Year of Challenge

At the start of 2018, I posted that the year ahead would be a YEAR OF MORE. At the start of 2019, I didn’t feel up to making resolutions. Starting my twenty-seventh year this month, I feel invigorated. MY BIG MOVE has a lot to do with my current outlook on life. This picture of me was from a real highlight of the last year – the J.CREW LOVE FIRST campaign. When I look at this picture, I feel both proud of my journey & ready to keep moving forward.

Inspired by Gretchen Rubin & Liz Craft’s PODCAST, I am once again choosing a one word theme for the year, as well as creating a list of goals to achieve. While this is usually a January ritual, I am pushing myself not to wait any longer for the next steps I want to take with my personal year ahead. My word for the year ahead is challenge. I am dedicating mental energy & physical effort to pushing myself to be more comfortable with what makes me nervous, unsure, & scared.

One of their recommendations for creating your own list is to include ambitious tasks, as well as a few joyful items that can easily be checked off. Chris Guillebeau, an author & blogger who has been a guest on their podcast, recommended dividing YOUR ANNUAL LIST into specific categories. Gretchen & Liz pick their number of goals to correspond with the year ahead – 18 for 2018, 19 for 2019, etc. I am partial to series of five, so I have picked five categories with five goals in each.

    • Attend a performance for the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, or the New York City Philharmonic
    • Join another rec soccer league  
    • Buy a pretzel from a vendor near Central Park
    • Pick a local organization to devote my time & resources to
    • Visit all five boroughs at least once
    • Begin using an electric toothbrush 
    • Learn how to cook three new meals
    • Devote time to meeting with a therapist in person who I can make semi-regular appointments with
    • Journal once a week
    • Make an appointment for a facial 
    • Book a special Christmas outing with Steph
    • Visit my Grandma specifically to write down more about our family’s history
    • Create photo books of my niece & my nephew for their parents & my parents
    • Create an easy to use family calendar for shared dates during the holidays that are important for everyone to know
    • Plan a romantic getaway with Steph
    • Improve the user experience on this blog by adding a mobile menu, updating the homepage, & creating a shopping page
    • Coordinate three major collaborations with brands I want to work with this year
    • Investigate options for legally formalizing my business
    • Pay off my current credit card bill, as well as pay back personal loans to loved ones
    • Learn more about investing in the stock market
    • Go roller skating
    • Read ten brand-new books
    • Organize a sleepover party for my younger cousins at my apartment
    • Take a dance class
    • Visit a state that I have never been to

In addition to creating stronger habits & accomplishing significant goals, I also wrote out a list of everyday actions which I think will have an impact on my day to day life.


  • Text, call, email a friend or family member
  • Walk 10,000 steps
  • Utilize time on the subway better – read, draft posts, and/or listen to podcasts
  • Remember daily birth control pill
  • Search for ways to incorporate more fruits & vegetables in to my diet

I am always more inclined to accomplish goals when I write them down. This was a motivating exercise & I will update this post as I go throughout the year with notes & tips from my journey.

What helps you stay on-track when setting goals for yourself?