17 Actions for 2017

17 Actions for 2017

I've never liked the world "resolution." For some reason, I have always associated "resolution" with negativity.. cutting out bad habits, setting goals to correct traits we don't like about ourselves.. When I set goals at the start of a new year, I am looking to add new habits and behaviors to my day to day. 

This year, I chose seventeen actions to implement for 2017. When I started to list out the things I wanted to accomplish over the next year, I had no theme in mind but still, several smaller themes started to emerge - each action addressed my health, wealth, happiness, or memory keeping. Some are daily habits. Others are less frequent. Some have no frequency requirements at all. Some goals are big - really big! - and others barely impact my year. But, what is important is that they are all specific and feasible.

So, what changes will I be making in 2017? 



While I don’t have any statistics to back up my belief, it seems that health related goals are some of the most commonly set resolutions each year. After all, the gym is busier than ever in January. Having a chronic illness means that I am consistently working toward improving my health even though my goals might look a bit different.

For my health in 2017, I plan to: 

  1. Take 5,000 steps per day. I will be using my Apple Watch to track my daily steps and a daily habit tracker from Elise to mark which days I meet the goal.
  2. Wash my face daily. In 2016, I finally found a skincare routine that works for me but I’m still working on making that a daily habit. I plan to print a tiny habit tracker for the bathroom mirror, too. 
  3. Schedule a skin check. My friend Becky was diagnosed with malignant melanoma earlier this year and has become a great advocate for getting your skin checked. I’ve been listening and this is at the top of my list for 2017.
  4. Take a ballet class. I’ve spent several years trying to find a form of exercise that I enjoy and as of 2016, I’m still looking. My physical therapist recently suggested ballet as a great option for the spasticity in my legs. 



Our financial situation over the last few years has been, well, difficult. I was working without benefits, we were waiting on a social security decision, and I was incurring new debt regularly due to my medical situation. Since finishing my degree and starting a full time position, I have been diligently budgeting and looking for new sources of revenue.

For our wealth in 2017, I plan to:

  1. Not incur any new debt. I recently read an article on “millennial poverty” which pointed out that a majority of millennials don’t have enough money set aside for even one unexpected bill. My goal is to not only let unexpected bills increase my debt, but to start saving for an emergency fund.
  2. Pay off $5,000 of additional debt before June. Over the holidays, I created a budget for the next six months and determined that with our current budget, and the weddings I have booked for the year so far, it should be possible to pay off $5,000 extra in debt before June — not including any of our regular monthly payments. 
  3. Build my photography website. Yes, I’m a web developer and a photographer, and I don’t have an online portfolio. 
  4. Graduate! While this is mostly a matter of checking off a box - as my course work is complete - I plan to have my degree officially conferred for Spring graduation. 



Over the last few months, I’ve started to mentally note little habits which make me happy - going to the library, reading paper books, drinking tea at night. One pattern that became apparent is that I need to spend more time away from screens.

So, for my happiness in 2017, I plan to: 

  1. Learn how to crochet. For months, I have had the hook and the yarn but I haven’t actually taken the time to learn. 
  2. Go on 17 different dates with Trevor. Date night can be difficult while on a tight budget, but this year I hope to make spending time with Trevor - without a screen! - a priority.
  3. Read 17 books. Enough said. 
  4. Hang more art in our home. We have several prints waiting to be hung, and many white walls in our home. This year, I hope to be able to invest in new art and to get it hung, too. 


Memory Keeping

This year, memory keeping was a bit of an aside to our year. Rather than documenting as I went, I left my Project Life album for this week. While I have finished January through June, I hope to try some new memory keeping strategies next week.

To document our 2017, I plan to: 

  1. Document our days with Project Life. I’m torn between using the Project Life app or a 9x12 physical album but I plan to go back to a weekly approach, with a single page or half of a spread per week. 
  2. Learn how to shoot film and take at least one photo per week. Inspired by Elise’s film project, I tracked down a Canon 35mm camera this week and ordered film on Amazon today. I’d like to take at least one weekly photo on film this year. 
  3. Record one second of each day in video. The idea of having a six minute video for each year is so appealing for me and I plan to use the One Second Everyday app to make it happen. 
  4. Teach a memory keeping class. In 2015, I helped to teach several memory keeping classes. In 2017, I hope to create a class related to my experience with chronic illness. 


Finally, I have one big goal for the year that, in my opinion, covers all of these categories: in 2017, I plan to write a book. For years, I’ve gathered funny stories, developed my own tips for surviving chronic illness, and promised myself that I would write it down. I plan for this year to be the year - if not to finish a book, at least to start. 

So tell me, what goals do you have for the next year? Do your goals follow a common theme? 

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