2015 Goals & The Whole Balancing Thing


I've been seeing posts on a lot of my favorite blogs with their goals and plans for 2015, and I've been mulling over what I want to post. But I'm still kind of struggling with my resolutions since...well, I have so many goals and a lot of them are conflicting! Career goals, blog goals, personal goals...I'm not quite sure yet how they'll all fit together, or which ones I'll have to let go of. But anyways, since I probably won't "figure it all out" anytime soon, I decided to just share everything I'd like to accomplish this year, and then as the year shakes out I'm guessing some of these will prove to be more important than others. For that reason, I'm purposely calling these goals and not resolutions, because I already know I won't be able to do it all. In an ideal world, I'd actually do my hair and makeup in the morning, have a full and productive day at work, work out, cook a delicious dinner, work on the blog, spend some quality time with Ben AND still get to bed at a decent hour. But let's be real, that never (ever) happens. So this year, my actual resolution is to figure out a balance of work/blog/life that feels right for me. Which will include some (but probably not all) of these.

2015 goals

Photo from my Instagram…isn’t Ben’s hat stylish?! haha.

1. Do more DIYs and personal posts. I haven't been posting every single day since a few months ago, and I feel okay with that (hopefully you are too). But I want the posts that I do publish to be better. I want to push myself to do more DIYs and share more photos of my life and my home. And maybe even get comfortable with being in front of the camera myself!

2. Less screen time, more face time. This is a big one for me, and one that I want to focus on for sure. I have a really hard time putting my phone away, even if there's nothing urgent I need to check on, and even if I'm with friends and family. Seriously, I can't go an hour without checking my phone! I've been feeling really guilty about it lately, and just plain sick and tired of the constant checking and scrolling (for no good reason). I want the time I spend with people to be about them and put my phone AWAY for that time. Along with that, I want Ben and I to spend less time together looking at a screen. We already look at our laptops plenty  with our jobs. Sure, it's relaxing to end the night with a show (or two), but we've wasted so much time on that! And we're not really building memories by watching TV. Instead, I want us to spend more of our time together on off-screen activities like going for a walk, playing a game with just the two of us, going on dates outside of the house, etc.

3. Figure out my plan for my job and this blog. Right now, I’m working around 60 hours a week between my job and At Home in Love (sometimes quite a bit more). It’s too much, but I’m not ready to give any of it up yet. Part of me thinks I should try to turn this blog into a real business (like, a real-life, grown up, full-time thing), but another part of me likes the stability of having a day job...and to be honest, my current job is actually pretty fun. I feel like I’ll probably keep trying to balance the two for at least a little while longer, but eventually I might need to make some decisions if I don’t want to get burned out. So this year, I’d like to at least explore what it would take to turn blogging into a career. Who knows if I’ll actually take the leap, but I’d like for it to be within the realm of possibility.

4. Start thinking about kids. When I was younger, I always pictured myself having my first baby when I was 25. Then I turned 25 and I was like, “whoa, definitely don’t feel ready for that yet!” But throughout this last year, a lot of my friends have had babies or gotten pregnant…and I don't know, it doesn’t scare me as much. I wouldn’t say that "my clock is ticking” yet per say, but I’m definitely more open to the idea. I’m not saying we’re going to get pregnant this year or anything (let’s be honest, that’s somewhat out of my control anyways), but who knows. We might at least think about it. Maybe.

5. Break out of my neutrals rut, both for clothes and beauty. I talked a little bit here about how I want to start dressing in a way that feels more true to my style…bright colors, cheerful patterns, and all that. I also want to apply that to beauty! Now that I’m working at a company that produces beauty products, I’m realizing just how little I know about makeup…and how much of a scaredy cat I am when it comes to trying things. My comfort zone is Chapstick, mascara, and a little bit of blush. But that’s like the beauty equivalent of a black top and dark jeans…safe and boring. This year, I want to start wearing lipstick (I already got a few) and learn how to put on eye makeup, too. That’s always been a struggle for me with my Asian eyes…but I’m going to try and learn!

