2018 Goals

January 4, 2018

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy shares her goals

Personally, I love the practice of goal-setting. I find it inspiring and refreshing and I’m personally a person who works well with a finish line ahead of them. Last year I shared my goals and I feel really proud when I look back on those for the progress I made. 2017 was such a year of transition and change for me and in 2018 I plan to build on the tiny wins and success that I saw.

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy shares her goals

Re-program my diet.

This is a big priority for me this year. (And I put the croissant photo directly above on purpose because it made me laugh – HA! Croissants – and baked goods – remain my weaknesses…!) While I work out a lot, I tend to not eat well. Too much dairy, too much gluten and too many sweets. When I put my mind to improving my diet in advance of a big ocassion I can really see a difference (I lost 5-6lbs in the month before my college reunion last Fall) so I want to make it more of a habit to make healthier choices both while eating out but particularly when cooking for myself at home. I rarely, rarely cook vegetables so have already made efforts this week to change that. When I admitted this veggie shortcoming to my brother Kevin over the holidays he in turn shared this cookbook with me that he and his girlfriend love so I snapped some photos of recipes that sounded good and have already liked what I’ve made. I also ordered this cookbook by the same author so I can keep finding new recipes that’ll challenge me to eat more veggie-centric meals. I’m also going to make efforts to limit my alcohol intake during the week and attempt to keep gluten + sweets as weekend indulgences. I’m hopeful that these changes will allow me to see the effort I put into my workouts and that I’ll lose a few of my more stubborn lbs and some of the puffiness in my face.

Drink more water.

Relatedly, I have gotten so off track with my water intake. Last year when I was using an app to track my H20 intake and ensuring I was drinking 8-10 glasses a day, I felt so much better! I felt lighter, more energetic and my skin looked so much more radiant. My lips were also never chapped as a result of being hydrated! I’m going to make every effort to get this back on track and keep a water bottle with me at all times.

Read a book a month.

This was on my 201 7 goals list and worked like a charm to keep me accountable. I ended up reading just about 12 or 13 or so books and knowing I wrote this goal down on paper reminded me to take time out to read for pleasure. I want to keep this up in 2018. I’d love any recommendations you guys have!? My two favorite reads of 2017 can be seen in this post, by the way.

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy shares her goals

Continue my fitness journey.

I am so happy to be writing today that I am feeling so good about my fitness journey. In the past few years I really honed in on figuring out what worked for me and found the most success in taking a variety of classes. Last year my goal was to work out 4x per week and I definitely met or exceeded that goal nearly every week I was home in New York (often going 5-6x per week with 1 rest day.) I also started listening to my body more and made the decision to put spin classes on pause after realizing they were most likely the culprit of my lower back pain that had crept up. I began stretching and foam rolling more and I began to become super focused during my workouts so that I could gain confidence in my form and also in taking more difficult modifications when available to me. This year, as I continue my workouts, I particularly want to continue my hot yoga practice. I discovered it two years ago and I am now 100% hooked. I go at least once a week and see it as a body detoxifier. It feels like sweating out all the bad in my week and really resets me. It has allowed me to see how much my physical fitness affects my mental health and I am so glad to have found this practice. I’m finally feeling stronger in poses and more confident and that has made it all the more worthwhile.

Share more.

This one is specific to you guys: my awesome wit & whimsy community. As I spoke about in yesterday’s post I feel like I’ve been letting myself + y’all down by my recent lack of hustle and my lack of sharing. My fears and insecurities have gotten in the way and caused me to overly second guess myself. But something I realized via your comments + feedback provided following opening up yesterday was that I have lost my voice a bit. Most of you echoed the sentiment of wanting more personal posts, less cookie cutter content and just more of hearing what’s of interest to me, what I’m feeling and what I have going on. I know I have a lot to say but at some point I think I stopped opening up as much and I need to get back to that. Get back to the writing that made me start this blog in the first place! I’m thinking through this and it may mean less posts throughout the year so that I can really find the time + the state of mind to share more openly. In the meantime though, my goal is to start sharing more on Instagram Stories. I want to be sharing more day to day items, things I am liking/doing/wearing/reading/finding funny and focus less on the perfection aspect. This will be a work in progress for me no doubt and I’m also still digesting a lot of the feedback I got so more to come once I wrap my head around all of it! I want to thank everyone who took the time to provide constructive criticism and positive encouragement thus far though. Your words really moved me and they will help me make this space an even better one in the future.

Continue to learn.

Something I’ve been talking with girlfriends about over the past few months is the desire to have hobbies and opportunities where we feel like we’re learning new things or honing in on older skills. It’s actually what inspired me to sign up for refresher French classes! (I start next Monday – so excited!) And it got me to thinking about the other things I want to learn. I want to finally figure out how to use the hot rollers that have been sitting under my sink for over a year and I really want to finally figure out how to do the perfect cat eye. I’m planning to start spending more time on YouTube (I really NEVER watch YouTube videos if you can believe it. Relatedly, if you have some channels you love – I’d be so happy to have some recommendations!) and I also want to explore Skillshare’s latest offerings for things like graphic design or honing my photography skills.

