Goals for 2015

As this new year dawns, I wanted to share my goals for this upcoming year. Like everyone else in the world, the new year always lights a fire under me to “change” my ways. This year, I know that big resolutions don’t work and neither do vague ones. But here are some specific things I’d like to accomplish in 2015.


1. Focus on my health. 

The truth is, lovely readers, I am not the healthiest bean in the bean pot. I’m always sick, there are some residual medical things that I keep putting off that I need to get sorted (I’m looking at you, dentist), and I never exercise. That’s a lie. I try to go on a daily big walk, but I need to get more exercise in than a good walk. I used to adore dancing so I need to find a local dance class that is reasonably (i.e. really cheaply) priced. Yoga will do in a pinch. Worst case scenario: somehow make myself enjoy running. (This seems impossible though.)

2. Visit a country I haven’t visited before. 

The way the dice fell this year, all of my trips abroad were to France. Which is amazing, I absolutely love France and Paris but I’d like the joy of going someplace new  this year.

3. Go home. 

That being said, I need to make visiting my family in America a priority this year. I haven’t been in Albuquerque since July 2013 which is a very long time. And Sam hasn’t ever gone home with me, so actually this needs to be my biggest travel priority of the year, even bigger than going someplace new and fun.

4. Write a book. 

Very vague. I’m not even sure what genre appeals to me the most, but I’ve always wanted to write one and my mother was having prophetic dreams about me writing one, so there we go.

5. Have all my ducks in a row for the next visa application.

It’s super far away still, over a year, but my next visa application is due at the beginning of 2016, and these things take a lot of organisation, or at least my category does.

6. Feel less guilty about saying “no”. 

I have both a regular job, and a part-time job in addition to blogging, and sometimes I take on additional hours at my part-time job because I don’t want to disappoint them and say no. But you know what, sometimes I have to and I need to shake off the gnawing feelings of guilt when I do. Ditto saying no to social plans when I need to catch up on work things, errands, or just because I plain don’t want to.

7. Save more money. 

Sam and I really struggle to save money. We live super frugally but yet we don’t really save anything. There’s a clear cut culprit to that when you go through our finances – our London rent. It is so effing phenomenally expensive that it eats up the majority of our monthly paycheques.  We are currently looking into ways to stay in London, but pay less rent. This probably means moving.

8. Read 50 books, go to museums at least a dozen times, see a several plays, and 1 ballet. 

Just keepin’ myself cultured. Plus reading is my greatest joy in life. Seriously. I’ve read approximately 40 odd this year, and I know I can do better next year.

9. Keep blogging and learning new skills. 

Obviously, I’d love to keep seeing Rhyme & Ribbons grow. I hope 2015 keeps bringing some excellent changes to this space, and in all honesty, that it turns a small profit. I’d also like to master new setting on my DSLR.

10. Put myself out there and do things that scare me.

You might not know it from reading my blog, but I’m a very reserved person unless you know me well. With my longtime friends, I don’t shut up, but if you’re new to me, my word count is low. Very low. I think most of Sam’s friends and family probably thought I was a mute the first year they new me. I get self-conscious about what I actually have to add to a conversation and worry to much about how people will take what I say. In 2015, I’d like to push myself to try new things, take on bigger challenges, and scare myself at least once.

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  • I’ve been loving reading everyone’s goals for the next year. I hope you are able to go home this year and if you do write a book, I will totally read it!

  • All wonderful goals lovely (but you definitely need to get that dentist booked!) X

  • I love the goals! I hope you get to travel a bunch this 2015!
    Melanie @

  • Ala

    Go for it Amanda! All of these are brilliant goals! Looking forward to following along on the journey! x

  • These sound like great goals! I also want to feel less guilty about saying ‘no’ this year. Good luck with all your plans!! xxx

  • Alyson

    Great goals and I really like how specific you are with each one. I am totally with you on #10 – there is so much I want to accomplish this year that I need to get over my silly fears and just do it is that I want/need to do to accomplish my goals. Cheers to 2015 and scaring ourselves AT LEAST once:)


  • I love these goals- I think I actually share many of them myself. Lately I’ve been finding myself dreading any type of social interaction that might be uncomfortable or awkward (could it be that I’m getting ready for my winter hibernation?) but I’d really like to put myself out there a little bit more too 🙂

    • So we either both need to put ourselves out there more or we both need to hibernate. Now usually, my money would be on hibernate, but that clearly goes against what I’m going to *try* this year! x

  • Those are all great and achievable goals! Have a Happy New Year and fantastic 2015

  • 1. I want to read your book. Even though it isn’t written yet, I’m there.
    2. If you figure out the answer to combating the ridiculous London rents please blog about it. They just suck the joy out of everyone!