6. Get healthy and back down to the weight I was at our wedding. Is that the classic New Years resolution or what? I know, I know, it's so basic. But its also so necessary. This whole last year, I put in no effort whatsoever to fitness or health. I just ate junk food, barely ever worked out, and sat at my desk snacking all day. GROSS! No wonder I gained weight. This year, I’m going to make my health a priority. I recently started this thing where I'm not eating after 7:00 pm and it’s already been helping a LOT (that’s when I would usually pull out the ice cream or popcorn or candy). I probably won’t keep it up all year long, but I don’t do very well with restrictive diets or cleanses or any of that, so this feels like something I can stick to, where I can enjoy good food throughout the day but still make a significant difference. And I’m also trying to work out regularly. Right now, I’m doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred at least two or three times a week. Let’s hope it all pays off!

7. Read at least one book per month, just for fun. I find reading to be more fun and rewarding than watching TV or moviesbut for some reason, its harder to actually do it it on a regular basis. I think it's because when you read, you cant really do anything else on the side. I almost feel guilty sometimes when I just sit and read for fun, like I should be doing something productive with my time. See, whenever I watch TV, I multitask. I paint my nails, write a blog post, or fold the laundry to justify that time. But this year, I would like to making reading a regular part of my life, guilt-free!

8. Save enough money for a down payment on a house. I’m not going to say “buy a house” because who knows how long it will take to actually find a house that we love and can afford (housing prices in the Seattle area keep going up, dangit). But we’ve been doing our best to save, and this year I want to do an even better job…whether that’s by bringing in more extra income or by tightening up our spending.

9. Cook at least two big meals a week. This goes along with the whole saving money thing. We’ve noticed that a big area we could cut back on is eating out. It’s so convenient, and we get home from work pretty late…so we’ve gotten into a terrible habit of eating out almost every night--and sometimes for lunch too. Ai yi yi. We’re going to try to cook two big meals a week, where each meal makes enough for leftovers and some lunches. We already go to Ben’s parents’ house for dinner at least once a week, so we’re hoping between that and the meals we cook, we’ll only have eat out once a week (or even less, if we can). Along with that, I want to try a few new recipes so it doesn’t get too boring. Send me any recommendations you have! I also really want to buy all the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks...I adore her, and every recipe of hers that I’ve tried has been delish.

10. Travel more. This goal is not just for 2015, but for our future in general. I saw a quote once that said “the world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only a page.” I thought that was so inspiring…I want to see more of this beautiful world that we live in! Whether it’s small trips around the US or big trips like our Europe vacation that we’re planning, I think it’s worth setting money aside for travel. I’ve never once regretted the money I spent on a trip.

So there you have it! My main goals for 2015. We’ll see how many of these I can actually accomplish! If you have any thoughts or opinions on any of these, I’d love to hear them. And if you want to share some of your goals with me, that would be awesome too!

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  1. Posted by dianna on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

    You have great goals for 2015! I hope you reach them too. I can say that babies ROCK. I love mine. Everyone is different and for me, I'm really glad I waited till post-30 to start! At the same point, after having my daughter, I was like: WHY haven't I done this sooner?!?!
    Weight loss/fitness....such a lifestyle to keep healthy, right? one thing that ALWAYS has worked for me in so many ways, including keeping a sweet bod, is hot yoga. I love being in that warm room, stretching, twisting and literally watching fat melt away. Give it a shot if you haven't already!
    Happy New Year!
    • Posted by Aileen on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

      Aww, I'm glad to hear that! And I have been meaning to try hot yoga! We actually have a (regular) yoga class in my office on Thursdays, but I've never joined in because I'm not particularly flexible and I feel kind of embarrassed to start and be the clumsiest loser out there. But I think it would be good for me...and I've heard really good things about hot yoga! Maybe I'll give it a try...
  2. Posted by Christie O. {Mountainside Bride} on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

