My 2014 goals: Two small resolutions for a happier life

nzmuse goals for 20142013 was a biggie. I got married (though I still can’t bring myself to use the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’. They leave a gross aftertaste in my mouth). Took six months off work. Backpacked around the world. In short, it was a year of YOLO.

They say nobody ever wishes on their deathbed they’d spent more time at the office. Sure, but I would definitely feel bummed if I didn’t achieve some sort of professional satisfaction, some measure of happiness in work and my achievements, over a lifetime. I’ve written some things I’m proud of, for myself and for wider public consumption, and came very close last year to being able to plonk “award-winning” in front of my name (alas, an almost-award doesn’t really afford me that luxury. Highly commended is all well and good, but nobody ever remembers the runner up). A small change at work should make my job even more awesome starting from day one back (though raises the stakes for sure), so I’m amped to see what 2014 brings.

As much as my work matters to me, people and experiences absolutely come first. It blows my mind how much we did in 2013. The places we saw, the people we met, the meals we ate… I whimper a little to think what it cost (full tally coming up VERY SHORTLY) but it was truly a priceless adventure. How could I ever forget biking through the fiery forests of Vermont (nearly falling asleep and falling off the back post-lunch)? Feasting on lamb and wine at sunset in Santorini? Gliding through Venice’s waterways, blotting sweat from my face, mesmerised by every new alleyway? Marvelling at the raw thunderstorms pounding down on the plains of Cambodia? Being enthralled by the sheer scale of the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Gulfoss?

For all that, I’m glad to be home. I’m reminded of the beauty that’s all around me everytime I go hiking out west with them (Mokoroa Falls is heartstoppingly fabulous, and I can’t believe I’d never seen it before). We may not be going abroad again anytime soon, but there’s plenty to explore in our own backyard.

This year, I resolve to get out more – on weekends, after work – even if petrol costs are insane and our crappy car chews gas. 

I’ve also realised how amazing my friends and family are. I was terrible about keeping in touch with them while we were away, but after all, I knew we were coming back in November. But we’re all getting older, time is passing quicker, some are moving away, and some of us are moving into the next logical phase of our adult lives. And for all my past grievances with my parents, none are egregious enough to hold a grudge about forever – Buzzfeed is right, I’ve come full circle to realise how awesome they are in many ways and embrace all the traits they’ve passed down to me.

I’ve been aware for a long time that I’m basically never the instigator when it comes to these things – I’ll always respond, but I never initiate contact. I often find a text an annoying interruption to the workday, which is kinda messed up. My last day at work, I noticed a text and went to unlock my phone – yet somehow between that and actually opening up my inbox, I got totally distracted with something and wound up entirely forgetting to go back to my phone. T wound up calling me an hour later instead.

This year, I resolve to make more of an effort – to reach out to at least one person a week – by text, email, or (shudder) Facebook chat/message. I emailed a dear friend overseas just before Christmas for a long overdue catchup on our lives, and I can’t tell you how freaking GOOD that felt.

going to die doing the things i love nzmuse

I’m not going to set any financial goals since that side of things is still uncertain. I’m naturally a saver anyway, so I’m going to be trying to bank as much as possible. The long-term play is still to save up for a house. Overall, 2014 is about the small things – balancing work and play, finding a happy medium in life. What more could one ask for?

14 thoughts on “My 2014 goals: Two small resolutions for a happier life

  • Reply SavvyFinancialLatina January 3, 2014 at 10:07

    Great new year’s resolutions! I think it’s great you were able to travel the world, despite the price tag. One of my goals this year will include taking international trips. Of course, vacation time is limited so I will have to be creative and figure out an efficient and cost friendly way to take vacations.

  • Reply Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life January 3, 2014 at 10:26

    Relationships take a lot of effort, but they’re oh so worth it.

  • Reply Erin @ My Alternate Life January 3, 2014 at 11:14

    Love these resolutions! You’ve had an incredible year. I traveled a lot this past year as well (not internationally though) and my travel schedule is sadly a lot lighter this year. I plan on making up for this with kicking butt at a job I love and exploring my new city 🙂

    Have a wonderful 2014!

  • Reply KK @ Student Debt Survivor January 3, 2014 at 11:27

    What an amazing year! Travel is something that’s really important to us (and something we haven’t been doing nearly as frequently as we like). This year we already have a Mexico trip planned and I’m hoping we’ll be able to do at least 2 other weekend trips. I need to be better about reaching out to people in real life. I’m making a goal to call, e-mail or text my mom, dad and grandparents once a week. It shouldn’t be that hard, but somehow the most important people in my life have been getting the least attention.

  • Reply Liz January 3, 2014 at 13:33

    I love your goal to get out more after work and on the weekends. I might have to borrow that. It can be so hard when all you want to do is relax after a long week at work but then you enjoy it so much! Sounds like exercising!

  • Reply Raquel@Practical Cents January 3, 2014 at 14:41

    Doable resolutions I think. New Zealand is a country I’m wishing to visit one day. Sounds like you had a fabulous time on your RTW.

  • Reply jefferson January 4, 2014 at 01:44

    I love the feeling of a blank slate that comes with the turning of a calendar. I’m hoping to do big things this year, and I think I am up for the challenge.

  • Reply Michelle's Finance Journal January 4, 2014 at 06:02

    You’ve had an amazing year in 2013 and your resolutions seem simple, but still hard to do for some people. And it is really important. I’m sure you’ll have more interesting experiences to share with us through this new year with your resolutions.

  • Reply Deia @ Nomad Wallet January 6, 2014 at 17:22

    I’m horrible not just with initiating contact, but also with getting back to people as well. I find that I need to be in the right mood for human contact lol My only financial resolution this year is to be better with bookkeeping — the entrepreneur’s life is a tough one. 😉

  • Reply Jessica January 7, 2014 at 09:11

    I can completely relate to finding text messages annoying and interrupting; and I also agree with having to intentionally build relationships and seek them out for conversations and catch up sessions. That is a really good goal to have! 🙂

  • Reply Lauren January 7, 2014 at 10:56

    Sounds like you had an amazing 2013! Your second resolution is actually identical to mine :-). I’ve found that the longer I’ve spent away from home, the more distant my friends have become. In 2014, I’m going to make an effort to email at least one friend from back home each week to let them know I’m thinking about them. Hopefully, that’ll show them that I care, while making me feel less isolated!

  • Reply Amber January 8, 2014 at 08:55

    Those are great resolutions to have! While I have one big trip this spring that we are very much looking forward to I also want to get out more in the summer and enjoy more of the beauty my local area has to offer — because it has a lot to offer!

  • Reply Jessica Lawlor January 12, 2014 at 07:33

    Awesome, awesome goals for the year! It sounds like you had quite an eventful 2013.

    I can’t wait to go back and read some of your travel posts- just clicked on the one above about Santorini- I think that literally may be my most favorite place on earth.


  • Reply Sarah Greesonbach January 17, 2014 at 11:54

    LOVE the “reach out and connect” goal. Maybe I will steal that for the month of February! Though I’m more interested in meeting new friends than rehashing old ones….

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