In Reflection: 2016 Goal Highlights

Well, I’m at the time in my life where I only post on my blog once per year, but once is better than none-ce, right? This year marked year four of goal setting, and it might be the worst one yet. (You can compare with 2013, 2014, 2015.)

As always, some goals were accomplished and some most were not. If you want to know the failures, I’ll tell you, but they don’t make for fun blog posts due to lack of photographic evidence, so this list focuses on mainly what worked.


I complete two courses in the Professional Sequence in Editing certificate program.

Done and done, and I’m on track for my third course to begin next week. I promise the below photo is not actual evidence of my study habits.



I complete one dry month.

Having Haley on board helped immensely with this goal, and we went all in by pairing it with a Whole30 diet. I’d never done any sort of diet before; it was simultaneously easier and harder than I thought, but I still got to eat lots of yummy things.

Here’s a picnic we had during the month; I promise I didn’t eat any of the cheat foods pictured.


[Editor’s note: There were many more goals in this category regarding exercise and eating well that were not-in-the-slightest met. Whoops.]



I go on six hikes.

With hikes in Point Reyes, Mono Hot Springs, and Lake Tahoe, I only made it half way.


I travel abroad this year (outside of Mexico and Canada).

It’s been a decade (!!) since I spent the summer at an archeological dig in Israel, and though I’ve been to Mexico and Canada a few times in the interim, I haven’t ventured outside North America since. While this goal did not get met this year, it’s top on the list for 2017.

I attend Burning Man.

I will contend that attending Burning Man is a bit like traveling to another universe, so maybe my first travel goal was, in fact, met.


I go camping four times.

After obtaining my own tent early in the year, I christened it with not four, but five camping trips this year: Midge Creek in the Sierras, Westport beach camping, Coloma whitewater rafting, Auburn front-yard camping for Chris and Megan’s wedding, and, of course Burning Man.


I go on six weekend-getaway trips.

I excelled here as well, with 12 trips under the belt. In addition to the camping trips listed above, I went to Santa Cruz, Reno for a Republic game, Tahoe for Megan’s Bachelorette, Austin, Nevada City, and SF several times.

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Reno really helped me grow. 🕴

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I cut my hair and donate it to Locks of Love.

I knocked this one out in the first quarter, chopping off about 13 inches.


I read 20 books.

Not even halfway on this one: I only managed nine. I need to get back on the speedy read-y graphic novels.





I research and get comfortable with buying a new-to-me car.

After procrastinating on this goal for quite some time, the perfect situation fell into my lap and I upgraded my 1996 Honda Civic to a 2011 version. I’ve also almost accomplished my following goal of paying myself back for the purchase. Cha-ching!


I buy myself a new iPhone to replace the one that was stolen when I was mugged.

Another story of procrastinate-until-the-timing-is-right, Haley’s co-worker was selling an iPhone 6 for a decent price, so I got back to the real world after six long months of iPhone 4 use. Below, observe the bliss it brought me.




I push the Bourbon Babes Instagram past 30K followers.

An ambitious goal to begin with (essentially doubling the amount of followers we netted last year), I didn’t meet this mark. But, we ended the year with over 21.5K followers, making for a slight increase of total followers per year.


I write six posts for the Bourbon Babes blog.

Only came out of the year with five, but I certainly had fun doing the “research” for my SF and Austin posts.


I help plan six Bourbon Babes’ events/collabs.

We only made it to five this year, but had a great time working with Requested, Unseen Heroes, Cookies & Milk, Junior Achievement, and Empress Tavern for a wide array of partnerships.

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#allthebabesinoneplace ❤️💛💚💙💜

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Give zero fucks.

The goal that keeps on giving.

zero fucks camp - burning man 2016

I maintain my monthly get togethers with girlfriends.

Book Club.


And Bourbon Babes.

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Happy HoliBabes! 🌲

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Started making chalk rainbows.

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In situ #midtownrainbow 🌈

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Got “megamosa” changed to “megalosaurus” on the LowBrau menu (at least for one day).


In Reflection: 2015 Goal Highlights

It’s that time of year again. That’s right: the end of it! But also, the time where I go back to the beginning of the year and evaluate how my annual goal setting turned out throughout it. (I’ve done this before. See: 2013, 2014.)

Allison and I changed it up in 2015 by meeting quarterly to check-in on our goals. I found this beneficial to not only remain on track, but also to reset goals that had already been achieved, or that had become passé.

As always, some were accomplished and some were not, but here’s a round up of (mostly) what worked.


I get hired full-time with benefits.

After a year of contract work, I was ready for a shift in gears. Through a somewhat unbelievable turn of events, I managed to meet this goal in the first quarter of the year. Allowing me to add on a new goal:

I study for and pass the Claritas Investment Certificate exam.

And I did it!

claritas investment certificate

I research three programs in editing.

I didn’t research three, but I did enroll in one! I’ll be working toward the UC Berkeley Extension Professional Sequence in Editing class come February.

grafitti grammarian



I go on three hikes.

Surpassed this goal by one: a hike up Mount Diablo on MLK Jr. Day, Cataract Falls Trail in Mount Tam on Good Friday, around the Cache Creek area over Memorial Day, and up Bishop Peak in San Luis Obispo in August.

mount diablo above the clouds

I run three miles three times per week.

