranes each month, working out to about 3 or 4 each day. I’d better get busy, no?

9. Continue to travel both personally and professionally. That’s always a goal.

10. Keep in touch with loved ones by sending a hand-written letter every other month to a relative or friend. I think the art of letter writing is being lost and while I don’t imaging myself an Abagail Adams or even a Bronte, I think taking the time to put pen to paper shows a certain devotion to another.

That’s a pretty good list, I think. What about you? What goals do you have for 2017? I’d love to read them, so feel free to share!

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