On Goal Setting

I couldn’t even tell you what my New Year’s resolution was. …Wait, did I even make one? I think it might’ve been to remember to share this poem on or by January 1, and when that happened, I considered the year a success.

Or maybe, subconsciously, it was simply to make it through the January to April doldrums. What is it about this stretch of the year? A hefty chunk of our journey around the sun, to be sure, but I never feel quite like myself in late winter and early spring. May, I start to open up; by summer, I feel on fire; come autumn, I can revel in it. So maybe it’s the time of year (6 days to May? How the hell did that happen?), maybe it’s the life-changing trip so quickly coming into view on the horizon, but I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m hoping to accomplish over the next few months. It’s been on my mind so much, I selfishly made it a blog prompt for this month’s <em>press Link Up (more on that later).

So to get it all out there—because public declarations make me a lot more accountable, at least in theory—here are six things I really want to get done as we head into the heart of 2018. I’m leading with the big ones, ending with the smaller (though no less fun!) ones. Here we go: 

1. Start taking photos again (and learn a new camera!)

I’m really excited about this one. I just purchased a new mirrorless camera (my friend Jess talked me through all types of camera options and I settled on the Fujifilm X100F), and it arrives TO.DAY. I’d been wanting to get a smaller, mirrorless camera for a while, but had been getting by with my iPhone. The thing that tipped the scales in favor of a shiny new toy? The Korea trip.

While during past travels I’ve gotten away with taking photos only on my phone, I’ve also felt like I missed out on a lot of shots because I didn’t have a more flexible camera. And back here at home, when we’re out and about on the weekends, I’ve been feeling limited and unsatisfied with the photos I’m able to take on my phone. Sure, I’ll get some shots here and there I really like, but I wanted more control while also needing something smaller, lighter, quieter, and less clunky than the giant DSLR I got nearly 8 years ago (that thing is a dinosaur at this point!).  I actually like that my new camera is a fixed lens, but it has a ton of settings which will offer a lot more control and manipulation of that SF light. I can’t wait to practice with it over the next couple months, and then bring it to Korea! I’ll share any new photos I really love with you here, for sure.

2. Work on my Work in Progress

You might remember in January and February I took a writing workshop, called Work in Progress. The work I started during that time (a.k.a., my WIP, as we called each of our projects during the class) has languished a bit, with small scenes and bits and pieces and ideas being added to several Evernote notebooks, but I haven’t figured out how to devote time consistently to work on it. My goal is to do that this summer—steadily from now through June, and even more dedicated when I’m back from Korea.

To be honest, I’m not even 100% sure what this thing is yet. I mean, I have an idea, but I’m not sure how I’ll end up sharing it or what it will become (if it’s not obvious, it has to do with the trip, plus a whole lot more). It’s possible I might publish a lot of the work here as a series; it’s also possible things I write might never see the light of day. I don’t really know yet. But I guess my goal here is to keep writing and finally commit stories to paper. In my head, this feels like an ambitious and perhaps even scary goal, but it’s the one I’m hoping I can hold myself to the most.

3. Blog more—my way, the old way!

My blog—yes, this one you’re reading right now!—will be ten years old in July. Isn’t that crazy? The original vmac+cheese had an all black background. And all of the text, for some inexplicable reason, was orange. I’ve tried getting photos of this from Wayback Machine, but to no avail. You’ll just have to trust me…it was super 2000s and embarrassing.

So this little blog. You’ve probably thought you were rid of me a time or two when I’ve foisted weeks of radio silence upon you. But the truth is, I don’t think I could ever let go of this space completely. In fact, as work evolves and running a business changes, I find it’s the one creative constant that feels the most like home.

I wrote an essay for <em>press last month about how a blog can be whatever you want it to be. I’ve recently been thinking about the kind of content I want to keep creating here and what’s resonating with me right now. Ironically, where I landed is where I started: I realized I missed talking about recipes, and telling stories, and writing personal essays, and sharing the occasional beauty products I want to gush over. When I first launched this blog, all I did was write original recipes explained through the lens of my own experiences with food. I took photos of nature (with the previously mentioned dinosaur camera) and posted them with stories about my real life. I created things I really loved and—often enough—really mattered to me. I’m hoping to continue doing that, and making the posts feel more personal than ever. Frankly, it also feels like the headspace I need to be in to complete goal #2. Of course, I hope I can present all that to you in a way that feels marginally prettier than a black background and all orange text. Posts like yesterday are my new start at an old approach: sharing just to share; sharing because I love it.

