2017 Goals

January 9, 2017

Yearly goal setting I wit & whimsy

I know not all people are fans of resolutions but I personally love the idea of using the new year as a chance to reflect + reset. I don’t necessarily resolve to change a bunch of things but rather I like to set goals (and write them down!) to be held accountable and be able to reference them.

It wasn’t until I finished writing this post that I realized just how many goals I had swimming up in my head! When I look at the below goals though I feel very empowered. 2016 brought such change and was such a monumental year for me personally and professionally that I truly can’t wait to see what 2017 holds.

If the start of 2017 is any indication, I am ready to be focused and be as internally present as I am externally present. I kept my Saturday free and woke up early and then proceeded to have this magical day with my city as the snow came down. I finished the day feeling so content. Here’s to a year of achieving goals and being content – for us all!

Productivity Hacks

Grow my consulting business.

2016 marked a huge change in lifestyle for me when I decided to leave PR agency life to begin building my own company and roster of clients. In my first 6 months the learning curve of being self-employed has been huge but so rewarding. In 2017 I hope to continue my early successes, grow my network and always be learning new skills while thinking harder and smarter about every decision, every conversation and every new opportunity.

Read more.

With all the change I had last year and a new, ever-changing and unpredictable schedule, reading books for pleasure has taken a major backseat. I wrote this post back in March and am embarrassed to say it’s been since about then that I started and finished a book. Eep!! I did just finish the quick read #Girlboss that I started over Christmas however so I’m using that as a catalyst for my reading goal of finishing one new book every month this year. (Have any recommendations for me!?)

Rosegold Swell

Content creation.

When you’ve been blogging for ten years it can be a struggle to always be consistently creating fresh content. Last year I began to get more operationally organized (a brand spanking new editorial calendar template, planning out series, etc.) but I want 2017 to be about really providing more value within every post. I want to work harder at making wit & whimsy a place where you look forward to coming to Monday-Friday to be inspired, find something you love or get a new idea. I also want to work at varying my content across platforms. I can sometimes go dormant on various social channels so I’m hoping to further strategize how to use each one. (Anything come to mind about favorite bloggers of yours and how they do it!? Would love to hear!) I’ll be doing my annual reader survey again in late winter as I always value your opinions and thoughts but hope you know I’m committed to providing value (particularly within sponsored content!)

Refresh wit & whimsy.

I can hardly believe it’s been almost two years since my last redesign (I seriously feel like I just finished it!) but I already have managed to develop a running list of things I’d like to update about the site. I’m not yet sure when I’ll pull the trigger on this but hopefully will have a new look + improved functionality before year’s end.

Workout 4x per week.

Last year I really hit my stride with working out. My new, more flexible schedule has allowed me to fit workouts in more regularly and I love feeling stronger as a result. I also found that working out throughout the week kept my anxiety lower and helped my mental game as much as it did my physical game. I’m continuing to partner with Flywheel as an ambassador this year and have loved having them feel like teammates rooting me on as I fit in spin + barre classes every week. Last year I came to truly count down the minutes to 5:30 Friday rides and 5:30 Monday rides with my favorite instructors who welcomed and motivated me as I began and ended my weeks. They’ve helped me realize that once you find a workout you truly love, you will in fact be more apt to make it happen! I’m also committing to stretching, foam rolling at home so I am allowing my body recovery and continuing my attempt to meditate (a separate post coming on that!) (As an aside, when I travel I generally do not work out that much so I will be allowing myself that exception.)

The Practice of Making Good HabitsBe kinder.

Last year when I was rather miserable at my job, I started acting kind of miserable more often than I care to admit. Upon realizing it, I made this internal resolution to be nicer to everyone (no matter my current mood.) This meant asking most people I encountered during the day how their day is going, remembering to write thank you notes when warranted, following through on what you say you’re going to do and so many other little things throughout the day. It was so rewarding and inspiring! I talked to more people and found more little joys in my day regularly. It’s amazing what can happen when you go the extra mile in the kindness lane and so often I think people in New York in particular are in such a rush or so in their own worlds that we can forget to be gracious to one another. I plan to keep this spirit of kindness up in 2017. The world could use more kindness, couldn’t it? Let’s spread it!

Reset my consumption habits.

As you guys read last week, I’m using this month to really reset my system. By eliminating alcohol for the month of January I’m hoping to have it serve as a catalyst to better eating habits. Just one week in and I’ve already been cooking more, drinking more water and limiting my intake of sweets Monday through Friday. I plan to be more conscience of what I’m putting in my body on a regular basis and hope doing so will also allow me to reap further benefits from my workouts!

wit & whimsy 2017 goals

Seasonal bucket lists.

I loved publishing a Fall bucket list and a Winter bucket list because they served as handy little guides for me when a free day would pop up! Having the lists in writing also oddly gave me a sense of accountability to get out and do what I said I would so you can expect to see more of those around here each quarter.

Have more faith in myself.

Working for myself has had many a perk, but in the past month it has also caused me some pretty bad anxiety. This anxiety has allowed a lot of doubt in myself to creep up and I’ve found myself on too many occasions laying awake at night asking myself “Am I good enough?” or “Am I smart enough?” (Can any of you relate?) As a rather Type A person (surprise! *not* ha!), I am not the best at allowing life to come as it may. I like to plan and I like to control and when you work for yourself and are the one in charge of making everything happen (new client acquisition, keeping all clients happy, making ends meet, etc.) it can be overwhelmingly stressful. And it’s very different than the stress I was used to dealing with in an office job. But I’m also acutely aware of how positivity can affect one’s day to day so an important goal of mine this year is to have more faith in myself and believe I am good enough and I am successful and will continue to be.

