wow it feels weird to type that.
my fingers still aren’t used to it.
i still remember when the year ticked over from 1999 to 2000 and i had to adjust my brain to writing a 2 at the beginning of the year. i don’t say that in a “holy wow i’m so old” way but more in a “it still astounds me how quickly time is passing and our world is changing” way.
in 2000 i was a high school senior on the brink of graduating and heading off to undergrad. i had no idea what i wanted to do when i “grew up” – and i honestly still don’t – but i was having a blast living up my final semester in chattanooga. i started college, i made new friends, i pushed myself academically and fell short, and i grew up a lot.
and here we are, 20 years later and only moderately wiser but pretty excited to see what this year has in store. as with last year i want to continue allowing myself to be vulnerable, prioritizing myself and those who prioritize me, and pushing myself in new and hopefully enriching directions. this year has the potential to be a really important one, a really significant one, and i am ready to see what happens.
this year i am breaking my goals down into categories with the hope that it allows me the space for some extra intentionality in making them happen.
my 2020 travel goals.
i already have trips planned to cleveland, to a surprise destination, to new york, to the mountains, to boston, and to baltimore, and all of that is before memorial day! i have a few other things brewing in the back of my mind for the latter half of the year, but for now these are my big, overarching travel goals for 2020.
an ellie-veena reunion. last year alex and i had our reunion, and this year it’s my ellie-bear. [to be fair i also saw ellie – i actually stayed with her in london – but that was just lucky. this year it’s more intentional] for our 2018 reunion we chose a destination neither of us – or ben – had been to and had a fabulous weeklong adventure in portugal. we are currently figuring out where 2020 will take us; options include berlin [she’s running the marathon in september and i’m a great hype girl] and the grand canyon, but knowing us we’ll change our minds at least seven times before we decide on a destination.
go on a solo trip to a new-to-me place. it’s been a while since i went on a solo trip to a place i’ve never been, and i’d like to make that happen this year. if memory serves, my solo time in malaysia and cambodia in 2016 is the last time i’ve done this, so i am long overdue. i love traveling with friends and treasure the adventures we have, but i also enjoy exploring new places on my own and seeing what trouble i can stir up. the destination is yet to be decided, but i am excited at the possibilities.
my 2020 reading goals.
my overall goal is to read 35 books this year. yes, that’s four more than i read in 2019, but i figure with the inclusion of the seven harry potters and the two by maya angelou, i should be able to make it through, so long as i don’t get hung up on a 900-page behemoth as i am sometimes wont to do. regardless, here are my main reading goals for the year.
re-read the harry potter series. yep, it’s that time again. in 2016 i re-read the entire harry potter series from start to finish, and it was honestly one of the best things i’ve ever done. it was so fun to get to experience all of those feelings and emotions again, and i am ready to do it once more. i always say i’ll read one in between reading other books, and then like clockwork i get to prisoner of azkaban and can’t put them down. i am also interested to see what new things i highlight or notice this time around that i missed four years ago. i can’t wait.
finish maya angelou’s autobiographies. for the last few years i have been reading maya angelou’s autobiographical series that begins with i know why the caged bird sings and closes with a song flung up to heaven. it has been a wonderful endeavor, and i look forward to closing out that adventure this year. i would also love to read mom & me & mom, her work that examines her relationship with her mother, if i have time this year; it doesn’t technically fall in the list of her chronological autobiographies, but it is still a deeply personal work that i imagine will be well worth my time.
read at least three books translated from other languages. one thing i realize more and more is how english-centric so much of my reading is. in recent years i have been more intentional about reading works by women and by people of color, but almost all of my reads have still been by native english speakers. last year i read small country, originally in french, and the chestnut man, translated from danish, and this year i would like to up that number by one. if i can get higher, great, but i do want this to be an attainable goal.
my 2020 fitness goals.
my physical health is always the one that falls by the wayside whenever i get busy or tired. outside of running i’m not consistent with anything, and to be honest i’m not all that consistent with the running. i would love to lose some weight and be trimmer, but the only way to do that is to make fitness a more regular part of my routine. here’s how i’m going to make that happen.
exercise twice a week. that might not seem like a lot, but as i said i continue to struggle with consistency and this needs to be realistic. i get distracted easily by movies and grizzlies games and work and all the shiny things, and i always find excuses to skip exercise. the flip side of that is that my mental health is always better when i am getting some kind of consistent activity. so my goal for 2020 is to do some kind of exercise twice a week. it can be a run, a core class, a long walk, bouldering, something at the gym, literally anything that gets my heart rate up for 20-30 minutes. i am trying hard to keep my goal realistic, and hopefully this is setting myself up for success; for most of december i managed this and hope that i can keep it up for the year to come.
cross 1,000 miles on the nike run club app. i began tracking my runs in the nike run club app in 2011 when i was in grad school. over the years my running has waxed and waned but without fail i have continued logging my miles on this app, and in 8 years i have run over 900 miles. my running goal for 2020 is to finally get across the 1,000-mile marker. i need to average about 4-5 miles a month to do that, which i think is perfectly reasonable.
my 2020 life goals.
these are the big ones for me. the ones that will push me in ways that i need to be pushed, and the ones that will hopefully help me get where i want to be.
at least six new challenges documented on here. as i mentioned toward the end of 2019, i want to put a little more life into this blog this year. i don’t yet know what this is going to look like, but i know i want to change it up a little more often. i issue myself challenges for the entire year, but then i lose interest halfway through and have to force myself to finish. so i’m allowing myself to call an audible this year. i know one of the challenges will be posting once a day for an entire month, just like i did in september 2011. another will likely be taking a photo each day for a month and then sharing all of the pictures at once. maybe not eating out for a month? or a month of no online shopping? definitely a month of no dr pepper [going on right now, as it happens]. i’m spitballing now, but i look forward to thinking these through and writing about them on here. as much as i love these bigger, more overarching goals, i also like having some smaller ones that have shorter deadlines and that can potentially lead to larger lifestyle changes. stay tuned.
some hard core savings. that might seem weird to say with all the travels i have coming up this year, but i have some big savings goals for this year that will help lay the foundation for bigger things to come. my goal is to save a chunk of each paycheck for myself on top of what i’m setting aside for my trips with the hughes and wright kids when they each turn 16 and what is funneling into my 401k. it’s going to mean cutting back on a lot of the extra things i like doing, like movies and eating out and buying art, and taking a look at what my necessary expenditures are versus my fun ones. outside of travel and the occasional splurge 2020 is my year to eat in, find all the free things i can, and lay low as much as possible.
clean and purge all the stuff. i know i have too much stuff, but i always start cleaning and organizing and get distracted halfway through and never finish. this year i am tackling smaller projects, cleaning one bookshelf or one drawer at a time, to sort through and get rid of all the things i don’t actually need or use. i can be a pack rat at times, so i am hoping that smaller, more periodic purges will keep the stuff from piling up. i have already straightened up one of the bookshelves in my room and feel immensely better about that space. this goes for all the things: clothes, books, games, puzzles, and all the random things i have accumulated.
and possibly a move? this is a big one, and one that i have been thinking about for a while. i realized last year that my nomad’s heart is feeling restless again and my feet are getting itchy, and it’s time for me to move on for a bit. i love memphis, and it will always be a home for me, but i am ready to head out on a new adventure. i am keeping my options open and am beginning to search for opportunities in some new cities. it’s going to be a long process, and i’m not expecting anything to happen immediately, but i would love and appreciate your well wishes as i figure this out.
i intended to reduce my goals and yet somehow i still managed to wind up with as many as i’ve had in the past. oh well, life is an adventure.
what are your goals for 2020?