4. Stop work every single Friday no later than 5 pm.

I will admit, this is a request Joe made of me somewhat recently, and I’ve realized it’s a really good one to adhere to. Nothing good happens after 5pm in the office on a Friday. Chalk this one up to my continual efforts to achieve optimal work/life balance.

5. Host a dinner party for friends.

Over the last few years, a steady number of friends from college have moved to the Bay Area. This thrills us to no end, especially come football season every autumn! I’ve been wanting to get everyone together for a dressy dinner party at our place, but have been putting it off, slash, finding a date that can work for 4 families (2 of which have small kids) is like herding cats. I’m determined to make it happen this summer, though! Last year, my mom drove out to California and brought me all of my family’s formal china and crystal, and I’m itching for a chance to set a full table with it.

A crystal aside: We’ve done minor road testing here and there and I can now confirm: nothing feels better than drinking $15 wine out of your family’s crystal on a Tuesday night. You gotta enjoy the little things in life, I’m telling you.

6. Go eat dim sum.

I have been craving a proper dim sum for no less than 6 months. How have I not indulged yet? It’s a mystery. I need dumplings burning the roof of my mouth no later than August 1. This seems extraordinarily doable, so we’ll call this one the low hanging fruit (or turnip cake) of the bunch.

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So those are my #goals. Some easy. Others daunting, but exciting. Hold me accountable! I can do the same for you, if you wanna share any early to mid-summer goals of your own in the comments, below!


I hope you enjoyed reading some of the goals and things that have been on my mind. I wrote this post as part of a Link Up that <em>press organized for bloggers! If you’re interested, check out with these other bloggers listed as their goals over the next few months:

Fonderlove
Not for Wallflowers
Monica Dutia
The Good Living Blog
VICILOVES
Sincerely, Dani Rose
Luv in the Bubble
Elembee
EmDash

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11 Comments

  1. Monica wrote:

    YAY to the new camera!! Lucy also better get her poses ready for those weekend trips :) Also, LOL-ing at the crystal comment. We like to do this with our pair of fancy wineglasses.

    25 Apr 2018 · Reply
  2. Kellie wrote:

    One of the reasons I always get excited to see a new post from you is that you are now one of the few bloggers I follow that posts stories and shares their thoughts on things beyond the latest spring fashions. Those blogs are fun too but it seems that all of my original favorites have turned into some version of a shopping blog and it seems that so many blogs have lost their original personality.

    25 Apr 2018 · Reply
  3. Kimberly wrote:

    I love a good dinner party! I may have to throw one soon myself! I love reading your more personal posts, looking forward to reading your writing! :)

    25 Apr 2018 · Reply
  4. Shirsha wrote:

    Please blog more! No, like seriously!!!! Each of your posts is visual and words goals.

    Loving this month’s link up topic, and your goals too. I’ve been struggling with taking photos too. I have the Fuji XT10, and while it’s lighter than my previous beast of a DSLR, most days it still feels too damn heavy (and I just feel way too lazy)! I’ve heard the greatest things about the Fuji X100 series – I am sure you will love yours.

    And go eat that dimsum too! :)

    25 Apr 2018 · Reply
  5. Erica wrote:

    I could not be happier that blogging is one of your goals. Seeing your post pop up in my feed is always exciting. Sometimes I want to read it right away and other times I want to save it until the kids are in bed and I can really enjoy it. Usually I end up reading it twice. ;)

    25 Apr 2018 · Reply
  6. Dani wrote:

    I love, love, love all of this. I feel all of this (especially the dim sum– I made dumplings the other day and it literally made my year). Can’t wait to check back in on your progress!

    25 Apr 2018 · Reply
  7. Eryn wrote:

    Love this post! I’m excited to follow along. I also got a mirrorless camera late last year and this just inspired me to play with it! My goal is to launch my website/blog by May 21st (also my birthday 😬)! I’ve got a bit of work to do…

    26 Apr 2018 · Reply
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