My 2016 Goals (What Are Yours?)

new years quote

Happy New Year! How was everyone’s holiday? Today is my first day back in the office after over two weeks off, and…the wheels feel a little creaky, I gotta say. I probably could’ve done with about three more days of doing nothing, but also recognize that by the end of that, I’d be absolutely itching to get back to work, so maybe that means my vacation duration was perfect?

For the New Year, we went up to Napa with a couple of good college buddies (one of which has a birthday ON January 1), and had a ton of fun eating (and ok, drinking) way too much. It was the perfect start to 2016. Not surprisingly, the topic of resolutions came up, and I must admit, as with most years, I don’t have any one specific thing I’m working on. However, unlike most years, I have been brainstorming a list of goals or “to-dos” that I’d like to tackle this year. They’re more things I’d like to check off a fun list — kind of like a 30 before 30, except I’m well past that mark. Here’s what’s on my goal radar:

inspiration board - photo by victoria mcginley

Get a facial once per quarter

After I got one in mid-December to kick off my holiday break, I realized a) how much I enjoy them, and b) that it’s probably a good thing to do regularly as I head into my 32nd year. It’s one of those little indulgences that makes you feel great, gives you an hour or so of uninterrupted calm, quiet, and relaxation, and the effects (for me at least) stay with you for a while.

Go to a weekly French conversation class

I think I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was looking to get started with French again. After looking around at reviews and also class costs, I checked out a beginner class at Savoir Plus. The class sizes are super small, so you get a ton of personal attention, which I loved (and which also freaks me out, ha). The owner, Elisabeth, recommended I start coming to a weekly conversation class they run — it’s an hour and a half each Wednesday, with a small group just talking about whatever. I start this week!

Plan a trip somewhere by myself

This is still on my to-do list from last year. I have never traveled anywhere by myself and am itching to do so! It’s not to say I don’t love traveling with Joe — I do — but from what I’ve been told, there’s nothing like taking a trip somewhere by your lonesome and having no one to worry about except for yourself. Where would you travel by yourself, if you could?

san francisco skyline - photo by victoria mcginley

Plan a trip with east coast friends!

The end of March marks a year since we left New York, and I’ve only seen a handful of east coast friends since that time. I’d like to aim to get the band back together and plan a trip with current and past New Yorkers. Just like the previous point…so many options of where to go!

Continue working out at Barry’s

After starting in earnest in July, this is easily the longest I have stuck with any one workout program/routine. I’ve really enjoyed going to Barry’s Bootcamp 2-3 times per week, and never felt better. I’m hoping to keep the momentum going this year! This past year, I definitely noticed that my system was a lot more sensitive to alcohol, poor diet, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise — so exercising regularly, for me, is more about helping to keep everything in equilibrium so I can function well at work (and play).

Try incorporating a few more creative endeavors into my downtime.

This will definitely be the hardest one to do, though it’s closest to my heart. I have recently been thinking about how I rarely create just for the hell of it anymore — creating or crafting something that I won’t share with anyone, or just because I have the urge. This happened a lot more from the time I was young, through when I worked a traditional desk job. I guess it makes sense; a lot of my work now requires creative juices, so that’s been a good outlet. But I realized I missed creating with no purpose and with no (client) parameters — which is something I shared with Joe in the fall. For Christmas, he bought me a huge array of painting supplies. I had told him that when I was growing up, I would set up an easel and paint in my room all the time, and he very sweetly decided to encourage the old habit. I played around a lot with the paints over the holiday and absolutely loved the feeling of creating something that was just for me, for wherever my mind was, for whatever I wanted to do and do with it. I really want to continue this in 2016 — paint more, go out and take pictures just because, all that. I say that it’ll be the hardest of my goals because I know that work will sometimes creep in and take precedence, whether that’s through the energy it saps from me, or because of actual time available. But I’m going to try! I think it’ll be easier as the days get longer and I have more natural light in my studio too — I’ll be more inclined to take a half hour or hour after work and just play.


All of that goal planning aside, I’m also taking to heart these great words from one of my favorite Instagrammers, Jedidiah Jenkins. Here’s what he wrote about a new year:

Every new year I think about how it’s just another day, and without a calendar we wouldn’t feel the years but by the seasons. Maybe ancient people said ‘I am 33 winters old’ or maybe they didn’t count at all. We feel pressure to label a year and put made up milestones and give expectations a time and date and then feel accomplished or disappointed. Sometimes things just happen to us, all at once, like an avalanche.

