I am calmly excited for the annual January write-up, the 2023 goals blog post! This is the 5th year I’ve posted my goals on the blog. Each time I sit down to write the next year’s list, I read through all of the previous years’ intentions. It’s a fun exercise to read what I set out to accomplish and learn, and then see “the results”.
It also reinforces much of the mindset I share with my students, staying genuine to the message that: 1) Mistakes are vital to growth. The more you make, the more you learn. Always strive to make new mistakes. 2) Life happens. Sometimes you can prepare like the dickens and the outcome isn’t what you wished for. What’s most important is the inner knowledge of the time, effort, and energy you invest toward anything. The “result” is merely a snapshot in time, the tip of the mountain. 3) Setting intentions and building a roadmap are the catalysts for momentum. The rest of the journey is dependent on determination and grit, because motivation is a fickle friend. 4) Check-ins are helpful for re-assessing the original goals. Do they still make sense or has the direction changed? Have you already surpassed it and it’s time for a new one? Has life been yelling “PIVOT” in the most Rossian way? You and your circumstances are forever changing and so will your goals and the process to achieve them.
This year I’m using a beautiful forest green Passion Planner to document, track, and organize my goals. I’ve been following this incredible female-owned social enterprise since it’s inception and love everything about the company. Why mention this? First, I’ve decided that this year is the Year of Green. It’s always been my colour and I’m drawn to it more than ever before. Green symbolizes growth, life, prosperity, calm, positive energy, the environment, my family heritage on both sides, and even one of my favourite musicals. I love the concept of picking a word for the year and the colour green symbolizes more than a wavelength of light.
If I’m speaking candidly, this year’s 2023 goals blog post has been more difficult to write than others. I haven’t quite put my finger on why, but I believe it’s because I’ve arrived at another twist in life’s road. I finally have my campervan, nearly all international travel is possible again, and I’ve established healthful routines over the pandemic. Ironically, it appears that 2020’s wishlist is now possible, only it’s 3 years later and a lot has changed. It’s time to take another great leap. I can feel it. The only problem is, I’m not quite sure what or where that is.
With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of personal, professional, and travel ambitions for 2023. I’m quite curious to see what the year brings, how this roster will shape it, and what opportunities and obstacles will further mold it along the way. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your dreams in the comments below!
- Read 24 Books – Like last year, I’m setting out to read at least 24 books. I’m craving a mix of fiction and non-fiction, getting lost in brilliant stories and feeding my curiosity.
- Health – I’ll continue exercising for 45 minutes a day 4 times a week, walking/running 50km per month, and drinking enough water each day. A new target that I’m implementing is a set bedtime. I’m naturally a nighthawk and notorious for working until the wee hours of the night, unless I’m living in a Yaris or the van when I’m inclined to rise and rest with the sun. While I tend to get enough sleep, late nights usually lead to later starts. This is not ideal for syncing up with the rest of society. The last 2 health goals are simultaneously travel-related. Since university I have wanted to attend a yoga retreat or teacher training – not for the purpose of becoming a teacher, but simply to be a better student of my mind and body. I’ve always found it ironic that the tools humans use the most are our brain and body, yet unless you’re employed in the health field, we’re fairly clueless to their capacity and potential. I want to stretch both possibilities. The second health/travel goal is to attend a vipassana (silent) retreat. A few friends have shared their experiences, which has inspired me to try one too. If you have attended either kind of retreat and have any suggestions, please send them my way! I’m not particular on location, just the opportunity to learn.
It appears that worldwide covid-19 travel restrictions are more or less gone (unless I’ve just jinxed the situation). Now that I’ve got Betty White (my 2014 Dodge Ram Promaster campervan!), I intend to see as much of the western continents as possible. I am always keen for an Irish reunion and have dreams to ship the van there and mainland Europe as well. Though I don’t think Betty will make it across the pond this year, I’m putting it out into the universe for future travels.
- Spanish-Speaking Country – I nearly crossed this one off at the beginning of 2023, with a van voyage to California, Mexico, and Central America. However, due to renting logistics the trip was cancelled. I’m keeping this 2019 goal on the 2023 list and pushing it to later in the year. It would be fantastic to pair these explorations with an on-location Spanish language class to brush up on my skills.
- Newfoundland – Newfoundland is the only Canadian province I haven’t visited. I had plans in 2019 and 2020, but everyone knows how that story goes. Now that I have the van and covid restrictions aren’t wrecking the world’s travel plans, I’d say this is the year! I’m dying to ferry over to France and visit the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon while on the east coast.
