2023 Goals and Priorities

January 18, 2023

Meghan Donovan in Paris

Every year I look forward to sitting down and writing this post. I’m someone who is very goal oriented and rather self disciplined when it comes to seeking out the things my heart desires. 

At the onset of every year, I like to reset by reflecting on the twelve months in the rear view mirror and then look towards those ahead. I I typically start a short list of goals I’m thinking of initially on my Notes app in the Fall every year. This helps me as ideas for the forthcoming year start to come into focus.  Then, I sit down the first week of January and really think through everything I’d like to accomplish with the clean slate that is a new year.

I personally prefer to focus on goals and priorities vs. “resolutions”. I like to set goals that feel a bit aspirational and yet still feel achievable and priorities that serve as reminders to me throughout the year when I revisit this list for a gut check on how I’m progressing.

Meghan Donovan in Paris

Aside from what I’ve outlined below, this year I really want to focus on doing things with the word POSSIBILITY in mind! I have some fears about this year but I am working towards embracing the possibilities that the unknown bring. 

In 2022, I chose the word BALANCE as a way to level set my year. And I don’t think I quite got there when Paris, Perfected exploded over the summer. But! I was a lot better about setting work boundaries last year and it is something I really want to continue to prioritize. Checking email more strategically, pausing my inboxes, continuing my no IG Stories on weekends, etc.

Overall, I’m pleased with the progress I made on 2022’s goals and priorities and excited for some of the items that I will carry over to this year to continue pursuing. 

Meghan Donovan in Paris

2023 Goals & Priorities

Take an actual vacation

Adding this to the top of my list again because I managed to do it last year and it was major for me. I took nine days off! No posting to social media and no emailing. It was so, so good for my mental health! So good that I’ve already set aside the time in this coming September. I’m thinking Spain – perhaps Mallorca and Valencia – thoughts? Recommendations!?

Spend a month in France

I’ve been wanting to do this for years and it is finally happening! If you’re on my newsletter list, you first heard this news back in the Fall, but I am so thrilled to re-share that I am setting up shop in Paris for the month of February! 

This goal has been on my list since 2019. Which I think actually serves as a reminder that sometimes bigger goals, loftier dreams – definitely don’t happen over night. A lot has to be put into place and there will always be things we can’t control. But continuing to put these items on our lists year after year is important. It’s a reminder on the power of persistance.

Which brings me to my next goal…

Explore France further

I absolutely love traveling in France and part of my month in Paris is to build out Paris, Perfected recommendations for additional regions. I’ll be returning to Bordeaux, Provence, the Riviera, the Loire Valley and Champagne this year!

Learn to make a few classic French dishes

I’ve been meaning to learn a few classic French dishes like coq au vin and creme brûlée for many years. I’d like this to be the year I practice and find a rhythm in cooking French dishes. I also want to actually use all my cookbooks!! 

Meghan Donovan in Paris

Read 40 books.

I’m attempting to get back into reading for pleasure and building in a few pages day to day. This year I’ve set my reading goal at 40 books. 

At the moment I’m reading Busy: How to Thrive in a World of Too Much (so, so many good gems in this book!! Can’t recommend it enough) and Lessons in Chemistry. (I like to balance more business, self-help type books alongside more fun reads!) I also just started Prince Harry’s book Spare as an audiobook having just gotten an Audible subscription.

Related: Self Help Books I’ve Enjoyed

Get back to healthy habits

The second half of last year, thanks to my intense travel schedule, I majorly fell off my healthy habits. I stopped my favorite Five Minute Journal and Daily Stoic daily practices, I stopped meditating, I was eating too much sugar and drinking too much alcohol.

I started 2023 by hitting the reset button and began a Peloton course,  did a 5 day version of my reset diet to try and rid myself of my sugar cravings and I am doing Dry January. I am also back to drinking a green juice with Nanogreens every day, drinking a glass of chlorophyll water every day and trying to move as much as possible every day. With special attention to stretching!

This year I’d also like to revisit therapy to better help my persistent anxiety.

Now, it’s a matter of finding ways to really sustain these habits through the year and hold myself accountable. 

Spend my birthday in Paris

The last time I spent my birthday in Paris it was 2019 and it was such a special long weekend. Why? Because it was the trip where I had the idea to do Paris, Perfected! The idea and the name were born on that trip and as Paris remains my favorite city in the whole world, I plan to return to Paris for my birthday this year. 

