As I mentioned in my letter to 2022, I felt a little overwhelmed at the start of the year trying to decide what I want out of my 2023. I’ve spent the last several weeks thinking about it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I like spending some of January planning out my new year—as opposed to trying to have it all figured out in December. I’ve found that waiting to set my goals until the middle of the month actually eliminated some of the unhealthy expectations and resolutions I might have otherwise set on January 1st… I know I can’t hope to achieve any “do this every day” goals when January is already almost over, ha!
Honestly, I have a really hard time setting goals. Well… let me rephrase. I have a hard time setting realistic goals. I can dream stuff up all day long but find it much more difficult to divide those lofty aspirations into actionable steps. Obviously, I don’t have it all figured out, and I’m not going to pretend that this year will be any different… but I’ve at least been trying to break my goals up into monthly and weekly to-do list items in my planner so I don’t forget I even set them. Even though I might not be the most productive achiever, I still enjoy sharing these yearly goal posts because reviewing them in December helps me see what worked and what didn’t. And I love reading other people’s new year planning posts as well! Especially over the past few weeks—I really needed the inspiration to get my 2023 thoughts in order. If you’re interested, you can check out my 2022 goals in this post—I was excited to realize I accomplished a lot more than I thought I did.
Compared to last year, where I studied abroad, participated in my brother’s wedding, graduated college, and started my first real job, 2023 seems like it will be outright boring, ha! As I’ve mentioned a few times before though, I’m actually really excited for a slower pace of life in the new year. While my calendar is looking nice and open so far, I do have a few trips and events on the horizon already that I’m really looking forward to.
- I’m planning a short weekend trip for my boyfriend and me to go to one of the local Colorado hot springs—I’m thinking sometime in February. I love a good soak and have been trying to explore the state a little more since moving back last June.
- My dad and I are going to Puerto Rico for a week in March! I am SO excited for this tropical vacation. My dad’s family is Puerto Rican and I’ve been to the island once before, but I was only 12. I can’t wait to visit again as an adult, sipping piña coladas on the beach and snorkeling to my heart’s content. I realized recently that I’ve never had a proper beach vacation before—one where you just lounge around all day and take in the views. You bet I’m already building my resort wear wardrobe!
- I’m heading to Seattle in May for a family gathering. I was born in Washington and spent several years there, and this is the longest I’ve gone without visiting the state… I so long for that salty smell of the Puget Sound.
- The only other official plans I have for 2023 so far are seeing Ed Sheeran in concert in August! I can’t wait. While I enjoy concerts, Ed Sheeran is the only artist I would go out of my way to see perform. I’m so glad he’s coming to Denver and that I was able to score tickets—and for cheaper than I expected, too. Nothing like the Taylor Swift tour, ha.
Habits and Resolutions
As I briefly touched on already, I’ve strayed from traditional resolutions in recent years because I wasn’t finding them very effective. However, I do still have some habits I want to start in 2023, and I’ve been using habit trackers in my weekly planner spread to hold myself accountable (I’ve talked about how habit trackers have worked for me in the past in this blog post). This year, I want to…
- Prioritize sleep. I had terrible sleeping habits when I studied abroad, and now that I have a full-time job, those late nights that were so common in college just don’t cut it anymore. My new Fitbit that I got for Christmas has been really helpful in reminding when it’s time to get ready for bed and providing insights for how much sleep I’m getting.
- Cook at least one “real” meal a week. I’ll be honest, at least half of the time I cook for myself, I make super simple meals like pasta, tomato soup and grilled cheese, or nachos. I really want to get better at cooking and have made it a goal to cook at least one more involved meal every week, including trying new recipes. Since I live by myself, cooking one meal often provides enough leftovers to get me through about half of the week, and then I end up eating out for social events on the weekends. So far in January I’ve made stuffed bell peppers, chili, and a chili mac casserole.
- Start a skincare routine. I can’t say I’m particularly interested in skincare, but I fell out of the habit of washing my face daily last year and it really shows. Plus, I know that I have to start taking good care of my skin now if I want it to age well. My hesitation with trying new skincare products is that they usually make me break out (and they’re expensive), but hopefully I find something quickly without causing too much damage to my skin or wallet.
