Looking Back on Resolutions Made.

Looking Back on Resolutions Made.

I was never too keen on making, or sticking to, resolutions for a new year. However, last year, I switched up the meaning of a resolution in my mind. I tried to look at it as a feasible goal or goals for the year. Something that would make my life better, but also something I wanted to do. A way to reach goals of mine, without being completely unreasonable.

Was I ever going to actually go to the gym? No, definitely not. In fact, one of the best decisions I made in 2012 was to quit the gym. Instead, I’ve decided to focus on outdoor activities that give me exercise, while also allowing me to experience life. I don’t want to be the person driving the stationary bike, I’d rather mountain bike and explore new places.

Who needs a gym when you can adventure in the tree tops?

Who needs a gym when you can adventure in the tree tops?

Was I ever going to diet or eat healthy? Again, probably not. This is always something I have trouble with, so why make an unreasonable promise. Instead, I eat what I want and cut back when I need to. I make it my routine and by not making it the only idea in my mind, it seems to be more of a success. We only are here once, and I love food way too much to cut it out of my life or avoid eating food I love.

Nothing like eating almost an entire ice cream cake...

Nothing like eating almost an entire ice cream cake…

Was I ever going to get more organized? No, yet again. After many education classes in college and graduate school, I have learned that I am right-brained, meaning I lean more toward the creative side of life. I am not a bed maker and I rarely put my belongings where I need them, but at this point, that’s never going to change. I see no point in organizing when I know where things are when I need them. I cannot waste my precious time cleaning when there’s life out there for me to live.

This is what happens when I try to pack...

This is what happens when I try to pack…

But, what I can do is try to reach the goals that I have in mind for my life. By setting aside a few of my life time goals to accomplish each year, I have more of a chance of making them happen. So, this is what I choose to do last year.

First, I vowed to travel to Africa and to take my first solo trip. I accomplished these both in one month-long adventure. Africa had been my dream for years, and I wouldn’t let anyone or anything get in the way of getting there. I am so glad I did, and with plenty of time left in my life to visit the continent many times over. I knew I would love it before I got there, and the feelings have just grown over time. I know my love affair with Africa will last a lifetime, and I look forward to visiting the countries within it again and again.

Sunset in Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Sunset in Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Traveling solo was a big goal for myself this past year, and I finally made it happen. In years past, I had only flown by myself and stayed a night alone in Bangkok before catching a flight home. To me, this wasn’t exactly solo travel. So, when I couldn’t find someone to come along with me to Africa, I decided to head on my own, but join up with a group tour. While, I wasn’t exactly alone and meeting friends along the way, this was the ideal way for me to travel by myself. I made friends with the people in my group, but was still able to experience each country on my own, with no real agenda except for my own. It was a great step into solo travel, and I foresee many more travels this way, without a group, in the future.

Just me and the elephants in Zimbabwe.

Just me and the elephants in Zimbabwe.

Along with this, I wanted to treat my home life as I treat life while I am traveling. Lucky for me, last New Year’s Eve I met Jeff, and he has steered my life completely in that direction. Even while I am home, I always feel like I am fully living my life and given the opportunity to go outside of my comfort zone on many occasions.

Jersey Shore jet skiers.

Jersey Shore jet skiers.

The only resolution I failed to make was to begin planning my first RTW trip. Instead, I would like to focus on my goal of stepping foot on all seven continents before turning thirty. Yes, I could combine this with a RTW trip, but now just doesn’t seem to be the time, though who knows what the future may hold. I do plan on taking one in my lifetime, but there are other goals I wish to accomplish first, and I’ve realized those goals in 2012.

Looking back on the year, I couldn’t be more proud of all I have done. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone at home and abroad, faced my fears, and feel that I have continued to become a better traveler. Most importantly, I have continued to learn more about myself each and every step of the way, which is what I feel resolutions are all about. I have seen and experienced more than some people do in a life time, and I plan on continuing this lifestyle permanently.

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Comments (22)

  1. kay

    Hi hun i have done something similar to this but it is for the new year i don’t make new year resolutions i call the life decisions.
    Here’s a link if you wanner check it out http://clotheskays.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/making-decisions-for-2013.html

    1. The World Wanderer

      Yes, I guess they are more life decisions, haha. I will check out your blog!

  2. Karen

    Congratulations on achieving your goals! Here’s to continuing on in 2013!

  3. Fiona

    Wow, you’ve achieved so many of your goals this year – Africa solo was a huge one, well done! Here’s to a fantastic year of travel in 2013 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Fiona! I cannot wait to see what’s in store in 2013.

  4. Craig Zabransky

    Writing something down makes it 3X more likely to happen, sharing it with others it makes it 10X more likely.. (I read those stats once) … So i share my resolutions and glad to see you do too… plus congrats on a wonderful year… and good luck writing 2013 resolutions and accomplishing them… all the best in the new year, and of course stay adventurous 😉

    -Craig

    1. The World Wanderer

      Ah-ha! That makes so much sense, Craig. I had a professor who always told us to write down our goals, but I never heard the part about sharing it with others. I like it though, and I do believe it does help.

      I am writing 2013’s resolutions and having way too much fun with it! Happy New Year! 🙂

  5. Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter)

    Excellent work getting to your goals! 2012 for me was a year of serendipity and seeing what opportunities came my way – and I can’t complain! Have a great travel 2013!!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Raul! Happy 2013, and I cannot wait to meet you this year!

  6. the lazy travelers

    congrats on a successful 2012 (and happy one year anniversary to you & the mister!!). xoxo

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thank you, thank you, Lazy Travelers! xx

  7. lola

    love this Erin!! so proud of you…what an inspiration. we have to meet this year – THE END! xo – lola

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Lola. I agree – meeting this year is an absolute must! Cannot wait for it! xxx

  8. Crazy sexy fun traveler

    Looks like you had a great year 🙂 I have problems with some NY resolutions too, especially with healthy diet.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I did!

      Healthy diet just never works…oh well! We only live once! 😉

  9. Toni

    I think ‘goals’ instead of resolutions is a MUCH better way of looking at the year and realising that ‘going to the gym’ wasn’t going to happen so changed it to ‘exercise’ etc…a lot of our goals are perception and we set ourselves up to fail but by changing the way you looked at the year you achieved them which is great!
    And looking at your packing picture – I’m pretty sure you’ve just help me discover I have a right-side brain too! 😉
    I also LOVE that you went to Africa…I went for 6 weeks last year solo (but with a tour) too and the continent is now firmly part of my soul! It really does speak a language only the heart can understand doesn’t it?! 🙂
    Good luck with your new goals Erin!

    1. The World Wanderer

      6 weeks! Where were you? I am dying to get back there. I always dreamt of visiting and now that I’ve been, and I cannot get it out of my soul. I really does something to you.

      Glad to have found a fellow right-brain. 😉

  10. Leah Travels

    I love your realistic approach. I think it’s much better to focus on things like travel, things that enrich our lives. Here’s to another great year. I see you doing big things in 2013.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Leah! I found it much easier to reach these goals. 🙂

  11. Traveling Ted

    Congratulations on a successful 2012 and good luck with your resolutions in the future. I feel the same way about resolutions. I try and make more reasonable resolutions that are doable instead of setting a goal that goes by the way side by February. This year my New Year’s resolution is to drink more shots. I think I can do this.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thank you, Ted! I am a little obsessed with your resolution, and a bit jealous that I didn’t come up with it myself. I may have to steal it. 😉

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