Thank you to everyone who followed along as I worked my way through my 2015 resolutions. I completed 13 out of 15 and I must say, I feel pretty proud of that.
Though I know it feels like you just read the yearend report for my 2015 goals, it is time to share my list for 2016!
Last year I decided to do 15 resolutions in honor of 2015. The marketer in me simply couldn't resist. As January 1, 2016 loomed, I realized if I continued that pattern for all future years, very soon I'd be promsing to complete something like 20 tasks in 2020 and the idea of that felt quite daunting! So as much as I'd like to do 16 resolutions for 2016, you'll have to settle on a nice, round 10.
Without further ado, I give you my 2016 list!
1. Spend at least one weeknight at home every week
I don't know when exactly I adopted this particular mentality, but sometime around college graduation I started to see every night after work as a fresh opportunity to go out - drinks with co-workers, dinner with friends, a night at the movies - you name it. For the past 10 years I've gone out after work nearly every Monday - Friday and you know what? I'm exhausted.
Over the past few months on nights when friends would cancel or someone would have to bail last minute, I found myself relieved and kind of excited to be able to go straight home, put on sweats, eat something delicious for dinner and just veg.
As the end of 2015 neared, my travel schedule got nutty. Knowing I was going to be wiped, I started purposefully planning to stay home. And guess what? I liked it. A lot.
Thus my first resolution for 2016 was born. I have resolved to spend at least one weeknight at home every week. So far in 2016, I'm three for three! Plus, it means I get more playtime with this guy.
2. See a financial planner
Some of you already know this, but one of my clients at work is a financial literacy initiative. Though I've spent over a year advocating for why young people in their 20s and 30s should see a financial planner, I've never actually done it myself. And to be honest, I have a lot of questions. Should I refinance my mortgage? Are there credit cards I should be using that have better rewards or cash back programs? Should I invest some of my savings? Should I be more aggressive with my 401k allocations? The list goes on and on. I'm looking forward to starting to tackle some of these unknowns.
3. Use my gift cards
Ok, this one is really embarrassing. Over the years I have amassed a rather large collection of gift cards. Because they are often too large in size to fit in my wallet, I started carrying them around in a ziploc bag. When I was mocked mercilessly by friends as I would unearth the ziploc from the bottom of my Mary Poppins bag, I upgraded to a canvas pouch.
The issue is not how I tote around my gift cards, it's that I fail to spend them. Ever.
Right now in my canvas pouch I have gift cards for: American Express (four of them, actually), Ames Street Deli, Anthropologie, Bath & Body Works, Body Shop, Cheesecake Factory, COACH, Crate & Barrel, CVS, Dunkin' Donuts (two), Freshii, H&M, Marshalls (two), P.F. Chang's, SuperLux, Target, Tremont 647, Visa, Walgreens and Zappos (four).
My goal this year is to spend all of them. I've basically been leaving free money on the table!
4. Visit Chicago
If you followed along as I progressed through last year's resolutions, then you know I failed miserably at my one travel related resolution, which was to plan a trip to Portland, Maine. I am absolutely doing that this year, but I am also adding a trip to Chicago.
Several years ago one of my best friends left Beantown for the Windy City. When she relocated it was never a question that I would go visit, but as it turns out, that visit has taken several years to materialize.
This is the year! I've already told her I want to eat at RPM Italian (Bill and Giuliana Rancic's restaurant), go on the architecture tour along the water and check out a baseball game.
In addition to my BFF, I have four other friends who have moved to Chicago in the past year, so I'll squeeze in face time with them too. If you have recommendations for places I have to see, or more importantly, eat, please leave them in the comments below.
5. Charter a boat
You may remember that over the summer I got to cruise around Boston Harbor with Karma Crew Yacht Charters.
On the way home that I night I decided that at some point I would rent the boat for an afternoon. I need to think of a worthy occasion and then reserve a date!
6. Dine at the Giulia pasta table
Back in September 2013 I had my very first meal at Giulia, a cozy Italian restaurant on Mass. Ave between Harvard Square and Porter Square. It was one of the most delicious meals I've ever had, no exaggeration.
It was that night I discovered that Giulia has a beautiful table at the back of the dining room called the pasta table.
During the day the gorgeous white oak table is used to roll out the fresh pasta dough and at night they set it for dinner. However, if you call ahead, you can reserve the pasta table for a private, family-style meal. The table sits right in front of the open kitchen, so you get the full experience.
I have wanted to reserve the pasta table since I first learned about it. I am thinking maybe I'll do it for my birthday this year.
7. Take a cooking class at Sofra
Last year I resolved to take a cooking class at BCAE and though I had a full 12 months to do it, I never made the time. I do still want to learn to cook some things, so this time I am closing the gap. Rather than try to get to a class in Back Bay, I am planning to take a class at Sofra, my favorite bakery, which is just up the street!
Their 2016 class calendar includes sessions like classic Turkish cuisine, savory pies, all about chocolate (my front runner, of course), all about olive oil, family style dinners and a Mother's Day tea party. I know I need to pick one soon before they all fill up!
8. Explore the Boston Public Library
I have lived in Boston for 31 years and despite walking by it thousands of times, I have never been inside the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. I have many friends that visit it often, some who even considered getting married there. This year I will set foot inside!
9. Attend the Revere Sand Sculpting Festival
Another local destination I have always wanted to check out is the annual Revere Sand Sculpting Festival. Last year I had every intention of going and then I wound up out of town unexpectedly.
Maybe I'll even see if any of my little cousins want to go with me. It could be fun to see their reaction to these massive works of art.
10. Put my brilliant readers' ideas into action
On January 4, 2016 Pop.Bop.Shop. celebrated its 7th birthday. In that post I asked you to share the one thing you would most like to see on the site in 2016 and the comments were incredible! I was truly blown away by the creativity and smart suggestions.
After reading through the comments, I started a new Google Doc to track all of these killer ideas. My goal is to publish at least five posts (or series of posts) this year that are inspired by those reader comments.
And there you have it! My list of resolutions for 2016.
As I did last year, I'll be sharing quarterly updates on my progress.
If you'd like to join me for any of these adventures, please let me know. I love hearing from you.
Have you made a list of resolutions for 2016? How's it going so far?
*January image courtesy of Clementine Creative. Chicago image courtesy of Bows & Sequins. Cooking class image courtesy of Sofra. Boston Public Library image courtesy of Wikipedia. Sand art courtesy of Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival.