It’s time for my favorite part of any new year, creating my New Years Resolutions! I love setting goals for the upcoming year. It gives me targets to aim for and exciting things to look forward to. I try to keep them attainable, but challenging, and fun. These aren’t your run of the mill resolutions, either. Getting fit and saving money are things I’m always trying to do, but fun they are not. So here I have listed the things I want to accomplish this year that I’m genuinely excited about!
Earn an income from photography
Now that I’m well on my way to earning my certificate of photography from the UW, I’d like to put that knowledge to good use. There are many different ways to earn money from the photos I’ve taken, and there’s no time like the present to get started. Whether it’s selling stock photography, setting up my own site to sell prints and other merchandise, or something else I haven’t thought of yet, the sooner I get this set up, the sooner I can start earning back some of the thousands of dollars I’ve spent over the years on becoming a better photographer.
Along with volunteering my time at the pet rescue, I’m doing the Enormous Elephant 5k in L.A. in March to try to raise money for my favorite charity, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This is their first west coast event and I can’t wait to take part! The DSWT is based in Kenya where they take in orphaned elephants and other wildlife, rehabilitate them and reintegrate them back into the wild. They have hand-raised over 150 elephants and continue to make strides in anti-poaching and human/wildlife conflicts. I’m terrible at asking for money, so I hope I’m not going about this the wrong way. So at the risk of sounding like a broken record – donate to my fund raiser! All the money goes directly to DSWT. Please and thank you from the bottom of my heart! And I swear this is the last time I plug this on my blog (for now)(maybe).
Visit a new-to-me national park
For as much as I travel the world, I have some work to do in my own country. Especially in the National Parks department. I’ve been to 10 of the official 59 National Parks in the US and 0 in Canada. What a slacker! As of right now, I don’t have a clear plan for how I’m going to accomplish this. Perhaps a quick trip to Joshua Tree while I’m in L.A. in March? Or maybe I’ll take another weekend trip to Oregon this summer and see Crater Lake? It’s too early to tell yet, but I’d definitely like to see at least one National Park I’ve never been to.
Take a self defense class
I’m not sure when I decided I wanted to take a self defense class, it just seems like a good idea. While I’ve never really felt unsafe while traveling or at home, there’s no denying women are at higher risk of being attacked, especially while alone. Since I do so much traveling, though less solo travel these days, being able to take care of myself seems a prudent investment. So I’m adding a self defense class to my goals for this year. It seems like it should be easy enough to achieve!
Dive Puget Sound
As I mentioned in my 2017 wrap up post, I really want to do more diving around Puget Sound. The are so many spots I have yet to dive, and I’ve heard especially good things about diving at Hood Canal, Deception Pass, and the Diamond Knot wreck out in the Straight of Juan de Fuca. I currently have 45 dives and have set myself a target of 60. This is mostly an arbitrary number with no real significance behind it. I want to both challenge myself to get out more frequently, and set reasonable expectations. 15 dives in one year seems attainable. I know people who dive a great deal more, but I don’t think I can afford to go every weekend. But maybe once a month! I also have a goal of getting 100+ dives on my 40 by 40 bucket list (have I ever mentioned how much I love lists?). AND! Diving in the Arctic/Antarctic (something I’d very much like to do) requires a minimum of 50 dry suit dives. I only have 6. This will help me be well on my way to both!
Can you believe I’ve lived my entire life in the greater Seattle area and have never once seen whales in Puget Sound? I hear about sightings all the time, and the resident J, K and L Orca whale pods regularly make an appearance on the local news. We also have Humpbacks, Grays, Minks and Fins. But I have never seen them personally. It’s time to remedy this situation. This year, I’m going to make it a point to go out on at least one whale watching tour and finally see these guys in action!
Update – my mother pointed out that I have apparently seen whales when I was 12. I have no remembrance of this, but for accuracy sake, I should mention it. This doesn’t change my resolution, I want to see whales and I want to remember it!
Learn Spanish at a conversational level
This is a goal I had on my 2017 resolutions that I did not accomplish. I did sign up for a Spanish course at the local community college, but I got so fed up with people not doing their homework (you don’t have to be here people, it’s an elective! Why are you not trying?!) that I dropped out. We’d waste so much time on people hmming and hawing over an answer, I wasn’t learning anything. But I haven’t replaced the course with anything yet, and I really need to get on that. So I’ve added this goal to 2018 as well. Let’s hope I do a better job this year!
Watch Less TV
Being back in an office all day already has me well on my way to drastically cutting back the amount of TV I watch, but I can do better. I find that when I get home from work, I flop down on the couch and immediately turn on the TV. Aside from getting up to cook dinner, I rarely do much else for the remainder of the evening. That means the TV is on for nearly 5 hours a day, to say nothing of the weekends. This is an epic waste of time. There are so many other productive things I could be doing instead – working out, tidying the house, taking the dogs for walks, or even just reading. My goal is to accomplish at least one productive thing when I get home before I turn on the TV and limit my time to 2 hours, max. And while I am watching TV, I should be doing something else as well. Editing photos, writing blog posts, researching business opportunities or cross stitching – all of these can be done while the TV is on so the time isn’t completely wasted. Now that’s not to say I’m never going to flop down on the couch and veg out again. I’d simply like to reduce the amount I’m doing that from every day to once in awhile.
Check something off my bucket list
I know, I know. I always have this one on my list. But I hope to accomplish it every year. My bucket list is virtually neverending, so I should hopefully never run out of things to achieve. I revamped my list at the end of 2017 and it’s even more epicly epic than ever. And someday, if I can figure out a clever way to do it, I plan to integrate it into this blog. Stay tuned!
2018 is shaping up to be a fantastic year and I can’t wait to see what happens. You may notice I have nothing about international travel on my list. With my new job, I have about half the vacation time I used to. I’m not sure what this will mean for traveling, but if I can make it work, I have my eye on a couple countries in the Middle East, one of which is not often visited by Americans. I’ll be sure to let you know when/if things get more finalized. Fingers crossed!
I’d love to hear about your New Years Resolutions, if you make them!