Manage my finances.

When you work for yourself, you sometimes don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from and that can be scary! In December I decided to go on a spending freeze and avoid any non-necessary or non-gift card purchases and it was a great lesson for me. I have plenty and I don’t need everything I want. It’s an easy trap to get caught in: spend, spend, spend but I live in an expensive city and I need to prioritize my purchases. This month I fine-tuned my Mint.com budget, got a financial planner and am committed to setting myself out on a path to be far more cognizant of where I’m spending my money. (Have any money management tips for me!? I would love to hear them!)

Meghan Donovan I Goal SettingTravel to two places I’ve never been.

This year will involve less traveling for me (see aforementioned goal) but I still plan to continue my annual tradition of visiting a new place every year! Last year I made it to Montreal, Bordeaux and Palm Springs and my 2017 is now staring at me with a blank slate so I am excited to scheme about some budget-friendly options that can expand my horizon.

Take more photos.

I certainly take a on of photos but something I want to do more of is take photos of moments as they are happening with people I love. I realized the other week when I went to upload some snaps to Facebook that 75% of the photos on my phone are landscapes/flatlays/blog photos and that was a bit of a wakeup call! I want to put my phone to use and capture moments with friends and family on a regular basis.

Get out of the house more.

Working from home has no doubt been an adjustment and, most of the time, I absolutely love it! But in listening to a podcast recently where Jose Andres was interviewed, something he said struck a chord with me. He said “I think luck only happens when you are actively moving and searching for what is next. I think when you are at home saying ‘things aren’t happening to me…;’ sure – what are you doing at home? Go and walk. I don’t care what you’re doing. Start moving. Look for the horizon.” It struck a chord with me about using this year to constantly seek inspiration. I’ve never been a fan of working from coffee shops really, but I’m going to seek out new places to get inspired, focused and to be productive in environments where you never know who you may meet!

So there you have it! That was a long one but it felt good to write down and put out into the universe what I hope to accomplish and improve upon in my life. Are you guys a fan of resolutions or more of goal-setters? What are some goals you set for yourself this year?

Here’s to a great 2017!

p.s. 30 things I learned by 30 and 5 podcasts that will inspire you.

comments +

  1. Amanda says:

    This is such a great list of goals! Definitely is inspiring me as we begin to dive into 2017.

  2. Loved these! I could work on all of them too. 🙂 Cheers to a healthy, successful 2017! xo

  3. Sara says:

    Great list of goals Meghan, I can see some of them fitting my year too! I’m a goal setter and I love to write goals down on paper. I get a huge sense of accomplishment by manually crossing off goals with a pen..deleting them from my computer just doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as crossing off!

    For me, the new year means moving away from expecting perfectionism in myself…I have so many articles/training programs/podcasts in draft form because I continually think I need to adjust them or add more substance before I put them out in the internet universe. So for 2017, my mantra is to get stuff done and published and not worry if they aren’t perfect.

  4. alexie says:

    Great article, love it. BTW I’ve just written this post on what to wear to a beach party and thought you would like it :O)

  5. Anonymous says:

    My resolutions are reading from 7-8 p.m. every night during the week (I already read a good amount on the weekends), stretching every day, and exploring twelve new places over the next twelve months (this can be small, like a new museum or restaurant).

    With regard to money management, stop using debit cards and use credit cards for big purchases. Figure out how much money you want to spend a week and then take that amount of cash out of the ATM each week. When you can physically see the money in your hand and wallet, you are more aware of what you are spending.

    Also, when shopping, ask yourself if you really need the item and follow the one in, one out rule. Tell yourself, if I buy these new sneakers, for example, then I need to get rid of one current pair. If you don’t have a current pair you want to part with, then you really don’t need the new pair of sneakers and shouldn’t get them.

    f you want to read more, you might want to try setting aside a specific time each day to read and joining a book club (try Meetup.com).

    • Meghan says:

      These are great resolutions AND great tips!! Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment and I amy try that twelve new places in twelve months thing, too!

  6. Love all of this! Best of luck on your goals for 2017!

  7. Sarah says:

    Great post! Silly question, where are your fabulous workout pants from?

    • Meghan says:

      Not a silly question at all! They are from Flywheel! You can get them if you have a studio nearby or email them to have them shipped I believe! They are from the January collection so should be available through the end of the month!

  8. GF says:

    loved this post! if you’re still trying to read more, I have some suggestions: the night circus, station eleven, reconstructing amelia, beware that girl. currently on my reading list are: sweetbitter, you will know me, the sun is also a star, the thousandth floor, and books by liane moriarty. I’m also trying to read more (I love reading!) and my sister gifted me a “book of the month” subscription for xmas–look into it, i’ve done one month and love it so far!

    Re: financial goals–i’m sure your financial planner has already told you this, but my #1 financial goal is always saving for retirement; between 401(k) and Roth IRA, there are many options (and i’m sure other options for you too, if you are self-employed). Really makes me feel good that I’m “paying myself first” and putting my “future self” in a good spot!

    • Meghan says:

      This is such an amazing comment – thank you!! I’m actually reading Sweetbitter now and I can’t wait to look at your other recommendations! love the idea of a book of the month club for a gift and you are totally right about saving for retirement – it’s a huge priority for me, too 😉

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