I know I am wayyy late to the party to be sharing a post about my 2022 plans in February, but I had such a hectic start to the year that I just didn’t get around to posting my new year’s goals until now. While I did manage to set aside some time during my first few weeks in Scotland to reflect and brainstorm what I want to achieve in 2022, the fact of the matter is that a lot of the goals I set just weeks ago have already changed drastically.
Before coming to Scotland, I imagined my study abroad experience would involve all sorts of travel—both within the UK and beyond, to various countries throughout Europe. That’s what people always make study abroad out to be—traveling to a different country almost every weekend! As such, one of my top goals for the new year was to visit Iceland (which, geographically speaking, is relatively close to Scotland) and to see the Northern Lights while there. I also imagined visiting my friend in Sweden, where she is currently studying abroad, and meeting up with another good friend from Spain.
However, I have quickly learned in my time here that while travelling to different countries might be feasible for other study abroad students in a normal year, it’s just not going to be the reality for me (due to a combination of cost, Covid precautions, and EU regulations—thanks, Brexit). It’s a little frustrating as a goal-setter to look at my planner now and realize a lot of the plans I already scribbled down at the new year cannot come to fruition. However, I am trying to keep a positive attitude and focus on pivoting my goals instead! There is so much to see and do in Scotland alone, and I’ll still be able to cross off several bucket list items this year, just as I had hoped.
With that said, here’s a little bit about what I have going on in 2022, what habits I want to start, and what (updated) goals I want to achieve in the coming months.
What Will 2022 Hold?
2022 will be such a year of change and growth for me. So many big life happenings squeezed into the first six months! While a lot of aspects of the new year still remain uncertain (Where will I work? Where will I live?) I’ve mostly found these questions to be exciting rather than stressful. I enjoyed college so much, but I am definitely ready for the next step—and no more homework.
- Obviously, my biggest and most exciting plan for 2022 is finally studying abroad, which is something I’ve been dreaming about doing since I first found out studying abroad exists.
- I am currently working on writing my thesis for my Criminology major. Yes, I included this in last year’s goal-setting blog post and never did it. Yes, I was supposed to do it last summer, and then last fall, and then during winter break—and never did. Yes, I hate myself for it. Let’s move on…
- My brother is getting married this year! I am so excited for him and his bride-to-be, and I’m honored to be participating in the wedding as a bridesmaid (for the first time). I’m really looking forward to the wedding weekend and seeing family and friends I haven’t seen in years.
- After my brother’s wedding, one of our best family friends is getting married the first week of June in Rhode Island. I’ve never been to the state before and am so excited to dress up and dance the night away!
- While I’ll finish my study abroad classes in May, I will officially graduate from the University of Denver in June. It’s hard to believe my four years of undergrad have come and gone so quickly, but I’m excited to strut across that stage and start the next season of life…
- At some point this year (hopefully soon after graduation) I will start my first big girl job. Do I know what I want to do? The answer, even after four years of academic exploration, is still no. It’s inconvenient that my semester abroad got pushed to my last semester, as this is typically the time I would spend job hunting. But before I left home, I made the decision not to start job hunting until I return to the States in May. Yes, I have to swallow my pride a bit to graduate college jobless, but I didn’t come 4,504 miles just to sit on my computer and fill out applications. A job can wait; exploring a foreign country cannot.
Habits and Resolutions
I used to be a big resolutions person, but I don’t really set specific ones anymore. Last year, I used a daily habit tracker to work on resolutions and found a lot of success with that method. However, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with that kind of commitment in 2022. Instead, there are just a few things I want to focus on improving this year that I have been keeping in the back of my mind.
