Happy New Year everyone! It seems like it was just last month that I wrote this about 2016. Yet here we are in 2018 reminiscing about the past year. Each year seems to pass faster and faster. Last year’s post was the first time I did an introspective/retrospective and I felt better about where life is going. I don’t set a lot of goals in my life, but I’m really glad that I did. While I didn’t meet all of them, having goals sent me in the right direction.
A Look Back to 2017
Last year, I set 8 goals for myself, including my travels and this blog. While I didn’t meet all of them, I had some significant professional growth that makes up for what I didn’t achieve… at least in my opinion.
In 2017, I stayed at several super nice hotels, not always using points – such as, my large suite at Aria Las Vegas. I also stayed at the Bellagio for $50 per night, thanks for a Hotwire promotion.
I traveled to three new states, which met one of the goals. Two of them (Alabama and Tennessee) were somewhat unexpected at this time last year, but the people I met there are now some new friends. New Mexico was my third state and wasn’t on my radar until April, when I won World of Hyatt Globalist status (Hyatt’s highest elite status) in a giveaway.
I grew my Twitter followers to 1300, which is remarkable since it was all organic growth without the use of sponsored tweets or ads. That totally smashed my goal of 1,000! The 1,000th follower milestone happened in May and I ran giveaway to celebrate. If you’re not yet one of my followers, give me a follow and let me know you read this. Here’s a link to my Twitter.
Other than those two goals, I can’t honestly say that I met the goals I set for myself. I hate making excuses for myself, but I have some reasons for it. I was reminded in late-2017 that goals should be specific and measurable. Several of my goals were neither of those. I didn’t specify how many or how often I was going to use points to travel, or how often I wanted to publish a blog post. I didn’t travel to two new countries, but my travel patterns were slightly different in 2017. Almost all of my travel was in the Western United States. Because of that, I also didn’t retain MVP status on Alaska Air – but there are more reasons for that which I’ll probably write about in a new post.
What I did and who I met last year make up for the goals that I fell short of. I attended the TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange) conference in Huntsville, Alabama. I met a ton of fellow travel bloggers, several of which are mutual followers. It is always nice to put a face with a (user)name and will likely be my friends for life! The people I met and what I learned at the conference were invaluable.
2018 and Beyond!
I consider going to TBEX an investment and will likely go again this year. Thus, this year isn’t just about this year, it’s about the years to follow as well! After I got my scratch-off travel tracker map, I realized that there is so much more out there! We definitely take our own backyards for granted. So with that in mind, here are my goals and ambitions…
- Visit 4 new states. This is an increase (by 1) over last year. There are so many amazing places to see, so why not see as much as I can?
- Travel to places that are more popular. While I love getting a good deal and chasing the fare – not the destination, I feel like I can do that while still seeing places that I really want to see. I loved where I went in 2017, but I feel like trying to be loyal to Hyatt steered me towards places where there was a Hyatt hotel.
- Use miles & points when possible. I know that this isn’t specific but since I don’t feel like I need to fly Alaska (or their partners), the opportunities to travel using miles are increased.
- Publish a post at least 3 times a month. I know that posts have been more sporadic than I’d like them to be. Last year, I had a mental goal of weekly posts. While that sounds great, I think it put too much pressure on me and it took a toll my mental health and blog posts became even less frequent! 🙁
- Grow Facebook and Pinterest engagement. Twitter was beyond amazing last year and I won’t neglect doing what I’ve always been doing. Success on Pinterest can’t be measured with followers as it doesn’t translate to more engagement/interaction. So setting a measurable goal for Pinterest doesn’t make sense. On Facebook, I’d like to have over 500 “likes” at the end of the year. So make sure you go like my Facebook page and Pinterest!
Unlike last year, I’m not going to make my personal goals public. I don’t need them to be stated publicly for me to be held accountable for them. However, I will admit that I will try to be more aware of my mental health this year.
Having specific and measurable goals is a key to being more successful. Comment below with your goals this year. If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered, feel free to contact me!