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My Bummer-Proof Guide to Getting The Most out of 2017


The world may be going to hell in a knock-off handbag, but I’m determined to make the most out of 2017 no matter what.

In December I participated in Molly Mahar’s Stratejoy Holiday Council for the 4th year in a row. I love the Holiday Council – it’s  a great way to wrap up the past year and plan for the one ahead. The course encourages everyone to pick a theme word for the year and five “ways of being” that embody your theme.

The theme I chose for 2017 is shift While there’s lots of things I love about my life, there’s certain pivots I want to make in both my personal and professional life for 2017. I want to expand my career, save money & finally move back into an apartment/home of my own.

To make my goals happen I’ve chosen these five ways of being in 2017:


Stop letting myself off the hook. Give fear the middle finger & persistently pursue my goals. Embrace positive forward progress over perfection.


Wear more red lipstick. Tell brave stories. Show confidence. Remind myself regularly that I’ve ‘totally got this.’


Both in time and money. Use the library & public transit more. Spend mindfully. Save for a rainy day. Use what I’ve got at my disposal instead of giving in to instant gratification.


Use social media to connect instead of distract. Do activities that get me out of my comfort zone and allow me to connect with my community, both online & in person. Write about things that will be helpful to other people.


Go big. Do the thing. Shift forward into fulfilling my goals. Know that there’s no cap on what I can do.


Speaking of bad-ass, if you haven’t checked out my friend Casey Palmer‘s blog you should. Not only is Casey a top-notch Dad & all around human, I’m continually impressed with how much he does while juggling a career/fatherhood/marriage & blogging. Case and point: every year he posts a list of 100 things he wants to accomplish in the 12 months ahead.

As a naturally anxious person, just the idea of a 100 item to-do list is enough to give me heart palpitations, so I decided to be uber realistic and make a list of 12 things I’d like to do in 2017. One for every month.

1. Wear the lipstick and earrings.

When you work from home it’s so easy to fall into a fashion rut. But I’ve noticed that my friend Kate (who also works at home) is always posting photos where she looks super cute in fun jewelry & gorgeous lipstick. I have fun jewelry and lots of lipstick…I could do this too! So, my intention is to actually make it happen: wear my nice clothes, accessories and a bold lip even though I mostly just work out of coffee shops.

2. Get to Wardrobe Zero.

What exactly is wardrobe zero? Good question. For most of my adult life I’ve always had a large rubbermaid bin of clothes that are either off season (i.e. sweaters, bikinis) or need to be sold or donated. This bin sits in storage and takes up space. While I like the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe, it’s not realistic for me. Instead, I’d like to get to the point where everything I own fits in one smallish closet – in other words, a closet without waste aka “wardrobe zero.” If I can see everything I have in one place, I’m hoping this will discourage me from accumulating items I don’t need. I have one more bag full of items to consign in May and then I’ll officially be at wardrobe zero. Wahoo!

3. Get to Beauty Zero.

I did this about 5 years ago and it was so rewarding. Basically this just means using through all the products I have (including samples!) so I can get a better handle on what I actually use and like, so I can get away from buying products that I just end up abandoning in favour of more new products. Who needs 8 different kinds of shampoo in my shower? Not me.

4. Get to Bookshelf Zero.

I have a bad habit of stockpiling books. In an effort to embrace frugality this year I’m working towards bookshelf zero. This means reading everything in my to-read pile before buying more books. If I’m feeling particularly motivated, I might even start to tackle the 30+ books on my e-reader! If I manage to stick to this goal I’m treating myself to a hard copy of Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women.

5. Learn to cook something new every month.

[2/12 COMPLETE] Every year I say I’m going to cook more and every year this goal falls to the wayside. I decided to be super realistic this year. If I can learn one new dish per month, I’ll be happy. So far I’ve taught myself to make KimChi fried rice and Cajun Dirty Rice. Yes, things are still pretty rice-y around here, but it’s a start.

6. Take pole dance classes.

[IN PROGRESS!] I’ve wanted to take pole classes forever – because, who doesn’t want to spin and hang upside down while Rihanna plays in the background? I took an intro class in January and fell in love. It’s now been about six weeks of classes and I have the inner thigh bruises to prove it.

7. Take ballet classes again.

 This is next on the docket after I finish up the next round of pole classes.

8. Get my drivers license.

Jeebus, it’s time. I keep saying this, but let 2017 be the year I finally cross this off my list.

9. Publish at least 3-5 articles in American outlets.

After taking the Pitch Like a Honey Badger course, I finally found the courage to pitch some of my dream publications. If you’re a freelance writer and want to expand into new markets I highly recommend this course!

10. My own apartment.

 This is one of my top goals for the year (along with some big professional ones.) Real estate prices are insane here and rents are on the rise, but I’m hoping that with the help of this Pinterest board that I obsessively update, I can manifest the hell out of this goal and find the perfect place.

11. Get my Barre certification.

[MAY 2017] Over the past few years I’ve become addicted to barre fitness to the point where I’ve toyed with the idea of getting my certification to teach. There’s a course happening in May. Depending on my work schedule, I’d really like to take it. This is kind of a stretch goal: if it happens, it happens but if it doesn’t, I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

12. Get crafty.

This is another stretch goal, but I’d really like to follow through on turning Joe’s handsome mug into some large scale art prints like I mentioned in this post. I’d also like to create an album(s) of my favourite Instagrams from my two California trips. It wasn’t until I saw this post on A Beautiful Mess that I remembered how much I miss having actual photo albums to look through. Phones are great, but it would be nice to have hard copies of all of these photos.

What do you have on deck for 2017? Share one of your goals for this year in the comments!


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