Happy 2020 everyone! Wow! Would you believe that we are starting a completely new decade?!
This decade has been a rollercoaster for me. I’m always telling Cecilio that I hope our 30’s and the 2020’s will be much better. He tells me that we will have good time and bad times just like we have had in the 2010’s (Good: us getting married, graduating college, living on our own, getting our doggies, traveling. Bad: my dad passing away, me getting bad lupus flares and seizures, our dog Chewy passing away, and both of my grandmas passing away).
I’m hopeful about 2020 and beyond. I know it’s pretty cliche to do New Years resolutions but it doesn’t stop me from doing so, and I have been able to accomplish some of what I wanted. The key is to be more specific in your goals, not just “I want to eat healthier or “save money”.
Here is what I would like to accomplish in 2020.
Rename and rebrand.
I have a new name in mind for my blog. I honesty had a hard time coming up with a name for this blog so I hastily went with “Hannah the Mad Dog” because that was my dad’s nickname for me (its a long story). While it is a sweet tribute to him, I feel like it doesn’t reflect my blog, my content and my brand. There are many other ways I honor his legacy. I just haven’t renamed it yet because the thought of it is daunting and figuring out how to redirect this URL to my new one. I use BlueHost so I’ll call their tech support and see if they’ll help me (they’ve always been super helpful with troubleshooting).
As far as rebranding, you all know that I formerly primarily did beauty content. While I still love makeup (Definitely doing Project Pan), I’m switching gears to more travel and fashion content. I’ll still do the occasional beauty post though. Although I’m not traveling as much internationally as I’d like, I’d cover local areas about Sacramento and NorCal in general. And Cecilio is now the designated “Instagram husband” where he will take photos of me in different outfits and different locations.
Connect with local bloggers in my area.
I’ve already started following and getting to know fellow Sacramento bloggers in my area. I even went to a blogging mixer in November, hosted by The Blog Bloc (the Sacramento blogging community) but unfortunately, they are now defunct. So I’m gonna have to get out of my comfort zone and connect with bloggers on my own.
Work with brands.
This is a tough one because I have a small number of followers. But I have been able to score gifted makeup from indie brands (Shout-out to Mented Cosmetics, The Beauty Crop, and Gold Label Cosmetics). What I would love for is to be able to collaborate with hotels, tourism boards, experiences, restaurants and local boutiques. I eventually would love to get paid as well. But I have to build up my following first (it really sucks that numbers are be-all end-all when it comes to working with brands). More importantly, I will keep creating content that I love and that would attract brands’ attention.
Find more clients for freelance design.
I’ve had my first freelance graphic design gig through my former boss’ best friend: I designed the logo and branding for a nonprofit (a Friend of a Library organization) that she volunteers in. I’ve been getting a few people interested in me designing stuff for their side hustles. I want to take it more seriously, especially because it strengthens my design skills and I earn extra money along the way.
Work out 4-5 times a week.
I’ve had my Pure Barre unlimited membership for about 2 years but I just started seriously going back to working out there. And I always feel amazing. Cecilio says he sees me glow when I come back from class. Anyway, my studio is doing a Black Barre challenge where we have to take 15 classes a month consecutively for the whole year, and there will be prizes and recognition at the end of December (and an invitation to the Black Barre VIP party). That would keep me accountable. I also want to do more yoga to increase my flexibility (and get the splits for once and for all) and tone my arms (I actually get better results from yoga for toning than heavy weight lifting).
Cook more at home 4-5 times a week.
Cecilio and I honestly try, and we do cook at home. But more often than not sometimes we are too tired (he works from 6 am-3 pm, I work from 9 am-6 pm) and we resort to getting fast food, takeout, pizza…not good for our inner health especially if we want to lose weight. Plus cooking helps save a lot of money. I need to eat less refined carbs too, I’m trying to go low-moderate carb with keto meals here and there but not full-on keto. I am a little nervous because most of my life it was ingrained that you shouldn’t eat fat or lots of meat if you wanted to lose weight but now there’s the whole eat fat lose fat phenomena going on?!
Stay mentally healthy
I’ve told you guys that I was having a few panic attacks back in August and September. I’ve had to do counseling and I’m now prescribed with fluoxetine (Prozac), which has been a life-saver. I was so hesitant about taking antidepressants but it has helped me numerously. I still get a little anxious while driving because I’m scared of getting another panic attack but I’m more able to push through and not pull over to the side. I feel calmer. There is no need to be ashamed of taking antidepressants. It doesn’t hurt to try, especially in my case.
Stay in remission from lupus
My labs have been pretty good so far and I keep up my routine on taking my meds twice a day and Cytoxan every 2 months. I’m in a much better place compared to where I was in 2018. I just saw my rheumatologist and he decreased my prednisone from 5 mg to 2.5 mg. And my last Cytoxan will be in March. From then on, it’s more likely I’ll be back on imuran.
Save up for a big trip (Most likely Japan).
Cecilio and I want to go on another big trip and we both REALLY want to go to Japan, most specifically Tokyo. I also want to go to Kyoto and Osaka but I would be okay going to just Tokyo. I’ve been checking plane tickets multiple times a day on a Kayak and SkyScanner like a mad woman. I know a watched pot never boils though. I would really love to be able to purchase tickets for under $700. Japan is not a cheap country, but we have other options: I would also like to go to Seoul (but Cecilio is not too keen on going there). Also Thailand and China are our bucket list! Or we could go back to Europe too: I want to visit Amsterdam, Spain, Copenhagen, Prague, Berlin, Austria, Krakow…if we do go back to Europe then Cecilio is definitely going to want to go back to Paris and experience not getting sick so we can have the best of French cuisine.
Take more local trips
As much fun as it is to travel internationally or out of our state, we can’t afford to do it as much as we’d like. But our area in Northern California has so much to offer. We are already going to LA for one or two nights to watch my sister-in-law graduate with her Master’s Degree at CSU Northridge. There’s a lot to do in Sacramento even though it’s not as huge as SF or LA. We are close enough to SF, Lake Tahoe, Reno, Yosemite, Monterey/Carmel, and Santa Cruz. We also would like to explore the Mercer Caverns.
Go to church more regularly.
Sundays can be tough because we like having the day to ourselves. Which is great and should be a day of rest but as Christians, we should also devote it to God. We go to church sporadically but I do want to go more often.
Read devotions daily
I do read devotions from time to time, especially the ones my mom sends. But I also read devotions from the First 5 App and Forward Day by Day (which is from the Episcopal church, the church Cecilio and I go to). But more importantly, I need to be intentional about what I read and not just skim through them. Maybe a journal will help?
Serve in the church
Our church has so many opportunities to serve, whether if it’s during the services or to the community at large. One thing they do that I would be interested in is their Wednesday evening community dinners: parishioners and volunteers donate food or their time setting up, preparing dinner for the food insecure and/or homeless. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while so maybe this will be the year to get out of my comfort zone and serve!
What are your goals and plans for 2020?
Hannah is a travel writer, graphic designer, and the founder/editor of Hannah on Horizon. She is based in Sacramento, California, living with her husband and two adorable dogs. She shares tips on how to experience luxury travel on any budget, and how to maximize time at each trip or destination, no matter what your budget or amount of vacation time at work. She enjoys making you feel like you have visited each destination with her through her storytelling and informative writing style.