I had hoped to do it the last two years and for reasons out of my control the trips didn’t happen. So it’s already on the books for this year and I cannot wait!

Be kinder to myself. 

In thought and in action. 

If you’re on my newsletter list, you may recall a newsletter I wrote in the Fall about body image. (In 2022 I moved my more personal essays to be newsletter-only vs. appearing on the blog). In 2022 I fought a lot of negative self-talk and this year I want to be kinder to myself. More gentle. 

This year I want to really quiet the noise in my life. I have fallen victim to feeling like I have so many tabs open in my life at all times. And in trying to do too much, I fear I’m not opening myself up to certain opportunities or I’m prioritizing the wrong things.

In 2023, I want to really focus on drowning out distraction and pursuing Output over Input. This also relates to looking less at what others are doing and really honing in on what I’m focused on. And being my own best cheerleader every day.

Shoot and share my Home Tour

I can’t wait to *finally* share a tour of my home with you guys! A lot has changed since I first purchased my apartment in August 2021 and while I’ve shared before and after snippets, I am looking forward to really capturing all the progress and showcasing the special corner of Brooklyn that my designer and I have worked on so dutifully.

Part of this also includes a sub goal of truly cleaning out and purging my apartment and storage with intention before I consider it “done” for the time being.

Use more of what I have

By the end of last year I felt like, no matter how much I cleared out of my apartment, it was busting at the seams. This year a big priority of me is to use more of what I already own more thoughtfully.

Get back into podcasts

I used to get a lot of inspiration out of podcasts but in 2022 I all but fell off them completely! I started them back up this year and have really been enjoying finding some good nuggets and takeaways from some like Jay Shetty’s On Purpose podcast. 

If you have any podcasts you really love – I’d love for you to drop them in the Comments!

Return to yoga

Before COVID, I used to go to hot yoga at least twice a week when I was home in New York. I loved it. It felt therapeutic to me. But now I haven’t done a hot yoga class since January 2020 and realized this month I miss it deeply. I plan to return to my practice come Springtime and I can’t wait to once again feel the stretch and strength that comes from hot yoga.

. . .

So there you have it! 

I of course also have a huge list of business goals I am planning working towards this year. I am thinking of sending some of those out to my newsletter list so if interested in those – you can sign up here to see them when they go out.

I’m a big believer in where attention goes, energy flows. This year I am working to really prioritize this mantra and I hope this posts inspires you as well!

If you have a goal for 2023 you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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[Carter Fish Photography]

comments +

  1. Kristin Klepinger says:

    Thanks for sharing! I love your honesty and am very proud of you for being so authentic with your followers. The paying more attention to output vs input was well said and inspired me a great deal.

  2. Bubu says:

    Love this, thank you for sharing, so enjoy your newsletter and blogs! Another blogger I followed said she is focusing on “spending time” rather than “spilling time” – and that phrasing really stuck with me. Spending time means we are doing it purposefully and carefully, as we would spend money. Spilling it comes from carelessness and not recognizing it is a limited resource to be handled with care.

  3. Judy Holmes says:

    Great job on articulating your review of 2022 & plans for 2023. Remember that you needed to let go of some of your routines to accomplish all that you did in 2022. Blessings to you!

  4. Melanie says:

    Thanks for sharing! I totally resonate with so much of the health goals and slowing down. I’ve been listening to the Mel Robbins podcast (actionable ways to improve your life) and The Everygirl podcast (some interviews w biz women, some life hacks, etc).

    • Meghan says:

      I’ve never listened to either of these so just added them to my list – thank you so much for the recommendations!

      • Nora says:

        Loved this and you inspired me to create a note on my phone to create my own goals and priorities, so thank you!

        I’m also reading Lessons in Chemistry and listening to Prince Harry and bookmarked Busy to read at some point – loving both. (Also read last year was Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr – add it to your list, so good!)

        Just discovered Mel Robbins podcast this week and loved it. So real and practical! Also, if you don’t already follow Thyme is Honey on IG – she always has great practical tips and she was doing a podcast that had short episodes with practical tips for health, wellness and beyond – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/plan-podcast/id1440801686

        Can’t wait to follow your adventures this year and create some of my own! ?

  5. Julia says:

    My goal is to actually SAVOR my life. I get to do cool things and I haven’t been actually enjoying it like I should. That’s why my word is SAVOR. The good and the bad.

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