Goals. Not #Goals.

January can suck. Let’s be real. It’s cold, dark, Christmas is over, and statistically, 80% of us have given up on our New Year’s resolutions (read about my very unexpected ones, here). So, I decided to write a kind of manifesto for 2017. A guide-meets-commitment list, to the things that I believe matter most, or can help most, when it comes to life goals.

I titled this post ‘Goals, not #Goals, because sometimes the ‘#goals’ you see online are just plain unrealistic, or worse, make you feel downright crappy about yourself. Furthermore, a lot of those social media #goals are about the perfect twerk or the perfect waistline, and I got sick of that being something we place so much importance on these days.

Back to you and I. Life can sometimes spiral, and become overwhelmingly busy. Women are particularly good at putting themselves last on a long list of priorities. But I want to put us back at the top of that list. I’m a firm believer that the smallest of changes can make the biggest difference. And, it’s easy to forget that there are so many elements in our lives that we do control. Ok, our paycheck, family members, lack of sleep etc – is predominantly out of our hands. But who we hang out with, what we eat, whether we exercise, what we read, how we think… that’s up to us.

I’ve just had a few precious days just outside LA, huddled away from shoots and filming, to regroup, think and do one of my favorite things: write. I love to write, it centers me again and helps me think straight. So here’s my manifesto… Fill your own answers to the below in too and let me know what you’re aiming for!

My Manifesto for 2017:

My biggest goal this year: to write, produce and host a documentary

How to make it happen: do my homework on the subject matter and write a pitch (I finished that today – yay!). Then, set up meetings with the people I know who could help make it.

I’m inspired by: My Mum and her strength, the thousands of men and women who marched for their rights recently, not only in the US but across the world. Style inspo? All the empowered and chic bloggers I follow, from Margo and Me to Blank Itinerary, The Chriselle Factor to Fashion Me Now.

I’ll stay active by: Working out at least three times a week – I do a mix of reformer pilates, Physique57 Barre class, Barry’s Bootcamp and Training Mate circuits. Walking rather than cabbing, when I’m in cities. Stretching when I’m on the road – whether that’s literally on the plane or in my hotel room.

I’m keeping: the positive people in my life as close as possible, and recognizing the difference between a true friend and a work acquaintance. In LA, the line is blurry often!

I will challenge myself by: striving to keep a better balance between work and play. By putting down boundaries, I want to learn to switch off more, but equally to throw everything I’ve got at making Front Roe bigger, and better!

I will step outside my comfort zone by: writing and giving talks to women all over the country… watch this space!

I will learn: to take the time to reflect, in order to be more creative. It’s important to be a dreamer, not just a doer. This quote by E. L. Konigsburg sums it up…especially for my fellow A-types! “Some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up and touch everything. If you never let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you.”

I will laugh: as much as possible. Even when I feel frustrated, or tired, I’m going to try and laugh at situations, because there’s always that split second of choice.

I shall geek out over: more documentaries (first up is Nothing Left Unsaid about Gloria Vanderbilt), more gallery trips (the Getty Villa is next) and also having a book on my bedside table that I actually read. I got ‘I Am Malala’ for Christmas and am ashamed to say I had not read it before now. I love to read. I studied English Literature at college, and yet I go months without a book in my hand, when life gets too busy. I miss disappearing into those fictional worlds where imagination and prose takes over.

The recipe I’ll master: rainbow bowls. Hey guys, I’m shooting low here ok! But I want to learn something that I’ll actually continue to make, that’s nourishing and yummy. So the rainbow grain and veggie bowls that cost a fortune in trendy cafes? Well, I’m going to be testing them out on the blog – so send me any favorites you already have!

I want to visit: Bermuda! I have not been since I was a kid and Mackenzie has never been. The pink beaches and old English charm is calling us!

I will support: the charity I’m ambassador for, Step Up Women’s Network. We mentor underprivileged high school girls and you can help be a mentor too, just check out www.suwn.org. I’m also going to support my peers – in particular the women in my industry I admire. Starting with hosting a dinner for them all!

