9 Goals For 2016

I might be a little goal-happy. So much so, that I even created my own custom, quarterly planner and goal grid to map out my 2016.

Looking back, 2015 was a surprising, transitional year. 

I celebrated my four year San Diego anniversary, got engaged on the beach after a sweaty indoor cycling class, launched City Leaper (and this blog!), and exchanged my budding freelancing career for a fast-paced, highly creative gig at a marketing agency.

Here are some of the key focus areas and goals I'll be delving into over the next 12 months:

Goal #1: Work Out 5x Per Week

Deliberately setting goals that coerce you into a new habit or lifestyle with a set frequency always work really, really well for me. 

Last year, I joined ClassPass and it's been life-changing. In the midst of developing a love affair with spinning, pilates, yoga, and barre, I started waking up earlier to catch those 6:45 and 7:00 am classes, connected with some truly amazing instructors, and pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

By committing to a 5x per week plan, I'll be pushing myself to stay active regularly.

I can also mix this up even more with a jog around the neighborhood or a weekend hike.

Goal #2: Learn Adobe InDesign

Self-development is crazy important, and something I'm excited to master is creating my own beautiful worksheets, templates, and e-books using Adobe InDesign.

On Black Friday, I scooped up the monthly, cloud-based subscription plan for $15.99 (rather than the usual $19.99). 

From what I've heard, there's a decent learning curve involved, but the web is abound with detailed tutorials and free training videos.

Goal #3: Be The Planner Again

Aspects of my personality slant heavily introverted. When I'm in creation mode, I love and crave the solitude. Perhaps to a fault. I can spend hours on my computer and not even realize that five hours have gone by. Similarly, if I've been on an energy-expending vacation, it takes time for me to recover and recharge.

On the other hand, socializing can be my jam. I'm energized by vibrant conversations and rarely bat an eyelash at meeting dozens of new people at once.

Ever since my move to San Diego, my natural tendencies to plan and cultivate community among friends and colleagues faltered big time.

I joined Meetup a year after I arrived in California and quickly grew accustomed to cheerfully accepting all of the pre-planned outings that appealed to me. I allowed myself to take a backseat and soak in new social opportunities as they came.

Back in Boston, things were different. 

I pioneered a local blogging community in 2010 and relished every second of that role. From making introductions, to ensuring everyone in the community felt appreciated and welcomed, to filling gift bags and sourcing swanky event spaces to host our events.

Within my friend group, I was the "planner," putting together wild weekends away in the mountains, theme parties, and the like.

Planning is my metaphorical spirit animal, if you will.

Last night, I took a big step forward in re-filling those shoes by inviting a handful of local bloggers and social media marketers out to brunch later this month.

Goal #4: Read More

Alas, I'm embarrassed to say the number of times I've chosen my phone over a book.

My shelf is piled high with books I've accumulated throughout 2015 and haven't had the chance to read yet.

Last year, I read three books. THREE! They were good, but gosh, I think I can do a lot better this year. (If you're curious, last year's reads were Eat, Pray, Love, Essentialism, and The War of Art).

This is my current reading list:

Big Magic
A playbook for creatives. I'm obsessed with Elizabeth Gilbert now, especially after watching this interview she did about creativity. There were so many insane takeaways, it's the kind of clip I need to watch and refer back to again and again.

Content, Inc.
2016 is going to be my year of content. This book teaches you how to build a massive audience and create a radically successful business.

Daring Greatly
Even the title of this book grabs me. My colleague and I were chatting about the idea of having a 'freaky goal.' You know, a goal that completely freaks you out and seems sort of unattainable, but at the same time, you know it's totally possible. What's your freaky goal?

A dear friend packaged this up for me as a Christmas gift, and I'm looking forward to diving in. #GirlBoss has become so much more than a book - it's a movement.

Stories about adventure captivate and inspire me, and after seeing the movie last year, I knew I wanted to read the novel that started it all.

Your Money Or Your Life
Money is such a mindset thing, and the more I've left the 'scarcity' mindset in the dust, the more abundant everything has felt. This is my current read.

Goal #5: Launch Video and Audio Content

I remember how nervous and vulnerable I felt during my first live Periscope. Since then, I've flirted a ton with SnapChat. (If you're interested in following, my username is alisonkinseym).

Funnily enough, for the longest time I was one of those people (and maybe you are part of this bandwagon), who felt like SnapChat was a completely pointless platform.

I've finally figured out a way to leverage it in a way that feels good and true to my personality - through sharing short, vlog-style clips, lifestyle tidbits, and funny antics at home and work.

It's also gotten me to a place where I'm feeling more and more comfortable being on video.

Audio and video as mediums are insanely powerful. It's no secret that YouTube is the 2nd most trafficked search engine. The list goes on.

It's fun to diversify and share content in different ways, so I'm looking forward to exploring this in new ways a little later in the year.

Goal #6: Guard My Time Fiercely

The book Essentialism speaks truth bombs about the practice of doing the things that matter, and saying 'no' to everything else. There are a lot of wise lessons in that book!

Let's just say for a portion of 2015, I said yes to too many opportunities, and in return I suffered major burn-out and overwhelm. Our time is valuable, and we should spend it on the things that bring us the most joy, as cheesy as it sounds.

In 2015, I learned that beauty splurges like facials are worth the time (and financial) investment!

In 2016, I want to spend more time on:

Wedding Planning (!)
New Things (like indoor rock climbing and local hikes I haven't tried)

Goal #7: Practice Yoga Once A Week

You could argue me on this one and say that this is a part of that first goal where I talked about fitness, but hear me out.

If you've never practiced yoga before, it's difficult to describe the feeling of empowerment and zen you feel throughout a class. It's pretty much become my form of spirituality. A time for me to get quiet and shut off my always chattering mind.

As such, I practice yoga more for the "mind" benefits than the physical benefits.

My favorite forms of yoga are the ever-classic vinyasa (in a warm room - 85 degrees is perfect!), and every now and then, a slow-paced candlelight restorative class.

Goal #8: Rejuvenate City Leaper

When I launched City Leaper in January of 2015, my goal was simple: to create an incredibly inspirational and resourceful moving website.

City Leaper is what you would call my side hustle. My passion project.

Last year's launch was a period of tremendous learning:

I realized that "good enough" is better than perfect. That you don't need to blog five days a week to create a killer website. That focusing on one project at a time moves the needle forward way more than doing 10 minutes of this, and 20 minutes of that.

I'm not ashamed to say I made mistakes and I got in over my head. I launched too late, I wasn't as prepared as I should have been with my editorial calendar and fell behind on content, the list goes on.

This year, I'm going all in, but with a refined road map, savvy systems, and grace. Nothing happens overnight, and patience is a virtue I'm still learning.

If you have a crazy awesome moving story or happen to be madly in love with your current city and would like to contribute a guest post, I'd love to hear from you.

Goal #9: My Secret "Freaky Goal"

My freaky goal is exactly how it sounds - freaky! It's something I've never attained before, but it's something many others have done already.

Like any goal, it's going to require consistency, focus, dedication, time, and sprints of crazy hustle.

If I achieve it in 2016, I'll be sure to spill the big win in a later blog post.

Let's Chat: So tell me, what are some of the goals you're working on in 2016? I can't wait to hear them.

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