Hello 2017

I ushered in the New Year with a lovely evening of celebrating with family and friends. But, I know I am not the only one who is somewhat terrified (ok, totally terrified) for what the next four years will bring. One main goal of mine is to find ways to help ease this anxiety and fight for peace, love, acceptance, and the environment. My first step was signing up to volunteer with the local Sierra Club chapter. And going forward, I plan to look for ways to get and stay involved, pay attention to local politics, and stay informed with national and international events. 

Besides this overarching fear for the world, I do like the New Year as a marker for reflection on the past year, and a reboot for the next 365 days. I've made a brief list of resolutions and goals (I'll probably expand on these individually over the next few weeks):

1.) Dry January. This means no drinking this month. I often go a few days without drinking anything, like during the work week, but it has been awhile since I've taken an extensive multi-week break. I am looking forward to saving money, cutting calories and hopefully experiencing less anxiety, getting better rest, and all the other blissful benefits people talk about going along with cutting alcohol. 

2.) Take Daily Photos + Blog More Frequently. Writing and Photography -- these are two areas I want to continue growing. I used to write a ton during college and a bit after. That has kind of fallen to the wayside, and I am completely out of practice. I want to get back into the habit. I think daily photos would help keep me creative and give me a place to pull from to build my portfolio. (I will probably use instagram to post my daily photos, so if you're not already, follow me over there!)

3.) Read. Often. I want to read like I used to, which was at least a book a week, often more than that. For the last month or so I have been setting aside an hour a day to read, and I really want to continue that. I am currently part way through reading Deep Work by Cal Newport, a fascinating book, which brings me to my next goal...

4.) Disconnect and Focus/Limit Social Media. Inspired by Deep Work, I am working towards having 3-4 hours per day of uninterrupted work. This means my phone will be off and if I am on a computer only relevant browser tabs will be open. I won't look at social media, or be pulled into emails, or bothered by the cat, or sidetracked to quick clean the kitchen, etc., etc., etc. So far, I have found this extremely difficult - it is a way of working that I've grown unaccustomed to, and that kind of freaks me out. A part of my strategy to actually be able to do this is allocating time for emails, social media, checking the news, etc. -- all the little things that I check so many times throughout the day that fragment my concentration on whatever my main task should be. I definitely won't give up these things, but setting aside, for example, a strict 15-30 minutes per day to check all social media, and 30 minutes to read the news, etc. I hope this will keep me connected enough with the positive and fun aspects of social media, and limit the time I waste absentmindedly scrolling through feeds. 

5.) Complete a Triathlon. It will be a short one, but plans are to compete in one this summer. 

6.) Continue to Grow my Freelance Career. A lot of this involves saying yes to opportunities that present themselves, saying no to self doubt, and working really, really, really hard to study, improve and grow my photography skills, networks, portfolio, etc. The last two and half months have been absolutely wonderful in terms of work and I am so, ridiculously thankful for the work I've received, and excited for what lies ahead!



Whew, that seems like enough of a list to focus on for at least the beginning part of 2017. I am hoping everyone had a wonderful holiday season and here is to a happy and healthy New Year!