This goal morphed over the course of the year. I kept it for the first quarter, then moved it into the Global Corporate Challenge through work, and then more or less slacked off. Whoops. I did complete two trail runs, though: Dirty Secret Trail Run in May with Lindsey and Mt. Tam Trail Run in November with Timothy.

trail running 2

I am conscious of my posture and check in with myself about it at least 3 times per day.

This goal failure brought to you by the computer hunch.

computer hunch


I streamline my wardrobe by getting rid of clothing and making conscious purchases.

Inspired by the idea of a capsule wardrobe (though I’m not ready for quite that extreme), I’ve made a big dent in my overstuffed closet, unloading piles of clothes to Goodwill. At the same time, I’ve moved toward a more simplified black/white wardrobe, making outfit compiling (not to mention packing!) so much simpler. And to the lady at Freestyle affectionately referring to me as “stripey,” due to my penchant for purchasing black & white striped clothing.

“Stripes match stripes” is my new fashion mantra.

stripes match stripes

Get the Bourbon Babes Instagram over 10,000 followers.

We entered January 2015 with just over 1,000 followers, so I was pretty happy when we passed the 10K mark early in November! And we closed the year at 11.8K and counting.


I read at least 18 books.

Surpassed this by 8, in large part thanks to getting back into graphic novels again, which make for speedy reads. Here’s the rundown:

2015 books read


I maintain my monthly get togethers with girlfriends.

Book Club

book club ladies

and Bourbon Babes.

bourbon babes crawl federalist stop

Going strong!

Give zero fucks.

Despite some unfortunate bumps along the way, such as getting mugged, I managed to maintain this to the degree it should be maintained.

zero fucks given fox


Sang Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” at karaoke with my brother.

real slim shady karaoke pine cove

Saw Aziz Ansari perform live.

aziz ansari live sacramento

Dressed up as a pterodactyl.

pterodactyl costume

Designed art for my best friend’s wedding invitation.

maria and milad wedding inviteHad one of our BB posts reposted by Maker’s Mark!

makers mark repost


2016’s goals aren’t set yet, but believe me — they will be.

In Reflection: 2014 Goal Highlights

Despite not attending an official workshop last year, Allison and I met toward the end of 2013 to map out some new and updated goals for the coming year (see how I did on my 2013 goals here). Now that 2014 is drawing to a close, and our 2015 goals in progress, I want to look back on this year’s goals to give a little recap.

[Editor’s note: I had 27 mini goals for this year — many of which I did not meet — and what appear below are amended for clarity and mostly focus on the successes.]

I write one essay per month. I submit my essays for publication (blogs or otherwise).

haley and alison zero fucks

I did not meet the one-per-month quota, but I did submit one of my stories to a journal. And (big for me!) I was more open in letting those close to me read my work, which is often tougher than releasing it to the Internet at large.

Also, I had the honor of writing another pep talk for Allison’s NoExNo project, which received stellar feedback. The more people I can get on the Zero Fucks bandwagon, the better.

I attend one of the “Shut Up and Write” meet-ups.

Done! And I even upped the ante by enrolling in a six-week Creative Non-Fiction class, taught by Janna Marlies Maron, one of the Shut Up & Write organizers.


I get comfortable and confident swimming laps (can swim 20 laps effortlessly).

trail runnersSidelined for RUNNING! Despite starting the year with a broken foot, by March I was running again. And by July I was almost winning trail races (haha, but sort of).

I try three new exercise regimens/classes.

franklin templeton bike ride sacramento

Spin class (almost died of exhaustion), trampolining (also almost died of exhaustion), and — you won’t even believe it — white water kayaking and rafting (almost died of exhilaration).

Haley and I also completed a bike ride from Midtown to my office in Rancho Cordova. At 26.2 miles round trip (a bike marathon!), it was the farthest I’ve ever biked consecutively.


I use my journal to write about positive things.

journal recap

This is probably the goal I’m most proud of for keeping this year, and also that had the most overarching effect. I’ve kept a diary since I was exactly nine years old (thank you, whoever gifted me my first diary for my birthday that year).

I used to have pretty cut-and-dry entries (February 23, 1996: Today we watched our family life video. Our family got a new couch.), which melded into angsty teenage lusting (October 6, 2002: You know what? I’m really getting tired of having virgin lips. You know — never having kissed anyone.), and then college-era existential musings (February 8, 2007: Everyone is so individual it is amazing humans coincide at all.).

After college, I got out of the diary habit, only turning to it when I was upset about something. While it was certainly a good way to work through my feelings, I found myself focusing on the depressing.

So, this year, I avowed to keep an “awesome” journal, cataloguing every fabulous, smile-inducing thing that happened to me each day. And, guess what? I did it! Sometimes I got behind, but I always caught up, and now I have a year’s worth of amazing things to look back on.

I actively introduce myself to people I meet

The introvert in me had a really difficult time with this (per usual) and I wasn’t as good at this one as I hoped.

introvert's heart by gemma correll

I read at least 12 books and start going to the library again.

Done and done. Joining a book club helped significantly with this goal. I surpassed it!

2014 books read

I maintain my weekly get-together with girlfriends.
HAHA Happy Hour merged into Bourbon Babes when Haley and I realized our mutual desire to always drink good bourbon but not always pay for it. Cheers for communal bourbon!

bourbon babes cheers


Had a secret I submitted posted on PostSecret one Sunday this year.

Shhh! (Spoiler alert: it’s not one of the below.)

postsecret secrets collage