Goals for 2016


Now that the holidays are over, I actually have a moment to reflect on 2015, and how blessed I am. I am also taking this moment to think of all the things I want to accomplish in 2016 to make it the best year ever. I know that New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap. Everyone wants to lose weight, exercise more, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, etc. etc. For many, they start the year with a good push toward these resolutions, and then by February the ambition/motivation fails. However, I am not that type of person. Sometimes I do set too many goals, but as long as I complete half of my goals, I feel that my life is on track. What is wrong with having goals in your life that help you live up to your potential?

2016 is going to be a year of uncertainty as there are many changes that may occur. My husband and I may decide to move based on job opportunities. We don’t at this time know if that will happen or if we decide to move, where we will be moving. With such an undetermined future, it is hard to make certain goals. For instance, I would like to run a marathon and volunteer more, but my time and location may not permit such achievements. I find it is important to set reasonable goals, so you don’t become disappointed in yourself.

Here is my list of reasonable goals for 2016:

  1. Read more non-fiction books. I tend to read a lot of classics, bestsellers, and mysteries. It would be nice to expand my reading list a bit. If you want to see my must-read book list, click here.
  2. Travel to Sicily. Since moving to Italy, so many people have told my husband and I that we have to explore Sicily.
  3. Renew my driver’s license. This is a ridiculous one, but when you are an expat, it is a bit more complicated than just going online and hitting a renew button.
  4. Continue studying Italian – even if I end up moving away from Italy.
  5. Go ice skating. This was a goal of mine a couple years ago that I failed to do. Can you believe that a girl who grew up in Wisconsin has still never been ice skating???
  6. Continue making a few extra dollars on Swagbucks. Every year I use the extra money to purchase birthday and Christmas gifts. More often than not I use the extra money to satisfy my book addiction. If you are interested in learning more about Swagbucks, click here.
  7. Vote. As we all have heard, no matter where you are in the world, the U.S. is having elections in 2016. Even though I am not currently living in the United States, I am still a U.S. citizen and want to exercise my right to vote. It is a privilege that many people in the United States take for granted, and one that I am very proud to have.
  8. Spend one day a month internet-free. I find myself constantly needing to go on the internet, whether I am at home on the computer or outside of my house on my phone. What did we all do before the internet? Anyway, I find that I am too reliant on it, and so I would like to take a break once a month from the addiction of Facebook, kitty & puppy videos, email, etc.
  9. Keep a Thankful Journal. In 2015, my spirit was sometimes pretty low. Every day this year I want to write down something that I am thankful for. That way, if my spirit gets low again, I can turn to my journal and read all the positive things in my life.

I think I can definitely accomplish these goals. It makes heading into the new year very exciting. Feel free to share with me some of your goals for 2016.

2016 is gonna rock!



2015 New Year Resolutions

I did very well last year with my resolutions but I feel that I expected a little too much from myself. I decided to give myself a fair shot this year by setting goals but not insurmountable ones. Since I have the unique opportunity to be living in Italy right now, it only makes sense that many of my goals for this coming year revolve around travel and adventures. Here is my list!

  1. Visit 3 New Countries – My husband and I are already planning our trips to Greece and San Marino. Please leave me a comment if you have any travel suggestions.
  2. Check off 5 More Items off our Travel Bucket List – Our world travel bucket list is extensive and continues to grow every year. Hopefully we can continue to put a little dent in it.
  3. Attend the 2015 World’s Fair – I will have the wonderful opportunity to live reasonably close to this year’s world’s fair as it is being held in Milan, Italy. I have never been to a world’s fair and am very excited about experiencing it.
  4. Climb Mt. Vesuvius – I want to do this climb for two reasons. I have never seen a volcano up close. I just read a little interesting fact about it that I did not know. Mt. Vesuvius is the only active volcano on Europe’s mainland. My second reason for doing this climb is that I have suffered from a crippling fear of heights when hiking in the past. It is not the height so much that bothers me as the fear of falling. I feel that this climb is something I want to do so much because I want to be able to see inside the volcano that I might actually succeed in overcoming my fear.
  5. Read 50 Books – I of course love to read. If I did not have so many other obligations, I would probably read a lot more than I do. I did not quite read 50 books in 2014 but am pretty confident that I will be able to in 2015.
  6. Read at Least One Nonfiction – When I was in school, I read so many Nonfiction books. Since I have been out of school, I tend to read less and less Nonfiction, and I would like to change that. I feel that Nonfiction will inspire me to continue to learn about places, people and events and will stimulate my mind.
  7. Lose Weight – This is such a boring resolution, but since moving to Italy I have enjoyed more than my share of pastries and pasta.
  8. Write 20 Blog Posts – I use this blog as not just a way to inform friends and family about my adventures and learning experiences, but as a way that I will also remember my time in Italy and elsewhere.
  9. Study Italian at least 5 hours a week – While I speak Italian well enough to do the necessary shopping and ordering of food, I would very much like to be conversationally semi-fluent by the end of 2015. I think this would add a lot to my Italian experience.
  10. Continue to earn money through Swagbucks – In 2014, I found a website called Swagbucks that really has been financially beneficial to me. I have been so pleased with it that I even wrote a blog post about it a few months ago. See it here.
  11. Sell one of my pictures – I love traveling and documenting travel through my camera. I recently learned of opportunities to make money with my photos and why not make money doing something I love.
  12. DIY Projects with Wine Corks – Since moving to Italy, I have collected a lot of wine corks. We definitely love Tuscan wines. I want to use our wine corks to display photos, etc. throughout our home in 2015. This project will also allow me to grow creatively.

I believe that 2015 will be a year of growing both creatively and intellectually. I embrace the challenges that this year will bring and very much look forward to the adventures that will be had.

New Year’s Resolution Completed (#13)

Back in January, I decided to set some New Year’s Resolutions as a guideline of things to focus on in my life during 2014. You may view the entire list of resolutions in my previous post: 2014 New Year’s Resolutions. I am not surprised that the first of my New Year’s Resolutions to be completed comes in the form of travel. Resolution #13 on our list is to complete 5 tasks on our travel/adventure bucket list. (Since this is only April, and I suspect we will do a lot more traveling later this year, I am thinking I should have set a higher number than 5…lol). Here is what we have seen and explored so far:

1. Berlin, Germany





2. Gondola Ride in Venice

Gondola Ride





3. Take a Wine Tour in Tuscany – Sommavilla

Wine Tour




4. See Michelangelo’s David in Florence

Michelangelo's David





5. Go see Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

Madama Butterfly