    • Haha thanks Frankie! If I find answer to 2 I’ll definitely share it with you! Happy 2015! xx

  • I really love this list and you’ve inspired some of my goals! I’ve also always wanted to write a book and I definitely need to save money 🙂 And number 8 is spot on! Happy New Year Amanda! xo

  • Love this list so much Amanda! I probably share most of these too! And I think going home is a good priority – sometimes it’s worth skipping over the ‘new and exciting’ to get that warm feeling of going home, of seeing loved ones, and of showing all of that to your man too 🙂

  • I think #6 is something many people struggle with. Especially when there’s just so. much. to. do! And I’m with you on #1. I have so many appointments to make it’s a little overwhelming!

  • Good luck girl! I hope you can go home and enjoy , it seems like forever.

  • These are great goals for the new year! I’ve got similar ones and I’m excited to see all 2015 holds!

  • I would love to do a dance class too! I used to dance regularly before going to uni and I definitely miss it! Unfortunately I can’t afford a class in Tromso but I at least plan to go hiking and walking more often. Running definitely sucks 😉

    • There aren’t many classes that I can afford in London either 🙁 I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for a voucher or something! xx

  • Best of luck on all your goals for 2015!! I have been trying to get into an exercise routine and it is so hard. Best wishes for 2015!!

  • For a second there, I got excited because I thought your first goal was to post more pictures of cupcakes. A glutinous girl can dream, eh? Your actual list of goals is a great one, though. Numbers 6 and 10 definitely resonate with me. I love feeling like I’ve made life easier/better for someone, so saying “no” can be hard. But sometimes you’ve gotta put yourself first. And sometimes, putting yourself first means making sure people know who you are, which is where #10 comes in. I have a REALLY hard time with that. Here’s hoping we both make it out of our shells this year, but make it a point to go back in when we need to 🙂

    Happy New Year! xx

    • Ha, exactly! I’m glad that you understand. What’s the biggest thing you’d like to accomplish in this upcoming year? I hope your 2015 is gotten off to a great start! xx

      • It has, thank you! I hope yours has, too 🙂 The biggest thing I’d like to accomplish this year is to only allow people into my life who add value to it and who I can be myself around, no holds barred. Bring it on, 2015!

  • Great post. That’s an excellent goal list.
    My goal is to eat one of those cupcakes… KIDDING. Seriously though, talk about a craving causing image. LOL.
    Have fun reading.
    I have several authors coming to my blog this month on a book tour, if you want to see if any of those interest you.

  • What an excellent list, I like that you’ve been realistic. There’s nothing worse than reading a post about resolutions that you know will never be possible! Good luck completing them all. I’ll be joining you on the reading one and can’t wait to hear about your travels. x

    • Awesome! Happy New Year to you! What’s you #1 book you’d like to read in 2015? x

      • Ooh tricky question. I think perhaps it’s the Rosie Effect, which I’m about to start as the previous book (The Rosie Project) was the funniest book I read last year. Although I’m also so excited to read book 4 of the Game of Thrones series. What about you? x

  • There are all great goals! #10 is definitely going to me while studying abroad next week. #5 is definitely important, haha visa applications can drive you crazy sometimes. Happy New Year!

    Dezzie |

    • You’ll have an amazing time studying abroad. I studied abroad in England, and loved it so much that I came back for grad school and refused to leave 😉 Happy New Year! xx

  • YES to #6. It can be so difficult to say no to people / opportunities. Best of luck!


  • I’m with you on number 1!
    Youtube have some good yoga/pilates tutorials and I find hula-hooping is a great way to tone up and raise your heart beat without actually having to go outside! You can also do it whilst watching tv, haha.

  • Happy 2015! I hope this year finds you in a great place. 🙂 I love all of these goals, especially 8 and 10. Gotta stay cultured! I hope you have a wonderful year.

  • I am with you on so many of these, but especially number 7. It’s so damn hard to save, the price of living is so high, not only in London girl…I think most places! I have to be very diligent with this in 2015. Also…blogging is also high up on my list too!

  • Great list for 2015! I need to work on saying no more often and not feeling bad about it.

  • Em

    All of your goals are admirable, but I especially love the books/plays/museums/ballet one; it’s so easy to skip those things when life is full of “must-dos”; good for you for targeting time for things you love! Happy New Year 🙂

  • good luck this year pretty lady! happy new year!

  • Julie @ Artwork by JM

    That is a really great list. I love the books/plays/museum/ballet one a lot! I used to do all of those things all the time and I sort of got away from them. I will try a bit harder this year! Hope you have a great 2015!

    • I hope you have a great one as well! I’m still in awe of your awesome 2014 artwork! x

      • Julie @ Artwork by JM

        Aww thank you so much! You are the sweetest <3

  • I’m the same with new people.

    • I feel like a lot of people who gravitate towards blogging are natural introverts. I’d love to see some figures on it! x

  • I’m right with you on saying no. I got a lot better about it in 2014 but I need to step it up again this year. And I totally support being more cultured haha that’s one of my goals too! Love this list.

  • I hope that you can accomplish as many goals as possible. Wish you a happy new year. Do you have a big celebration for the new year in your country. We will have a very big celebration for the Lunar New Year. We even have about 2 weeks off to celebrate.

