We are well into 2020, but I am still loving all the fresh vibes of a brand new year! When I was younger, I would always feel a bit sad when Christmas ended. Now, I just feel energized and excited to take on the new year.
After deciding on my intention word for the year, I started thinking about some goals I wanted to achieve by the time December rolls around. In the past, I have definitely fallen into the trap of setting unachievable goals, so I wanted to make sure my goals this time around were realistic and measurable. I have a good mix of both personal and business goals, as well as a few fun ones sprinkled in!
1. Travel to new places.
If I had all the money in the world, I would absolutely travel as much (and as far) as possible. That being said, I know it’s not very realistic to travel all around the world in one year. I want to focus on exploring new cities in the U.S. and taking some weekend trips when possible.
Kyle and I are already planning on heading to New Orleans for the first time in March for a wedding, and I can’t wait! I would also love to explore Maine and other parts of New England this summer… and perhaps a trip to the Pacific Northwest? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how the year unfolds.
2. Level up my fitness game.
When it comes to working out, I have been pretty consistent for the past few years. I am an avid (yet slow) runner, and I definitely feel like I’m in my comfort zone going on runs several times a week.
This year, I want to really focus on working out four to five times a week. I am going to actively work on increasing my running pace, and I’m going to focus on lifting weights at the gym more. The past few weeks, Kyle and I have been going to the gym on the weekends together, and I’ve really been enjoying it!
3. Decrease my use of social media.
After listening to a few podcasts about how addicted we are as a society to our phones and social media, I have really started to be conscious of how much I pick up my phone. When I’m bored on the subway, I scroll through Instagram. When I’m lying in bed about to fall asleep, I open up Facebook. Most of the time, I don’t even think about it, and I’m going to work on breaking this mindless cycle moving forward.
I haven’t quite decided how I am going to go about doing this, but I am thinking I might set more rigid guidelines for when I can use my phone. For instance, I genuinely love reading books when I’m on the train, so I might decide that my commute is my time for reading—no phones allowed.
4. Get my first sponsorship for The Baker’s Almanac.
Come February, I will officially have been blogging for a year, and I’m so proud of how far I have come! I have drastically improved my pageviews, and I think my photos and content have improved significantly.
This year, I want to really focus on landing my first sponsorship for The Baker’s Almanac. If you’re interested in learning how food bloggers make money from their websites, I highly recommend checking out Pinch of Yum’s traffic and income reports. Reading through these reports has been so inspiring and informative for me!
Currently, I make a little bit of money (read: very little) from my blog, but I want to focus on increasing this amount over the next few months. I am going to get out of my comfort zone and pitch myself to brands, and I am also going to work on narrowing my focus and figuring out what exactly I want my brand to be.
5. Improve my food photography.
When it comes to food blogging, photography truly is king. If you don’t have good photos, nobody really cares about what you’re making.
While I do feel like my photography has improved over the past year, I still have lots of room for improvement. Here’s some steps I plan to take to level up my photography game this year:
- Complete Foodtography School — I am actually 75% done with this goal, and I am so glad I made this investment towards my business.
- Get a new lens for my camera — And possibly a new camera as well? I am going to look into buying some equipment secondhand to reduce the cost.
- Continue to figure out my personal photography style – When it comes to photography, the best of the best have a definite style (see Broma Bakery or Joy the Baker for example). I am currently working on figuring out what style works best for me… wish me luck!
6. Run another half marathon.
Even though I’m quite possibly the world’s slowest runner, I love running! Over the past five years, I have run three half marathons and one full marathon. However, my last half was in 2018, and I’m really itching to do another one.
Living in New York City, there is no shortage of great races to choose from. I want to challenge myself to do another half marathon and have something to train for this year. I’ll keep you posted on what I decide to run, as well as my training schedule.
7. Get ahead with my content calendar.
Since I work a full-time job, I usually spend my days off work developing recipes, writing posts, and curating content for The Baker’s Almanac. Because of that, I usually find myself producing content for the upcoming week, and I always feel a bit stressed about it.
This year, I want to work on getting two (or even three) weeks ahead with my content. I want to get to a place where I’m never anxious about what I’m posting next. I know this will be a difficult goal to achieve, but I’m up for the challenge!
8. Open a Roth IRA.
Lately, I have really become interested in personal finance, and I’m really starting to think about the future. I think too many people my age don’t focus enough on saving for their retirement, and I want to make sure I am setting myself up for success later in life.
Since I ultimately want to work for myself full-time, I know my chances of having a 401(k) are not very realistic long-term. As an alternative, I want to open a Roth IRA this year and start contributing towards it each year.