I need to improve: my patience. Both with myself, and my loved ones. I run at a fast pace and need to remember it’s ok to slow down, and not rush at everything. I also need to remember that worrying never solved anything.

My favorite quote for right now: “None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.” – Nanea Hoffman

Don’t forget to fill out your answers below!


13 responses to “Goals. Not #Goals.”

  1. Meg Biram says:

    Can’t wait to see what documentary you create! I feel you on Bermuda. I think I’m transparent at this point — need sun!

  2. Thankyou for this post, written so beautifully and so inspiring. Sometimes you just have to put yourself first. X

  3. Colleen says:

    My Manifesto for 2017:

    My biggest goal this year: to create using my gifts as an artist

    How to make it happen: stop making excuses as to why I can’t or I’m to busy. Make the space and do it.

    I’m inspired by: My dearest friend Michelle. She recently lost her daughter and still sees the light and can still laugh and cry and be. #liveveryday

    I’ll stay active by: Continuing my running but also trying something new like boxing and getting outside. Breathing in the fresh air and being in nature.

    I’m keeping: who I am…it took me to long to get here and I am pretty cool.

    I will challenge myself by: stop making excuses as to why I can’t do something I want. Travel to places I want to go and getting my application our there to jobs and schools I want to be in.

    I will step outside my comfort zone by: creating and sharing. Putting myself out there and letting people know what I can do.

    I will learn: to be.

    I will laugh: when I want to cry and laugh until I am crying from laughter.

    I shall geek out over: Books. Books. Books.

    The recipe I’ll master: Dutch over bread. I want to make the perfect bread. The kind of bread my grandchildren’s grandchildren will talk about.

    I want to visit: Ireland. It’s in my blood and I need to go. See the grassy hills and photograph it.

    I will support: Those closest to me. My mother is going through some transitions and needs the added support. My friends need my support. I will support all I can when I can.

    I need to improve: My outlook on love. I need to believe in it and I don’t.

    My favorite quote for right now: “Be Silly, Be honest, Be Kind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Thank you Louise for this. Reading your goals made me tear up in the best way. And writing them out was like breathing again. Thank you.

  4. Malia says:

    I found this list really encouraging and realistic, so important when you are setting goals. In the past two years I published my first two novels and have found it really difficult to put myself out there, which is such a major part of the publishing business. It’s difficult to be open and make connections without seeming fake, when this comes unnaturally, but this year I am really trying to make this a priority. Baby steps:-)

  5. Elena says:

    Thank u so much for this post! So inspiring! True I forget about ME sometimes, specially being a mum lol .) My goal is to make my girls laugh harder every day, makes me feel sooo happy .)
    Hope u make urs come true toó!

  6. Hi lovely,

    Your blog post will be featured in Bloggers Issue Magazine.


  7. Nina says:

    My Manifesto for 2017:

    My biggest goal this year: to write, paint and draw more. Start a blog.

    How to make it happen: actually find time to do it, and not make bad excuses for myself when I don’t. Make time for it in my schedule every week and dedicate some weekends and maybe even take a few days off to do the things I love.

    I’m inspired by: so many people. I’m inspired by so many women and will continue to seek inspiration in their courage, creativity, spirit and hard work.

    I’ll stay active by: Going to yoga (hopefully) 3 times a week and starting running again as well (with my mum)

    I’m keeping: the positive people in my life and will try to see them more often.

    I will challenge myself by: making time to do what I love, not being so hard on myself, working hard but playing hard as well – not just the first part, and allowing myself to not feel bad when I need time to do nothing.

    I will step outside my comfort zone by: trying new things and things that might scare me

    I will learn: more about Kierkegaard (hopefully during a summer course) and I will try my best to get my French up to reading level!

    I will laugh: at myself more. And also as much as possible – laughter is the best medicine.

    I shall geek out over: Shakespeare, Kierkegaard, Jane Austen – books, films – and silly little things that’ll make me happier!