    • Wow! I wish we had 2 weeks off! Almost everyone gets Jan 1 off, and some people get today off as well which is really nice! x

  • These are wonderful goals! I could do with adding #6 to my list as well. And as far as #1, if the urge strikes you and you don’t want to do it alone, I’ll be happy to run with you sometime! I used to hate it, too, but now it’s the only form of exercise I can make myself do! 🙂

    • How did you make yourself love it? That’s what baffles me- usually runners LOVE running. What swayed you? Teach me your secrets! x

      • I really think it was because I signed up for a race. That gave me a goal to work towards vs just running for the sake of running. The training for that (it was a half-marathon) took place during one of the most stressful times of my life and running quickly became my favorite time of day because all it required of me was putting one foot in front of the other repeatedly. 🙂 It’s actually a much more soothing activity than most people realize!

  • Woah you really are busy – I have no idea how you do it! I just started as part-time so I can do freelance stuff and focus more on my blog. So I have no idea how you have an excellent blog AND keep up a number of jobs!

    • Well my full-time job is work from home, except for when I have meetings, so that makes them easier to juggle. Plus I queue up most of my blog posts for the upcoming week the previous weekend 😉 x

  • I’m super-confused why you want to visit a country other than France. I mean, I guess I get your desire to come back to America because MURICA!!!!!!! But France is the best country in the world after the States. So. You know.

    Norway is pretty cool, though. I might be biased with my Norwegian heritage…

    Also, I have no idea how you find so much time to read while working two jobs!!!!

    • It’s commuting. I think I average about 50 minutes each way on the tube/train/bus anytime I go anywhere. I pretty much have two hours of guaranteed reading time day because of it! Hehe I love France. I do. But then I start feeling guilty that there are other cool places out there that I’m not seeing!

  • Miho

    I’m with you on nearly every single one of these! Ugh, London rent. Don’t even want to talk about it. I hope you do take a trip home to the US, and perhaps travel somewhere new too – a year is a long time so I’m sure you can make it happen! x

    Miho @ Wander to Wonder

    • Hopefully! Tickets to New Mexico would have to magically get a lot cheaper to manage a trip home plus to a new place. Ha, or London rent would have to get cheaper! Oooh….both would be good! 😀 xx

  • I hope you and Sam get to visit America this year! It was so wonderful for me to visit home again, I think I am going to have to return again this summer! And ugh, rent is killer here in Reykjavik as well, so frustrating to watch such a big chunk of your paycheck go to just one thing!

  • I feel you on #1 and #10! I don’t think I can ever bring myself to run, but even jogging a few times around the block would be a huge step up from nothing! And I feel like my boyfriend’s family thinks I’m a mute because I’m so reserved. It really takes me a looong time to feel like I know people and can be comfortable with them.

    • Literally doing ANYTHING other than walking would be an improvement so maybe I should internalise this jogging idea… x

  • I could never, ever make myself enjoy running! Instead I’m going to try to force myself to actually do my exercise DVDs this year. Also, talking to people I don’t know TERRIFIES me. I really need to get better at that this year for reasons that will be clear soon 😉

    Great goals you’ve set for yourself. Keep us updated on your progress 🙂

    • Thank you so much! We’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll blog once every few weeks about my hatred of running, make myself run and see if there is a day that it ever changes… xx

  • try Couch 2 5k and sign up for a 5k race at the end of it! I always HATED running (and still hated it through the first 1/2 of the program) but then something just clicked. I loved Laura, the coach who talks you through the NHS app 🙂

    (p.s. I have no doubt that you’ll accomplish #9 – and that you’ll see lots of plays!)

  • can’t like running, no matter how much I try. Exercise isn’t really something I enjoy just do so can’t help with tips for that! Are you applying for residency next? or a passport?

    • Nope. I’m on a partner visa and they changed the ruled right before I applied so I have to renew my partner visa for a further 2 1/2 years before even being able to contemplate ILR. So I have an extra application. Lame. x

  • Amy @ the tide that left

    Perfect list! I hear you on the being healthy thing. I’ve been going to the gym three times a week for the last couple of months, but really want to make sure I keep it up. It might be easier this year though, because I seem to be enjoying it for the first time ever!

    • What do you think has changed to make you enjoy it more? xx

      • Amy @ the tide that left

        I think I’m enjoying it more because it’s a bit of alone time. I’m constantly in demand at home, but three times week Mike takes the baby and I have an hour to myself. It feels great. In that respect, finding something you really enjoy is probably the key xx

  • Great goals, especially #8! Gotta stay cultured. 😉 Good luck!

  • Janie Young

    You should write a bodice ripper. DOOIT. Also, if you do work out more you likely won’t get sick as often. I only got sick twice in 2014, down from my yearly average of 7 times. I too despise running and am too poor for dance on a regular basis, so I do HIIT or Tabata style workouts. Free to do in your living room and there’s like 465613851 sample workouts on Pinterest.

    • HIIT looks sooooo intense though. Ha! I’ll look into Tabata. I’ll write a bodice ripper if Karen does the cover photography and you are the beautiful lady on the front. You can have your choice of Fabios!