2016: Goals, Intentions, and Themes

2016:  Goals, Intentions, and Themes

Happy New Year! I hope the first few days of 2016 have been good to you. While I’m excited to start thinking about all of the things a New Year can bring, for the first time, I felt genuinely sad to bid a year adieu. 2015 was filled with fulfillment and purpose for me, and as I look back, the theme of the year became growth. This year I am skipping New Year’s resolutions and setting an intention along with goals I would like to accomplish. The theme for this New Year is strength — strength to stay on this journey, even when it feels impossible; strength to trust myself as an individual and as a creative; and strength to be true to myself and this site.

While I’ve tried to keep my list of goals short for your reading pleasure, I am sure this is a list I will add to. But for now, here are some goals for 2016:

Find an endocrinologist and make my health a priority: As any thyroid patient knows, a good endocrinologist — one who listens to you — is worth his or her weight in gold. After many failed attempts to find a new endocrinologist, and ultimately getting discouraged, I found one in the final days of 2015. Although the first part of this goal has technically been completed, I want to focus more on my overall health this year — from managing my stress, to learning about nutrition and meditation, and finding ways to incorporate more “me” time in my week.

Remove technology from the bedroom: I’ve long heard that the light from cell phones and electronic devices disrupt sleeping patterns, yet I’m still guilty of having my phone right next to my bed. Not only that, but when I find that I can’t sleep, I grab my iPhone and start checking Facebook and Instagram. While it comes in handy as an alarm clock, it’s just too tempting to start scrolling when I should be snoozing. To avoid this distraction, I will be investing in a good old-fashioned alarm clock this year and limiting my electronic usage after 10 pm.

Become a Starbucks shareholder: Since quitting Starbucks is not a viable option, I’ve come up with a far better (and more fiscally responsible) way to combat my White Chocolate Mocha addiction. Become a Starbucks shareholder. That’s right. What could be better than earning money while you (and others) visit your favorite coffee house? So drink up, friends!

Stick to a fitness regimen: If you work from home you know how difficult it can be to stick with your fitness routine. Despite your best intentions, you soon find yourself having “staff meetings” in the kitchen and your gym time gets replaced with nap time. Tell me I’m not alone? Now that it has started to feel like winter, staying bundled in bed seems like a better idea than going to that Saturday morning kickboxing class (ahem, have I missed two months, already?). But since it’s a New Year…and I vowed to make my health a priority…and oh, right, I’m pushing 3-0, it’s time to make time for regular fitness classes. Whether it’s Pure Barre, yoga, or kickboxing, I want to attend at least two fitness classes a week.

Take a calligraphy class: Last Spring, I took an online calligraphy class and enjoyed learning the basics. But to improve, I think it would be helpful to have more personal instruction. I would love to be able to write out some of my favorite quotes and frame them for inspiration in my home office.

Choose happiness: Every day when we wake up we have a choice. We can choose to do the right thing, be a good person, embrace the day, and be happy. Any day that you wake up healthy is a good day. But it’s easy to get swept up in minutia, focus on petty things, and compete with others instead of remembering all that you have. So while you might not be where you want to be now, remember to find happiness in each moment — the good and bad, the difficult and trying, and the positive and negative. For they all create your journey.

What are some of your goals for 2016?



    1. Having my iPhone next to my bed is just way too tempting a distraction. I will admit though, I do some of my best writing when I should be sleeping. I guess I will need to remove the phone and replace it with a pen and paper for those sleepless nights. Good luck with your goals for 2016, Annessa!

    1. Thanks, Kathy! Eating better is always a goal, but seldom becomes a reality for me. I’m working on learning more about nutrition in the hopes that one day it will click. Good luck with your goals, and I’m so glad we have connected through blogging!

    1. Thanks, Danielle! Removing my iPhone from the bedroom is going to be tough. I do a lot of my best writing when I should be sleeping and having the phone nearby to jot notes down is helpful…but then I start scrolling and never get to sleep. It will be a work-in-progress for the New Year! Wishing you all the best in 2016!

