Six Life-Enhancing Goals for 2012

by Holly on December 30, 2011

in goals

Just over one year ago, I made a list of things I wanted to do in 2011.

Every year I make a list of “Things I Will Do in (insert year here).” Because New Year’s resolutions rarely last past January 15th, I aim for experiences that are (a) realistic, (b) expand upon things I am already interested in and (c) catalysts to help me live life better and/or smarter and/or funner (remember that realistic goal setting post?).

At the beginning of 2011, I decided to prioritize the following…

(1) Travel somewhere.

SUCCESS! How’s about Austin, Texas? Philadelphia? Washington D.C.? London? Paris? I guess you could say I accomplished this goal…and then some cities.

(2) Study photography.

SUCCESS! Last January, I took a class through our local technical college here in Madison on “Advanced Digital Photography.” It was super helpful to learn how to use my DSLR camera AND as a result, I only shoot in manual mode now. After the class, I even felt so knowledgable as to write two posts about the basics of photography: photography 101 and photography 102.

(3) Make monthly budgets, and STICK TO THEM.

FAIL! If you’ve been following my blog at all over the years, then you’ve probably read this post and this post and already know I am not the best when it comes to money. If I have it, I spend it. Even though I paid-off my credits card at this time last year…yeah, not so much anymore. I’ll spare you the financially irresponsible details.

(4) Volunteer.

FAIL! That’s not to say that I didn’t give back in 2011 – Emily and I hosted a fundraiser for Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin (<- still time to donate!) and I supported several other charities. But I didn’t volunteer and have the chance to work with people (insert sad emotion here).

(5) Run that sub-1:50 half-marathon.

FAIL! Yeah…this one…not so much…even after two years on my yearly goals list. While I didn’t run the National 1/2 Marathon in March in under 1:50, I did run it in a lace bra after nearly missing the race so I am thinking that makes up for the finish time of 2:01.32.

That makes for a grand total of two goals accomplished out of five. Forty percent isn’t the best percentage, but in my old(er) age, I am learning it doesn’t always matter whether or not you accomplish the goal but rather, it is the determination and effort you make to take that journey.

Because let’s face it – I learned a lot this year! I spent a lot of the year complaining…I’m not doing that in 2012. I spent a lot of the year having TONS of fun (and drinking TONS of beer!)…I’m definitely repeating that in 2012. I spent a lot of time figuring out what I want out of life…and you’ll have to stay tuned in 2012 to find out what that is.

So, what’s on tap for 2012, you ask?

Banish the word ‘umm’ from my vocabulary. Hearing yourself say it repeatedly on TV will drive you nuts enough to make this an actual New Year’s goal.

Travel somewhere. Yes, again.

Say ‘no’ more. Read this post…and you’ll understand why it’s on my list.

Give online dating a try. At the least, I am going to have HILARIOUS stories. If anyone wants in on this New Year’s goal, please let me know. We can start an online dating support group.

Pay-off my credit card & SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! Seriously, this time.

Stop procrastinating. This is going to be a biggie.

What is one thing YOU hope to accomplish in 2012? Sharing is caring!


dana @ my little celebration December 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Great list! I loved reading your list of things to do in 2011 so much, and I enjoyed checking back in on your updates to see how you were doing on it.

One thing I hope to accomplish in 2012, besides making and devouring a dutch baby, is to become a redhead. Totally trivial and vain, but somehow still important.

Happy New Year friend!

Cynthia (It All Changes) December 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm

My biggest goal is to organize my stuff. It was bad when I bought a shirt I HAD to have only to find I’d already bought it two weeks before. Hmmm…I need to organize everything, not just my clothes.

I’m not the greatest with money either so I understand where you are at. At least we don’t give up, right?

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I’m not doing resolutions…I just don’t like the failure part of it. I like the sound of your “goals” though…so maybe a goal for me this year would be to “Be more in the moment in my parenting”. Definitely something I need to work on.

Melissa Imbrogno December 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I’m with you on the money thing! Saving and not spending!

Alex @ I Eat Asphalt December 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Confession: I was on two years ago. Actually, that’s how my most recent relationship started. It is hilarious and creepy, but there are some good guys out there too. Although I’m going to be pissed if I have to add you to the list of 2012 engagements. ;)

Happy new year!

Andrea (Run. Learn. Repeat.) December 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog before, although I have you saved in my blogroll! This post was cute! It made me want to travel somewhere too. Ha ha. One of my 2012 goals is to learn photography and figure out how to use my camera on the manual setting!

Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles December 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I’m right there with you on the stop procrastinating goal…unfortunately I think I just end up putting it off every year in hopes that I’ll finally be ready to handle it one day, haha!

Sarah (I Dream of Beets) December 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I totally need to conquer that financial battle as well. Thankfully, I just bought my **last*** dress on Etsy. No, seriously.

Save! Save! Save!

I’ve got grad school to pay for. Shouldn’t that motivate me?

Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile December 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Awesome list! I’m definitely going to check out your photography posts.
My mom has done online dating and she got a few successful relationships out of it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it!

Lauren December 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I can not wait to hear your online dating stories! I love your new list. :) Have a wonderful NYE dear.

Nikki December 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I like this idea much better than resolutions. Can’t wait to make my list of things to do.

Hillary December 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I’m running the National 1/2 this year. I think you should come back to DC and run it with me. Kthanks.

lynn @ the actor's diet December 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm

travel to LA this year!

sarah @ sarah learns December 30, 2011 at 8:36 pm

i have so many things on my 2012 goal list, but one goal that i hope is over-arching for the whole year is to SLOW DOWN and BE PRESENT. i am a terrible multi-tasker and i don’t want to be.

i want to travel as well! my friend is getting married in maine and my sister is graduating from culinary school in san francisco, so i am setting my sights on making both of those events!!

