Lessons learned in 2016 (+ goals for 2017)


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It’s taken me 4 days to finish this post. Not because it’s long or challenging to write, but more so because every time I start to do it I’ve gotten interrupted. The first week back after Christmas vacation is always a bit of a whirlwind. Normal life things (work, gym, household tasks, cooking), combined with my first week of teaching double SPIN classes on Tuesdays (6am & 6:30pm because I’m a lunatic), getting everything put away from vacation, and a big presentation at work have me running around like a crazy lady this week. But that’s okay, because its *almost* the weekend, when I play catch up & shoot some blog pictures. The rain has quite literally been raining on my parade of shooting this week ūüôā

ANYWAY. I wanted to share a few things I learned this year & my goals for 2017 (now that we’re 5 days in).

Lessons Learned:

1.) Home really is where the heart is

Even though part of my heart is with me in Cali, it’s really hard being so far away from my friends & family. I feel terrible missing everything: birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Homecoming, Graduation, Christmas, etc.

2.) Buy a neck pillow

If I would have known how much better I would sleep on planes with a neck pillow I would’ve purchased one AGES ago. I spent a lot of time on planes and in airports in 2016 and being able to actually sleep on the flight was a game changer

3.) Always check the milk expiration date before you use it

I had stomach pain for a week back in February in Michigan and couldn’t figure out why. A few days later my roommate told me she had thrown out my milk (before I switched to almond milk) because it was almost 2 weeks past the expiration date…hence the stomach pain.

4.) Don’t leave your laundry in the community dryer overnight.

Because someone may steal your laundry (here)

5.) Surround yourself with positive energy

And do your best to give off positive energy.

6.) How to put chains on tires

We learned with the “birth by fire method” – at about 12:25 am on Christmas Day while on the side of highway 395 outside of Mammoth Lakes, CA. And yes, it was about 10 degrees.

7.) Never drive from Vegas to Orange County at 12pm on a Sunday (leave at 7am or 6pm)

Unless you want to double your time spent in the car and want to kill everyone else around you.

8.) You’re allowed to try and fail (way better than not trying at all)

Keep trying and keep failing. I do it all the time – generally makes for good stories ūüôā


I would love to hear anything you’ve learned this year!


2017 GOALS:

I love goals and I LOVE lists. I get weirdly happy crossing items off my to-do list, and love feeling accomplished for little tasks every day. This year when I sat down to write out my goals, I chose to break them down into categories; Fitness & Health Goals, Life Goals, Travel Goals & Blog Goals. I’ll be sharing a few from each category with you all today and would LOVE to hear what some of your goals for 2017 are!


  • train with Annie for all of 2017 to get strong/build muscle
  • maintain yoga 2-3x per month
  • take monthly progress pictures
  • be able to complete 8 consecutive pull ups by the end of the year
  • reach a body fat percentage of 18-19% and maintain
  • give up one “treat” each month – for example in January I am giving up bagels & the candy that sits in my office and stares at me all day (haha).


  • read a minimum of one book per month – I picked up 6 books over Thanksgiving and am already halfway through #4 so I should be able to keep this up! I’m so glad I’ve gotten back into reading for fun (and not school!)
  • stop the comparisons and focus on my own personal growth and only comparing to my previous self
  • complete the 52 weeks of saving plan in addition to normal savings (see the plan HERE) – I have tried to complete this twice and failed so third time’s the charm right?
  • practice gratitude daily
  • find a job that I’m passionate about
  • be more mindful with purchases – whenever I want to buy something lately I’ve been trying to look at the item, then ask myself if it will actually make me happier. Generally the answer is no, so I put it back (I’d say its working about 70% of the time now)
  • give back – donate time and/or money to causes I believe in


  • Visit Nashville for Allison’s Bachelorette
  • Visit Casey in St. Louis
  • Ski in Colorado
  • Ski in Utah
  • Visit San Francisco¬†at least once
  • Visit Joshua Tree and the Salton Sea
  • Make it to Toledo for Thanksgiving again
  • Spend time on Lake Michigan
  • Visit Dan & Katie in Seattle
  • Visit Chicago
  • Visit everyone in Grand Rapids

That’s what I’m working with (for now!) and I’m going to try and update them throughout the year so I can review in 11 months.

Tell me, what are some goals for yourself for 2017?

xo, Maddy

Thanks for stopping by today!

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  • Reply alexie

    So chic, I love your blog

    January 7, 2017 at 10:33 am
  • Reply katie

    Great point on the neck pillow! I can never sleep on planes and maybe buying one will be part of the solution! Love that your goals are travel-related. Those are the best kind!

    ‚Äčxx katie // a touch of teal

    January 7, 2017 at 7:33 pm
  • Reply Isabel

    I am following very much.

    January 9, 2017 at 9:14 am
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