Resolving to Read, Write, and Travel More in 2016

Let’s be real: My 2016 resolutions are intentionally vague. I tend toward self-loathing, so settling on achievable goals is important for my mental health. But I’m still excited for a fresh year and a fresh start, even if time is a social construct. My intentionally vague, utterly achievable resolutions are as follows:

1. Travel more.

This isn’t so much a resolution as something I feel lucky enough to be able to do. In the first week of 2016, I traveled to New York City with my pals. We saw the amazing Deaf West performance of Spring Awakening, visited multiple bookstores and watched some hilarious stand-up comedy. Next week, I’m Asheville-bound, then meeting up with my theatre company at the beach. Seattle comes next. Then Iceland, hopefully, and then, who knows? I’ve never had the agency or the resources to travel widely before, though I still contend with anxiety, depression and a tendency to overpack. I’m reading: “Traveling From Brooklyn” by Lydia Davis. “Twelve Days Biking and Camping Alone Along the Pacific Coast Trail,” an interview with Megan Bernard. “Ginger Ale, Outlets and Crying: Our Travel Rituals in Roundtable Form,” by the Autostraddle team. “15 Female Explorers You Should Know” makes me feel brave.

2. Write more.

Writing more looks like journaling, pitching, and applying for fellowships and writing retreats. Wiring more means believing in myself and my abilities. Practical and metaphysical advice, courtesy of “Hopes and Fears of the Writing Life” by Sarah Menkedick and “21 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Writing” by Robin Black.

3. Read a lot, and read the books I already own.

I’m going to read 100 books in 2016, but my real goal to read the books I own (inspired by book blogger Andi) and subsequently save money by spending less of my paycheck at work. 2016 is going to be a great year for books, whether you indulge in the classics on your shelf or the bestsellers at your local bookstore. For inspiration, read “80 Books Every Person Should Read,” with suggestions from literary powerhouses like Roxane Gay and Lauren Groff. At over 8,000 words, The Millions’ Most Anticipated: The 2016 Book Preview will have you scrambling for your to-read list. Brooklyn Magazine’s “101 Books to Read This Year” includes indie gems I hadn’t heard of anywhere else.

4. Put on the running shoes I bought three years ago.

I paid a lot for those shoes, and they’re rotting away in my closet. I’m unconcerned with weight loss as a general goal, but I find walking around my small city really soothing. If fitness is something you strive for in 2016—be it weight loss, body positivity, or something else—I recommend this moving, non-fat-shaming essay about weight loss by Bill Barnwell called “The Easiest Way to Lose 125 Pounds is to Gain 175 Pounds.”