Karis December 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I highly encourage online dating. I met my husband on Our first date was 12/1/03, and we got married 10/1/05. We both went to UW and lived 3 blocks apart but I highly doubt we would have ever met if it hadn’t been for He and his friends joined at the same time, and we attended several weddings from 2005-2007…and all are still going strong :)

Susan December 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I am *thisclose* to trying online dating too, so please hold a spot for me in your support group. Although, my mom always tells me that if I can’t mean a man the old fashioned way (in a bar), then I’m screwed.

Maren December 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Love seeing your list and all your success in 2011! When I was in speech, our teacher dropped a penny in a glass every time we said um, uh, etc… you should have a friend do that for you when you practice your speeches!

janetha December 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm

i don’t read many year recaps or goal posts, i just don’t. but i LOVE yours. LOVE them. in fact, i look forward to them! i remember you setting all these goals. i really love you, like a lot.

pushups with polish December 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm

what a great list! very inspiring :) online dating, so for it! why not?!?! happy new year, best wishes for many memories xxo em

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 30, 2011 at 11:08 pm

i love your honesty. and am more than willing to go with you on the online dating. why is it so hard to meet sane, interesting people?!

Cheers to an amazing 2012!!!

SingleNerdFemale December 31, 2011 at 2:51 am

Confession: I read you and have commented under my real name and blog. This time, I’m posting my anonymous dating blog. I’ve decided to be more proactive with the whole dating thing in 2012 which means dusting off a profile I created and then ignored last year.

Hopefully we can both end 2012 coupled up! Or have a good single girl laugh about all the crazies this time next year.


Bronwyn Coyne December 31, 2011 at 10:23 am

Those are great goals! I’ve been thinking about the online dating one myself… For some reason I can’t find any guys in “real life”. Hard to date if you can’t find the guys.

elizabeth December 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Holly, I love your blog and I love that you send me sweet emails back! Have you tried out It’s helped me a TON get a hold of my money. You have the app right on your phone, you can set monthly budgets for yourself and keep track of all your financial needs/desires.

I know people who have met through online dating & are married or engaged. I cannot wait to hear your stories!! Hopefully you’ll find someone perfect for you or at the very least make some great new friends. I have one male friend who lives in Madison, he’s a PhD student, raced IMWI the past two years, but isn’t super obsessed like most IM people are. Each time I read about your male woes I think of him… The only thing is I don’t know if you would be attracted to him or vice versa. Hmmm… he is kind of nerdy (I personally think that’s a PLUS) but athletic and likes to let loose.

The one thing I will accomplish first thing in 2012 is quitting my current job. It’s a risk because I don’t have another job lined up – but it’s a risk I truly believe is necessary. Wish me luck!

Frances December 31, 2011 at 9:06 pm

your list of resolutions is entirely reasonable. you choose good, meaningful things- goals that are refreshing to read, as opposed to the usual “LOSE WEIGHT” and “GET BOYFRIEND!” sort of resolutions. not that those are bad things…

i haven’t done enough considering about my new year’s goals. off the top of my head, i’d like to graduate from college (at age 25, for goodness sake)…and re-instill some confidence in myself, the sort of confidence that a six year old has: unaware that anything might be impossible; aware, instead, of how many things she is able to do with her mind, her hands, her heart.

Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn January 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm

SAVE MONEY. So down for this. Dear lord.

Do they make online dating sites for college students? I’m in.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie January 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm

You’ll totally rock online dating. I only know you from online and if I was a dude (or lezzy) I would date you. Heck, I’d just settle down and marry you. You’re blast.

Madeline @ Greens and Jeans January 2, 2012 at 7:35 am

Hopefully my 2012 will include as many Holly adventures as 2011 did. It seems we’ve been averaging 2x a year…

Jenna January 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm

I actually met my husband on after my mom repeatedly suggested I give it a try (I was 22 mind you). We met in the parking lot of the local menards in case he was a freak. We hit it off immediately. On the 12th of this month will mark year 4 for us, and we’ve now been married 8 months! :) Good luck with the online dating! It definitely can work! I’m proof :)

Kimberly (Badger Girl) January 3, 2012 at 8:53 am

I also live in Madison and would love to hear more about your class. Was that through MATC? Do you know how often it is offered?
I met my husband, my Manatee, online. A lot of our friends met online. Good luck! Stay open to new people and when you get the choice, at least pick a restaurant or bar, you wanted to try anyway. Then at least you get THAT out of the date. :)
Happy New Year!

Megan (Braise the Roof) January 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I’m doing the online dating thing, too! I have a feeling we’re going to need to gchat this one out. :) Happy new year, girl!

Maura K January 4, 2012 at 8:45 am

So, as a veteran (victim? ha ha just kidding) of online dating, I can say I’ve racked up many hilarious stories. Best of luck. It’s not as scary as it seems!

Sig January 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I love your goals!! Procastinate less was one of mine as well!

I think I went overboard this year with mine and did a mofo of a list. Vision Board included. Sigh.

The biggest one I want to do is quit sugar – hard but I think for me necessary.

Lauren @ The Climbing Chef January 6, 2012 at 12:53 am

I am hoping to pay off debt and save save save too!!!!! Also, I want to take a trip to Austin this year, finish my side tattoo and become more tolerant of people who annoy me :) Wish me luck!

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