  1. I really love this post!! I also want to work on many of the things you wrote about. My mom’s been trying to convince me to remove technology from my bedroom, but I’m too addicted. Hope you’ll have an amazing 2016!!

    xo, Esther


    1. Thanks, Filipa! Don’t worry — I’m catching up on emails, comments, and blogging…in bed! It’s going to be a struggle to remove tech from the bedroom, but I’ve got 361 days to work on it. Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Jamie! Sorry to hear you had a similar situation with your endocrinologist, but I’m glad you were able to find a new one. Isn’t having to switch doctors the worst? Wishing you all the best in 2016!

  2. Wow, this is such a wonderful and inspirational post, Vanessa! I agree, we should all take more control over our overall health in a much deeper and meaningful way than just to shed off those holiday pounds. Someone can be extremely unhealthy and be stick thin, so it has more to do with internally, which in turn also shows itself externally. I’m glad you were able to find an endocrinologist that you like; finding a doctor who LISTENS to you is very hard to find, regardless of the specialty, so it’s always a great feeling when you find someone who is equally passionate about your health as you are!

    My husband and I are big into minimizing light in our bedroom because we want to get the most out of our sleep time, which always feels as though it goes so fast! We don’t have a t.v. in the room and we have thick curtains that not only keep in the heat, but the sunlight as well (check out Bed Bath & Beyond). You’ve got me thinking about the cell phones because we charge them on our nightstand which is of course right next to our beds; I think I’m going to find another place to charge them and getting a separate alarm clock doesn’t sound like such a bad idea! Lastly, I couldn’t agree more with your last statement. Each day we do have a choice and life is all about perspective. We can either choose to see the best in ourselves and others or the worst, but if we choose the worst, our day(s) will surely be less filled with joy and happiness.

    Such a wonderful post, which I truly enjoyed, as you can tell by the huge paragraphs I wrote, haha! I hope you’re having a wonderful start to your New Year, beautiful! May you be triumphant in strength this year πŸ™‚



    1. I always love reading your heartfelt comments, Jalisa! Like everything in life, being healthy is a work-in-progress. I keep reminding myself that it is a marathon, not a sprint. If I don’t eat we’ll one day, I try to work on it the next. I set goals for myself, rather than resolutions this year because it felt like they brought less pressure, which means maybe a higher success rate?! Well, anyway, I have 361 days to work on it. I hope your week, and the New Year, is off to a great start for you!

  3. SO happy for you that you found a good doctor!! As someone who struggled finding a good doctor for years for my stomach problems, I know what it’s like to finally find a doctor that hears you out and still knows what’s best for you. Wishing you the best this year!


    1. Thanks, Kelsey! Finding a good doctor can be hard, but it’s worth the time when you find someone who listens to you — and can hopefully help you to feel better. I’m glad you were able to find a good doctor. Wishing you a healthy and happy 2016, and thank you for visiting Living in Steil!

    1. Thanks, Tanya! I really enjoyed the online calligraphy class I took. The best part was that it was free from Scarlet and Gold. You can follow them on Instagram and see if they have any upcoming classes in your area.

  4. I would LOVE to learn calligraphy but I’m afraid I don’t have the patience! Having electronics in my bedroom is something I also struggle with because when I can’t sleep at 3am I’m curious what the rest of the world is doing on social media! πŸ™‚

    Merrissa / http://www.radmaverix.com

    1. I have the same problem, Merrissa! It’s just too easy to reach for that phone and start scrolling when I can’t sleep. It’s definitely a goal that will be a work-in-progress for me!

    1. Thanks, Dara! I took a free online calligraphy class from Scarlet and Gold and really enjoyed it. It looks like a fun hobby to continue in the New Year. Wishing you all the best in 2016!

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