    YAY for new goals. One of mine is to be more artful, whether my DIY, crafts or art ends up on the blog or not. Just sitting and creating every day for its own sake is good enough for me this year. Happy new year!
    • Posted by Aileen on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

      I LOVE that. I used to do a lot of projects and art just for myself, but now I feel like I try to turn every project into a blog post. So I wait to work on stuff until there's good light so I can take photos, which is so much less fun and spontaneous. I love the idea of doing something creative for it's own sake. Such a good goal! (Can I adopt it too?)
  3. Posted by kelsey on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

    these are really amazing! i share a lot of the same ones as you - fitness needs to be more of a goal, i need to start saving money once the wedding planning has been completed and those bills paid off (for a home), balance the blog and my job (i like the security of a day job too). it's a rough world out there when you're so full of ideas and inspiration that you want to do everything! there's simply no time! alas! it's the curse of the creative and driven
    • Posted by Aileen on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

      Kelsey! It's so nice to know that other people are in a similar position and working toward the same goals. We got this!
  4. Posted by Debbie on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

    The screen time excess has hit your generation and is beginning to hit mine! I could not be leave how many times even in a restaurant, everyone is on their phone! Limiting just that will be a challenge, but I think with Great rewards. Much blessing to you and Ben in this new year. May their be much Newness!!!
    • Posted by Aileen on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

      Yes, I've noticed that too and it makes me sad! Of all of these, that's the resolution I really hope to keep the most.
  5. Posted by Renae on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

    Ditto on so many things on your list - making health a priority, better blog posts, find that elusive balance thing, think about kids, save for a house, travel more, cook more, read real books, ditch the screens more often.

    I also want to take more pictures of people this year and continue to declutter, my mantra this year is "have less, do more"! Here's to 2015! Lets make it a good one!
    • Posted by Aileen on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

      Yes!! I was actually just talking to Ben about that yesterday, too. I feel most of my photos from the last couple years have been of our house and projects, and hardly any that I took just for fun. Of PEOPLE. I want to share more "real" photos here on the blog and on Instagram, and also take more that are just for us, to remember this year. Ever since I stopped scrapbooking, I stopped taking photos of people as much, and that makes me kind of sad. I don't really want to pick up scrapbooking again (no time!) but I DO want to take photos as if I were.
  6. Posted by Kelsea Echo on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

    I love this list! Definitely thinking about some of the things on this list. My personal list is short because otherwise I tend to just do none of them. But I love yours (and a lot of those items are on my mind, just not on any "official list" for me ;P)!

    <3 Kelsea | Kels Shark
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

      I totally hear you! I love lists that are short and focused...they feel much more attainable. I always have such a hard time narrowing down all my thoughts, but I do think the key to finding balance is figuring out which things are MOST important, out of all the many important things that we'd like to do.
  7. Posted by Jess Zimlich on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

    These are all so great! Reading these lists from people is my absolute favorite. I'm with you on #3. Having the stability from my day job is keeping me content, but it's also preventing me from testing the waters in the freelance world and beyond. That's something that I hope to achieve this year. My boyfriend and I have also made a commitment to eat out less. I added up what we spent on dining out from Oct-Dec and I'm not kidding you, I nearly had a heart attack. It really put things into perspective. That extra money could be going toward saving so I could feel better about potentially leaving my job or saving for a trip! I also want to keep working on the splits ;) I've been doing Bar Method for about 6 months now and I've still got a long ways to go, but being 27 and never even coming close makes me want to be able to that much more! I can't wait to keep following along with you in 2015 :) p/s I also use myfitnesspal to keep myself accountable when it comes to food and working out - feel free to add me if you need an accountability partner!
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

      These type of posts are my absolute favorite too! I really enjoyed reading so many of them last week. Thanks for sharing your goals...a lot of ours are really similar! If you can do the splits, I will be SO impressed :)
  8. Posted by Inge @ Simply Fabulous Chic on Thursday, January 8th, 2015

    Your post did sound like my head Aileen... ;-) I have been thinking so much about what I wanted to achieve this year, but it was such a long list. Then I found out about this cool idea where you try to focus on one thing every month. And actually, it helps, funny right?
    I am trying to focus on organization this month (clearing out closets, decluttering, throwing away what we don't wear or need or use anymore, etc.). In February I want to focus on loving my family more, love myself more and just do what I love more. A bit of me-time too...