- Watch shows in Spanish. I took five years of Spanish in school and recently got back into my Duolingo grind, but I’ve been wondering for a while now if watching TV shows in Spanish would help me learn the language faster. I can read and write it just fine—it’s the speaking and listening that I struggle with. My thought is that if I watch a show I’ve already seen dubbed in Spanish with Spanish subtitles, my ears might be able to start understanding the language. I have no idea if it will work for me, but I want to finally try it in 2023!
- Start posting OOTDs on Instagram again. While I post my daily looks in my weekly recaps every week, I’ve fallen out of the habit of posting my outfit photos on my Instagram Stories, too. I want to get back into that in the new year—though I haven’t decided yet if I will post just the photos or share full OOTD videos like I used to. Let me know if you have a preference!
- Grant wishes through Make-A-Wish. Ever since my brother received a wish through Make-A-Wish when we were young, it’s always been my dream to volunteer/work for the organization and help bring other sick children’s dreams to life. I went through all the trainings for Make-A-Wish Colorado last fall and participated in a few events, but I haven’t done any actual wish granting yet. While I was really busy last year and didn’t want to take anything additional on, I’m also realizing that the wish granting process intimidates me… Hopefully I overcome that fear and finally sign up to grant some wishes!
Personal and Blogging Goals
Here’s a list of some of the more tangible items I’m planning on crossing off in 2023:
- Read 12 books—one a month.
- Publish my undergraduate thesis. Honestly, I forgot all about my thesis in the hubbub of 2022, but I want to revisit it this year and see if I can share my findings in any criminology journals.
- Make my college scrapbook. I have a huge pile of mementos from the last four years and would love to finally compile them into a scrapbook (although it might have to be two books since I have so many photos and scraps).
- Reach 615 blog followers, from 579 on January 1st.
- Reach 30,000 website visitors, from 26,122 last year.
- Reach 150,000 website views, from 138,653 last year.
- Reach 1,000 Pinterest followers, from 750 on January 1st.
- Reach 2,000 Instagram followers, from 1,454 on January 1st. I’m so sick of being stagnant on Instagram—let me know your best tips and tricks for growing your account in the comments!
- Pitch to 12 brands—one a month.
- Learn Google Analytics. I’ve had my website connected to Google Analytics for years but have never invested the time to actually learn it… I found a few free online courses that I’m looking forward to taking to boost my knowledge of the platform.
- Land a restaurant collaboration. I’ve been seeing more and more bloggers working with local restaurants and I would love to make that happen for myself in 2023!
- Finally, rebrand my website. I have some big ideas but we’ll see how crazy I end up getting… Either way, Graceful Rags is overdue for a makeover.
Bucket List Items
I won’t be able to cross off nearly as many bucket list items as I did in 2022, but here are a few activities I’ll certainly accomplish in the new year:
- Go dancing in Puerto Rico.
- Go geocaching somewhere in Colorado. My family and I did this a few times when I still lived in Washington and I would love to do it again as an adult!
- Attend the Ed Sheeran concert—the only artist I’ve ever wanted to see so badly that he landed on my official bucket list.
- Travel to at least one new state. I don’t have any plans yet, but I’m thinking maybe camping in Wisconsin with my brother and sister-in-law or going to a conference for my job in Indiana? We shall see…
- Eat Rocky Mountain Oysters. I’ve been meaning to accomplish this one for a few years now but it’s so easy that I keep forgetting about it, ha.
What are you hoping to accomplish in 2023? Any fun plans or vacations on the horizon? I’d love to hear your goalsetting tips and tricks if you have any.
As for today’s outfit, I’ve worn a few variations of this look over the past few months. I love the olive green and coral together, and when my aunt got me this beautiful embroidered headband for Christmas, I just knew I had to pair it with this sweater-bodysuit combo! Today’s post is also the first official debut of my new cowgirl boots, which I just adore. I wish I had worn a different purse with this outfit (I didn’t realize how different the browns of the purse and boots are until reviewing these photos) but I still love how the look came together!I hope your 2023 is off to an amazing start.
Miles of smiles,
Olive Green Bodysuit: Francesca’s, $20 ($1.54 per wear), last worn here | Cardigan: Gift, $30 ($0.79 per wear), last worn here | Skinny Jeans: Express, $42 ($0.74 per wear), last worn here | Cowgirl Boots: Ariat via Boot Barn, gift | Purse: Portland Leather Goods, gift, last worn here | Embroidered Headband: Aspen Lane