Two of my biggest dreams throughout childhood were 1. To convince my parents to let us get a dog, and 2. To visit Texas, “the big state,” as I called it.

By now, I have built up a collection of goldfish graves in my backyard, complete with pieces of slate as headstones for each. But I’ve never had a four-legged companion. I have been to every state from Maine to Florida and parts of the Midwest, and I’ve made five trips to Europe. But I’ve never seen Texas soil. These dreams that I’ve held with me throughout my 18 years are no longer major goals. Eventually, I would love to have a golden retriever, and it would be incredible to get a chance to explore Texas and the rest of the 50 U.S. states, but I want to make it to 50+ countries first.

I definitely see the importance of goal-setting, but I think it’s just as important to reflect back on what we have accomplished— to acknowledge personal growth, whether it was reaching goal we had previously set, or chasing after an opportunity that happened to come our way.

The biggest changes in my life happened in 2014. I became braver and more independent, and met some of my closest friends. 2014 relit the spark in my eyes. This past year, I continued to experience new adventures, meeting incredible people along the way. With 2015 came self-confidence. I kept up with previous goals, including keeping a gym routine and starting to work on developing my writing skills. I finally decided to stop comparing myself to others, be it my brothers and classmates for their knowledge and achievements, or women in the media for their looks and body types. In 2015, I realized my own strengths.

In 2016, I want to stop being such a skeptic on love, and work on other various goals scribbled in my spiral bound notebook. I want to read some great books and travel somewhere exciting (Sweden, hopefully?). My new set of goals is written just below my list of goals accomplished.

When I was younger, our family went on a ski trip every year. My dad would always have me stop at the bottom of steeper slopes to look back on the treacherous path I had traversed. This kept me moving forward. The critical first step to achieving any kind of goal is to have motivation. I hope you can find your own source of motivation to carry out your new year’s goals. New year, new you, right?

To health, happiness, and love in 2016.


à bientôt




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