Lace up Flats I wit & whimsy

Stock my bar cart.

I added this bar cart to my apartment in November to get a bit more space and now I want to stock it so I am always at the ready to mix drinks when I have friends over vs. just having wine on standby. (Don’t get me wrong, I love wine any day of the week!) Moving forward, I’d like the cart to have the fixings of some of my favorite cocktails for future nights in.

Choose adventure more.

2017 included some great unplanned trips for work but I want 2018 to include more adventure. I want to be more spontaneous and to remind myself that life is short and there is so much still to be seen. I want to find inspiration in the world around me and continue to expand my horizons. I mentioned in this post that I currently have trips planned to Copenhagen & Stockholm and Charleston (all firsts for me) and I’m also looking at trips to London & Lisbon. On a smaller scale, I want to make efforts to visit one new-to-me NYC spot a week. I have my old standbys that I often schedule meetings or time with friends at but I have such a long bucket list that I want to begin to chip away at that more. A lot of you have also indicated you love seeing the city spots I visit so this should be a win/win goal for us all! (I share a lot of my NYC spots under this hashtag by the way!)

Be more purposeful with my time.

I can get so easily distracted and I want to be better about focusing on the task at hand so that I can maximize my time spent working and ideally free up more time for the things I love. I am going to set some time aside to figure out how to best set myself up for success with this one but I think one thing that is going to help me is having a new workspace beginning next month. I think my mind will welcome the change of environment!

Meghan Donovan in Paris I 2017

Find a charity to be more involved in.

Every year I give to a variety of organizations monetarily but in 2018 I want to find a cause that I can truly get behind and really be involved with past monetary donations. I’d love to find one that has a young members board or something similar that is based in New York. (Any recommendations?!)

Spend a month in Paris.

Confession time: a few years ago I actually looked into moving to Paris. I went on job interviews there (and in London) and explored what it may look like to move abroad. In the end I am glad the way things worked out because I’m now having the best time working for myself and I still adore New York…BUT…I’m always dying to get back to Paris. I’ve been beyond lucky to go there every year for the past four years but this year it is my goal to spend a full month there. There’s nowhere that leaves me feeling more inspired, more empowered and more free than Paris and I’d like my 2018 to have a big dose of those feelings. I am putting in every effort to ensure this happens. I want to spend time at my old favorites, get to know new spots and put this year’s French lessons to use! The photos in this post were from my time there in May of last year and I never got around to posting them but realized they were perfect for the sentiments of hopes + goals in this post.

Next week I am going to share a post on smaller, meaningful habits I plan to improve this year as well so keep an eye out for that!

What goals are you guys setting for yourselves this year?

p.s. 32 things you may not know about me.

[Hana Lê Van Photography]

comments +

  1. Betsie says:

    Great goals! Could you share more details on what you changed to drop the 5-6 pounds. I am disciplined Monday through Friday with workouts and healthy eating and then the weekend comes…my kryptonite! Appreciate any tips.

  2. Michelle says:

    With regard to spin class and lower back pain, it is likely from having too tight hamstrings. This can be exacerbated by other cardio you do and by sitting all day. Try not going to spin class each day (maybe once or twice a week) and being sure to stretch your hamstrings well after. When I have lower back pain from working out/sitting at a desk a lot, I make sure to stretch every night before bed and it helps. But balance is key so you don’t get the pain in the first place.

    As for volunteering, you may want to look into New York Cares. They have different volunteer projects you can sign up for when you have the time and inclination.

    • Meghan says:

      Michelle, you are probably so right! My hamstrings and hips are always SO tight. I try lots to loosen/open them up but it is an ongoing battle. Thanks so much weighing-in on that. And I love New York Cares! Have volunteered for them on several occasions in the past – need to do so again this year! Appreciate the recommendation.

  3. Kendal says:

    My goals are extremely similar! I also want to get on a healthier track, work out more, read a book a month, etc. I’m trying my best to think of these as lifestyle changes rather than goals/resolutions because I don’t want to just blow them off a couple weeks in. I’m determined to improve my lifestyle and routines!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

    • Meghan says:

      Love the idea of framing them as lifestyle changes as I think that gives them more longevity for sure! Let’s keep each other motivated 🙂

  4. My 2018 goals post is going up later today and we have a few similar ones–namely drink more water, eat more veggies, and read more books!! good luck to both of us!! 🙂

  5. Rachel says:

    Ottolenghi is the best! You should definitely try his restaurants too if you make it to London this year!

  6. Liz says:

    These are so great – my 2018 goals are all one-liners, but expanding on them will totally help me think through WHY I actually find them important. (I might still your one book a month goal too!)

  7. caitie says:

    i’m going to try to make better decisions with my diet as well this year. sugar is such a problem with me–i have an insane sweet tooth! for youtubers: check out estee lalonde, allana davison, violette_fr, and lisa eldridge for sure! lisa in particular does wonderful step-by-step tutorials!

    • Meghan says:

      Feel you SO much on the sugar. I found it takes me two weeks of no sweets to really feel like I’m no longer craving it. Keep me posted on how it goes! And thank you SO much for these recommendations!!

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