    The recipe I’ll master: not sure but I’m thinking one healthy recipe and an easy comfort food recipe

    I want to visit: the beach as much as possible (rain or shine) as well as woods/forests. Nature!

    I will support: my family and the women in my life as much as possible. I will be their cheerleader.

    I need to improve: thinking constructively about my problems instead of just critically

    My favorite quote for right now: You are a child of the universe, / no less than the trees and the stars; / you have a right to be here. / And whether or not it is clear to you, / no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Part of Desiderata by Max Ehrman

  8. Your manifesto is impressive and very inspiring and powerful! Hope you can achieve most of your goals and I can’t wait to see the documentary 😉 Good luck! Xoxo Joana

  9. Mallory Graf says:

    Excellent! I will geek out over my podcasts…they are so helpful. I listen to jesslively and rachael kalbe. It ‘ so comforting to listen to the doubts and insecurities they have and what they do or try to do to try tosolve their issues and therefore our issues. My quote is one i read at the end of a book. It was the About the Type (FONT) page and it was the Garamomd tupe which described it as “clear, open and elegant”. I will strive to be exactly that for 2017.

  10. Daniela says:

    Hi Louise, this is one of the best post ever. I totally agree and like your vision. I think we need to stay positive and work more to make our life better, this world better. Thank you for sharing and have a nice day.

  11. Elpida Kontiza says:

    it really is important to me to be inspired and enthousiast about life and things I do daily, so I dicide to keep up my good mood and stop nagging.
    Writing and sharing my thoughts will help me so I need to have my beloved ones close to my mind and heart.
    Excersise is sth I definately need…. It’s being progressing…
    Thanks for helping me organise my priorities and goals.!!!

  12. Samantha Lee says:

    I’m all about writing manifestos for the year ahead. Love this list! I shared my New Year Intentions here if you’d like to see. 🙂

  13. Laura says:

    Hi Lousie,

    Thank you for inspiring me to take some time for self-reflection in a way that did not feel too intimidating. I am a grad-student in theology who will spend the first eight months of this year finishing a year-long internship. I have really enjoyed following your career – from Plain Jane to your book and blog to your Instagram page.

    My Manifesto for 2017

    My biggest goal this year: To make the most of internship.

    How to make it happen: I will open myself up to the teaching of others. I won’t take critique personally, but use it to get better. I will continue to show up and engage in the work to the best of my abilities. I won’t be so afraid to show up as my authentic, flawed human self.

    I’m inspired by: All those who are working to better the lives of others. Also, I find major inspiration from all of the travel/landscape/wildlife photographers I am following on Instagram, particularly George the Explorer, Paul Nicklen, and John Stanmeyer.

    I’ll stay active by: Walking outside more days than I don’t and going on a variety of hikes as soon as the snow starts melting.

    I’m keeping: My head up, no matter how tired I feel sometimes.

    I will challenge myself by: Leaning into my own humanity and acknowledging that I am not perfect, no matter how hard I might try.

    I will step outside my comfort zone by: Continuing to seek new experiences and allowing myself to be unsure of what I am supposed to do.

    I will learn: Another language. Languages come and go easily and I will pick one back up that I’ve already worked on in the past, but have let slip through the cracks of the recesses of my mind.

    I will laugh: Long and loud with my friends and family who love me. And I will laugh at myself, when I make “mistakes” or deal with the curveballs life throws my way.

    I shall geek out over: My camera and photography books and photo-editing software. Also, the young adult fiction I like to read but don’t allow myself enough time to explore it.

    The recipe I’ll master: Simple and healthy eating. Nothing too complicated. But I would like to find something easy that I also really enjoy.

    I want to visit: Vancouver, BC, and Iceland and Ireland (again!) and live in Oslo in the fall.

    I will support: The work of individuals and organizations whose causes I believe in but can’t always do myself.

    I need to improve: My habit of turning everything, even my self-care, into a project. I need to find more time to just be or live as I am now and not always focus on improving myself.

    My favorite quote for right now: (rather nerdy of me but) “By the grace of God, I am what I am. And God’s grace to me has not been in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:10

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