And this is my approach to 2016 and myself: purposeful, but kind. I wish you the best “season” ahead — whether that’s the coming calendar year, or whatever new phase in life you’re entering or leaving. Cheers to this new week!

Images: all by Victoria McGinley, via my Instagram. Follow me here!


  1. 1.4.16
    Lou said:

    I love point three! A trip on my own is something I have always wanted to do and never have (I’m not including my Yoga Teacher Training in that – a month in Costa Rica). I would love to go to Italy on my own, a mix of a beach/nature holiday.

    Have fun with your goals.


  2. 1.4.16

    I absolutely love your approach, Victoria – purposeful but kind. That’s something I’m striving for myself: working hard on my dreams, plans and goals, but also being kind to myself and giving myself grace when things don’t always go as planned. Your goals are also quite similar to mine: I want to continue learning Italian, I want to take better care of my health, my soul and my general well-being, and as far as traveling goes, I’m planning a big solo trip to Provence in summer – it’ll be my birthday gift (from myself, to myself) – I’m reaching the big 3-0 this year, and I wanted to celebrate the occasion with something I’ve been dreaming about for a loong time. Plus, I love traveling all by myself: it truly is lovely to just focus on yourself, your own wants and needs, and do whatever strikes your fancy. It’s really refreshing!
    Keeping my fingers crossed for your plans, and Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to reading more of your amazing, thoughtful posts!

    • 1.4.16

      Oh, your solo trip sounds absolutely fab! I took a long trip to Provence and the Côte d’Azur several years ago — let me know if you need any recs :)

      • 2.10.16

        I would love to get a few recs from you! I went through your archives and read your posts from your trip to Provence a few years back, and it sounded so amazing! I was thinking about interviewing you for my blog about that trip – is that something you would be interested in (or rather, would it be possible for you to find a little time in your busy schedule to answer my questions?) I would simply LOVE to have you as a guest, and I’m sure I could use a piece of advice (or three) when it comes to planning my trip. Please, let me know! Thanks in advance, and have a lovely day!

  3. 1.4.16
    Andrea said:

    Great resolutions! I made some similar one’s myself… mines the french classes… me worst nightmare. ;)
    I took a 3-week solo trip to Chicago a few years back (now Chicago might not be very far away from you, but it’s about 9.000km from my hometown) and this trip made me grow by leaps and bounds! So I can’t recommend taking a trip by yourself enough. You won’t be alone for long anyway. :)
    xo Andrea

  4. 1.4.16

    Co-signing on that “East Coast Trip” goal : )

  5. 1.4.16
    Sonya said:

    I love your blog and your goals are on par with the types of goals I set for myself every year and I also like that you said “purposeful but kind.” :)

    You have some great goals for 2016! I really encourage you in your solo travel endeavor- in 2015 I traveled to Iceland to run a marathon and to San Francisco by myself (separate trips, of course). So in May, I’m striking out on my own once again to Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania and running a marathon in Riga while I’m there. It is extremely liberating and FUN to travel somewhere on your own. I also have a girls’ trip to Portugal and Spain to look forward to later in the year.

    Your French conversation class also sounds fun and challenging! I’ve been taking French for almost 2 years and by the end of this year, I am hoping to be at the level where a weekly conversation class is not terrifying and is doable.

    My major fitness goal for the year is to improve my flexibility – I’m an amateur aerialist and my flexibility is mediocre at best.

  6. 1.4.16
    Kyah said:

    Love your goal to travel by yourself! I’ve heard so many good things about it but I still can’t seem to get excited over doing it myself because I’m just so attached to having company.
    It’s so good you’ve found an exercise routine that you like and works for you, this is something I’d like to get onto soon enough!
    Kyah /

  7. 1.5.16
    Christine said:

    I’ve been doing a facial once per quarter for the past couple of years and I LOVE it! Especially in NYC, the season change is what always screws with my skin–so I feel like it works super well AND it’s a nice little luxury.
    On the traveling-by-yourself note: plenty of tips over here if you need any :)

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