9. Put myself out there socially.
I will be the first to admit that I am not the most social person. As an introvert (where my other INFJ’s at?), I truly love to just unwind at home with a good book or Youtube video.
However, I really value my friendships, and I want to work on cultivating more meaningful ones in 2020. This means saying yes to more social events, reaching out to people more, and getting out of my comfort zone.
10. Increase my savings.
I’m not going to get into specific numbers here, but one of my goals for this year is to increase my savings substantially. My goal is to do this by both decreasing my spending and diversifying my streams of income.
This year, I am also going to be participating in Frugal February to try and save more money during the shortest month of the year. I am going to be sharing my experience here on the blog, so stay tuned for that!
11. Prioritize family.
Since moving to New York City six years ago, I have not lived even remotely close to any of my family members. Because of that, I really only see my family a few times a year, and it’s something I struggle with often. This year, I really want to work on seeing my family more, as well as making the most of the time I do spend with them.
12. Explore new parts of New York City.
Since I have lived in NYC for so long, I kind of feel like I know this city inside and out. However, I definitely stay in my own little bubble, commuting to work and then spending my weekends in the area I live in.
To get out of my rut, I want to check out new places in the city this year. Here are a few items that I want to check off this year:
- Visit the Conservatory Garden in Central Park
- Eat at Tamarind
- Take the Staten Island Ferry
- Eat dim sum in Flushing
- Visit the Statue of Liberty
- Explore more of Washington Heights
If you live in NYC, let me know if you have any recommendations for places or restaurants that I should check out!
13. Grow my YouTube channel.
When it comes to content creation, I really love making videos. Moving forward this year, I really want to focus on creating quality content on my YouTube channel and figuring out what best serves my audience.
If you haven’t watched any of my videos yet, feel free to go check out my channel for more recipe inspiration.
14. Read 30 books.
Last year, I set myself a challenge of reading 35 books, and I managed to read 36. I want to set my goal a little lower this year, and if I read more, then great! I like to read a mix of fiction and nonfiction (usually self-help books), so let me know if you have any recommendations. You can follow along on my Goodreads account here if you’d like.
15. Invest in quality pieces for my wardrobe.
When it comes to buying clothes, I have a tendency to opt for cheaper items. This year, I’m going to focus on downsizing my wardrobe and investing in more expensive pieces that will last a long time.
I also feel like my personal style is changing as I get older, so I want to start buying new clothes that fit my new style. It pains me a bit, but it might be time to say goodbye to the clothes that I was wearing in the beginning of college.
16. Get better at cooking.
Even though I work in a restaurant, I honestly am not that skilled at cooking. Sure, I feel pretty confident baking any recipe that’s put in front of me, but ask me to dice an onion? Terrified.
For Christmas, Kyle’s brother got him a subscription to MasterClass, and I really want to try out Gordon Ramsay’s class on cooking. I have also purchased a few new cookbooks recently, so I am going to experiment with some new recipes and learn what flavors go well together.
17. Travel solo somewhere new.
Back in 2017, I traveled by myself to Scotland and England, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was so humbling to go abroad and manage everything on my own (not to mention eat every meal by myself).
I don’t know if I will make it abroad this year, but I definitely want to do some more solo traveling if I can. Let me know if you have traveled anywhere recently that you loved!
18. Get more informed and active about politics.
When it comes to current events, I usually find myself tuning it all out. Honestly, I find the current political situation in the U.S. to be very overwhelming, so I usually try to avoid reading the news.
However, given that we are now in an election year, I am going to work on staying informed. I am going to do what I can to help support the candidates that I believe in, and I am going to work on trying to help make the world a little bit better.
19. Learn how to dance!
Kyle and I are really interested in taking dance lessons, and we are actually thinking about giving it a try this year. We found a studio here in NYC that offers swing dance lessons, and we are thinking of signing up in the coming months. Let me know if you have ever taken dance lessons, as well as your tips for getting better at dancing.
20. Find balance in all things.
When I was choosing my intention word for 2020, I almost chose ‘balance’ as the word. This year, I am going to work on finding a better balance between work and relaxing. I will be the first to admit that I am not good at relaxing—I personally consider cleaning my apartment or writing in my planner to be my favorite way to unwind.
While I think it’s important to set goals, I want to also acknowledge that it’s all about balance in the end. To avoid burning out and stretching myself too thin, I need to find time to decompress and not think about work.
So, looking forward, here’s to a more balanced, yet successful year in 2020!