    Of course there are some other goals that I want to reach and after 8 days in the new year, I am still reading a book every night before sleeping time to Jules (one of my resolutions this year). As I promised myself: how tired I am after work, I want to read a good book to him... He loves it, I love it and it's good for him and it makes me feel good about it all too. :-)

    Anyway, I totally love your goals!! And you both look soooo cute in that picture! Loving Ben's hat. ;-) He looks cool. LOL
    Oh and uhmmm... if you want to travel more and I already read you're planning to travel to Europe soon: do visit Belgium if you can. I'll be your personal guide here. :-)
    Hugs, Inge x
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

      Ooh, I like that idea! That does sound helpful. And I like your goals a lot! I don't know if we'll make it to Belgium this time, but if we do I'd LOVE to have you be our guide :) xoxo
  9. Posted by Amy @ Homey Oh My! on Thursday, January 8th, 2015

    I mean... this definitely confirms it. We ARE twins.
    Every single one of your goals is like you're reading my mind, some more in my later future, like a house <3 and kids <3 <3
    #3 is the killer. My initial post on 2015 goals was centered around that monster and I just don't know enough right now. It paralyzes me to want it so bad but feel so unprepared for it!

    I said it in my response to your comment on my blog, but I should have said it here. I'm always curious to see what you're reading! Love when you share that on Instagram- I'm constantly looking for a good read!
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

      Right?!? Haha. And YES, #3 is the most terrifying (well, that and #4).

      I'll try to share more of what I'm reading :) You too, k?
  10. Posted by Corlana on Thursday, January 8th, 2015

    I like this! These goals are totally attainable and realistic. and I personally like your #4 ;)
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

      Hahaha, yes that does not surprise me :)
  11. Posted by Jenn V on Saturday, January 10th, 2015

    I loved reading this post. My goals are a lot different this year (ie: #1 have baby #2 survive) but these really resonated with me anyway. I also have a goal to have more meals at home! I'm tired of throwing away all my money at a restaurant or the grocery store deli. Btw I have a barefoot contessa cookbook if you want to borrow it.
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

      Yeah! You can definitely do it. And I might take you up on borrowing that cookbook :)
  12. Posted by Rea on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

    I love reading about your goals! I'd love to have TRAVEL as one of my goals this year no matter how busy work can get. Crossing fingers here. And like you, I've also never regretted spending for a trip. I'm still toying with the idea of business bloggingthough because l also can't afford to lose my current job. Well, wish you all the best this year! :)
  13. Posted by Armissa on Monday, February 2nd, 2015

    Just found your blog, love it!! I'm down in Troutdale so we are practically neighbors- give or take 3 hours. Lol
    Enjoyed this post and had to comment. Great to see the love between you and Ben, as a Mother to five children I can understand you rethinking the baby idea. My oldest turns 25 this April and I am glad I am not yet a Grandma. You are really in a good space in your life and have plenty of time for the dynamics to change. As you approach 28-30 I would encourage you to begin thinking about a little one. You and Ben are going to do more traveling and create a few more memories before little ones come along. A good rule of thumb is to live on one salary for one full year before you get pregnant to see how you will make adjustments. It will be an eye opener and shed some light on your decision to make the family larger. I am sure you two will get more one on one time sans the screen interruption. Stay happy and be present
    • Posted by Aileen on Monday, February 2nd, 2015

      Aww, thanks Armissa! I'm glad you found me. That is really great advice, re: living on one salary for a year and learning from it. I'm going to tell Ben about that and see if he's up for it! xoxo