- I want to become less anal about my blog photos. I’m definitely a perfectionist—in a bad way—and it’s really gotten out of hand these last two years. Sometimes I become so obsessed with my photos that I can only see every little flaw, and it makes me feel so anxious. I have been trying really hard this year to tell myself “good enough” and just publish my photos without too much thought. It’s difficult, but I’ve been getting better! Take today’s photos, for example. I started to spiral yesterday and to hyper focus on everything I didn’t like… I almost reshot them, but then I just reminded myself that the pics are good enough. Are they my favorite photos ever? No. But do they show my outfit in decent enough lighting? Yes, and that’s really all I need.
- I want to start sharing cost per wear at the bottom of every blog post. I already always share where each item is from and its price, but I think it would also be helpful to share cost per wear, to show whether or not I am getting my money’s worth out of the more expensive pieces in my closet. To be honest, I have no idea if people ever even look at the outfit details at the bottom of every blog post… But when I first started following fashion blogs circa 2013, I always found myself wondering how much items cost and where pieces were from—that’s why I always include it on my own blog. Even if nobody reads it, sharing cost per wear would be a helpful reminder to me to start wearing certain pieces more often!
- Maybe it’s naïve of me to think this, but I imagine myself having a lot more free time once I graduate and start a real job—I won’t have homework, after all. I would love to spend that free time fostering a few hobbies I already have very minimal skills in, such as sewing and playing guitar. I just love the idea of coming home after a long day of work, cooking myself dinner, and then spending an hour on a sewing project while listening to background music with a candle burning in the corner. So wholesome.
Now, onto a few of the blogging goals I want to achieve in 2022. I don’t have high expectations for the five months I’m abroad—in fact, I have already taken a large step back from blogging in terms of how much time I spend engaging on other blogs and on social media. So, most of these goals are things I plan to achieve in the second half of the year once I return home and have more time to dedicate to Graceful Rags.
- Hit 2,000 Instagram followers (same goal as last year, since I wasn’t even close to reaching it)
- Pitch to at least six brands
- Work with at least three brands
- Reach 22,000 website visitors
- Reach 100,000 website views
- Switch from ShopStyle to RewardStyle for my shopping widgets
Bucket List Items
Last, but certainly not least, is a list of the bucket list items I want to achieve this year. Like I mentioned previously, I already had to axe a few items from my list due to the difficulties of travel right now, but there are still so many activities I can complete in 2022 (both abroad and in the U.S.).
- Experience the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London (I already have my tickets booked!)
- See Big Ben
- Ride the London Eye
- Watch an English Premier League soccer match
- See Stonehenge
- Study abroad (I think it’s safe to say I can already cross this one off the list)
- Dye my hair (check!)
- See the Eiffel Tower (I’ll be spending part of my spring break in Paris)
- Kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland
- Swim in the Great Salt Lake
- Eat Rocky Mountain Oysters (I never got around to doing this when I was in Denver last fall, so I’m going to force my parents to take me for graduation)
A busy busy busy year ahead! And of course, all of the major events seem to be crammed into each other, one week after another—funny how it always works like that. It makes me sad to think about how fast this year is going to go by (how fast it already is going by) so I’m trying my best to soak up every moment and appreciate the now, even though there is so much to be excited for in the coming months.
What are you looking forward to in 2022, and what goals have you set for yourself? If you made resolutions, are you still holding yourself accountable?? In a funny way, the timing of this post is kind of perfect in that it makes you consider if you’re still keeping up with your new year’s goals—February is always the time where people start to slack off.
As always, thanks for reading the blog today and for all your continued support!
Miles of smiles,
Buffalo Plaid Shirt: JCPenney, $30 ($1.20 per wear), last worn here | Maroon Moto Jacket: BB Dakota via Wish Boutique, $25 ($0.61 per wear), last worn here | Grey Mom Jeans: Express, $19 ($0.70 per wear), last worn here | Black Knee Boots: Clarks via DSW, $100 ($1.72 per wear), last worn here | Maroon Circle Purse: Nordstrom Rack, $50 ($3.57 per wear), last worn here | Sunglasses: Loft, $20 ($6.67 per wear), last worn here