- Cross-Canada Summer Road Trip – I’ve always said that Canada is the best place to be in the summer. With the flexibility that the van provides, the massive list of interesting, delicious, and unusual places to explore, and friends and family scattered across the country, this could be an epic adventure.
- Visit 4 New Countries – It’s a bucket list dream of mine to visit every country and territory in the world. I have tremendously missed the giddy feelings of awe and delight when landing in a new country. It’s been over 3 years after all – I’m long overdue! It could also be a really great opportunity to try something I’ve been wanting to do forever; arrive at the airport and buy the next flight within my budget.
- Feel the Ground of a New Continent – To date, I have travelled and lived in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. If (when!) I visit a Spanish-speaking country this year, I will be able to say I’ve roamed around my 5th continent, South America. I have a few friends in Africa and it would be unreal to visit such another stunning part of the world.
- Spend More Time by Water – Swimming in it, zooming across it, resting by it…all of the verbs by, on, or near water will suffice!
- Write 3 Blog Posts per Month – Creatively, I am ready to immerse myself back into writing this year. Anyone who has trudged through writer’s block knows how aggravating it is. Thankfully it’s been gradually fading, with new energy flowing into my fingers. I’m excited to write again and know that will make a huge difference in providing more helpful and engaging content for you and your travels. A fellow blogger once spoke about prioritizing blogging tasks as “money now” and “money later” items. Oftentimes blog writing falls into the category of “money later” as your site grows in authority according to Google. It’s also the natural process of building a portfolio. I’ve already made some shifts in my business for 2023 which will allow for more writing time. Currently that also means taking a hit to previous sources of steady monthly income. However, I’m eager to invest more time and energy toward the vision I have for making Travel with TMc a well-rounded resource for fellow travellers.
- Send 1 Newsletter per Month – I’ve got a lot of respect for people who put together quality newsletters. My hat goes off to them because I know how much care and effort goes into their creation. Some of my favourite subscriptions are Jodi Ettenberg’s fascinating Curious About Everything, Chris & Jeremy’s value-packed This Week in Blogging, and Waterloo Region’s informative TL;WR. For the Travel with TMc newsletter, I strive to fill it with helpful and interesting travel bits and often reflect on how to improve it. I am conscious of waiting until there’s new content to share and not “just because it’s a new month”. The best part of creating the newsletter is when you respond with your adventures in these places!
- Social Media – Aiming for 10 Instagram posts and 2 reels per month. As it stands today, December 31st, there are 2,360 of us hanging out on the Travel with TMc Instagram page. Woohoo!
- Increase Travel with TMc Income – There are changes in the works for this website in 2023, with a shift toward investing more time, energy, and resources into directly helping you travel. This means creating more blog posts, diving into YouTube, and being more intentional and consistent on social media. The release of the Pay Yourself to Travel course will add another income stream to the mix. I can’t wait to hear from you about how it helps you afford to travel more often for less money! These life experiences should be accessible to everyone and the course makes that possible for more people like you.
- Write at least 10 Ontario 160 Blog Posts – As of January 2023, I have visited 37 of the 160 (or 170 if you have the book’s newest edition) unusual sites. There are still only 8 blog posts written from those visits. It’s a big goal of mine this year to share more of these fascinating Ontario gems with you.
- Start a Podcast and / or a YouTube Channel – I have been documenting life through different mediums since I was a kid. In 2022 I started videoing travels and the van build with the intention of sharing the journeys on YouTube. There was one big problem: I didn’t have a laptop that could handle video editing. That all changed during Aeroplan’s outrageous Black Friday promotion, when I finally bit the bullet, bought a new laptop, and earned 40,000 Aeroplan points in the process! If you’re new to Aeroplan, that’s enough to earn me a short-haul flight. Did I mention it wasn’t just any laptop? This lifetime PC-loving user crossed over to the dark side and bought a Macbook Air. Ayyyy! After a ton of research and pestering tech-savvy friends and colleagues with umpteen questions, as well as a lot more mental back and forth on whether I would make the switch, I leapt with both feet. The past few weeks I’ve had some time to get used to the layout, rewire my brain’s familiarity with the keyboard shortcuts, and hop back into Adobe. Now it’s time to learn how to use Adobe Premiere Pro, because I know nothing about it. I also need to create an intro and then play with the possibilities of creating videos!
Are you planning any 2023 goals?
What are your 2023 goals? Do you categorize or prioritize them in any particular way? Let me know below, happy new year, and thank you for reading along!