Goals for the Year

I’ve been thinking a lot about the goals I want to set for the year. The last time I did a set of goals someone mentioned that they weren’t real goals since they weren’t completely measurable. I agree, I get it. I’m not sure that goal is even the right word. Maybe intention fits a bit better. Anyway, here’s what I want to focus on for the year:

personal goals for 2017

Photo by Carter Fish


– Be more forgiving // If I had to choose one thing out of this entire list that I want to make sure I do, it’s this one. I tend not to be very forgiving… towards other people sometimes but mostly towards myself. This year, I want to take a step back from situations, find clarity, and ultimately extend forgiveness. If I make a mistake, I’ll make sure that I hold myself accountable, but I won’t beat myself up over it.

– Maintain fitness // Last week I talked about my fitness goals. I did somehow forget to include tennis in the mix, but that’s also something I want to keep up throughout this year. I’d love to sign up for at least one race this year (probably a 5k) and maybe (maybe) do a tennis match. I was also considering a yoga retreat, but I’m nervous about that one. (Any recommendations?)

– Read more // A generic goal of mine pretty much all the time is to read more. Not only do I love reading, but it’s also my favorite way to unwind. It’s the most effective way for me to relax, especially at the end of a long day. I have a huge stack of books just waiting for me to dig into!

– Get enough sleep // Sleep isn’t something that I’ve always prioritized. In fact, I had a pretty unhealthy relationship with sleep over the years. Last year I realized the importance of it, and I still could be better. Since I’m a morning person and like to (read: have to) get up early with the dogs, the best way to get enough sleep is going to bed earlier. I’m going to keep working on it this year.

– Remember names // This is going to be a challenge for me. I need to be better about remembering names. I’m terrible at it. Well, I take that back, I can be great when I make an effort, but sometimes I forget to commit it to memory. I have little a trick for remembering where I think of another word to go with the name so I can recall the word and the name at the same time. (For example, my favorite guy at the Apple Store’s name is Denver, and I always think “South Park + Denver.” I never forget his name!) I need to do this all the time.


– Try to post 8 or more times a week // My average in blog posts went down last year. I had so much on my plate in various aspects of my life that I had to cut back on the posts. I pride myself on getting a post out every day. There’s a lot that goes into the planning of posts, but I miss posting a spontaneous afternoon post here and there. In my mind, the (regularly scheduled) post that goes live at midnight is typically a meatier post… and an afternoon post would just be a light, quick read, pick-me-up kind of post. Feel free to leave a comment about post suggestions you’d be interested in reading!

– Elevate photography // This has been a goal of mine every year since 2014. I constantly want to raise my own game when it comes to imagery on the blog. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job getting better every year, so I’m excited to see what 2017 has in store. I’ve set up a few meetings with photographers I’m going to start working with this year, but I’m also interested in finding one or two local students who want to build a portfolio. Email me if you or someone you know would be interested! (Videographers too!)

– Say yes to more events // When I moved to Connecticut, I used my distance from the city to say no to events. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think I need to say yes to all of them (there are way, way, way too many “blogger events” it’s absurd), but I shouldn’t use “distance” as an excuse not to attend. I’ve already been saying yes this past week, and it feels great so far.

– Have more one on one meetings // Similar to the point about events, I used having a manager as an excuse to say no (or pass off) one on one meetings with brands. Having a manager is great, but I’ve learned (the hard way) that no one pitches myself/my blog as great as I can. I’m taking more calls myself, and I’m going to more meetings myself. I think part of me felt like I “shouldn’t” be taking the meetings when I had management and the other half of me assumed that I wasn’t as good in meetings as a manager would be. Well, you know what? I actually know that I’m great in meetings. I’m taking the reigns back on that one.

– Figure out Youtube // Ah, Youtube. So I fell in love with creating videos for my Youtube channel. I challenged myself to do daily-ish vlogs for the second half of the year, and it was great. That is it was great in some ways. It forced me to be okay to talk to a video camera; it made me get a lot better at editing videos, and it was a fun way to stretch myself creatively. Unfortunately, I don’t love doing daily vlogs. I always felt a little weird about them and most of my friends are not internet people, so I was having to come up with ways to film without including people. I hated it. I don’t know what I want my Youtube channel to look like this year, but I promise I’m working on it.


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Shayla McMurray

Hi Carly! I love your blog and I appreciate you posting this. I understand that things have been difficult and you have had to prioritize yourself personally, so I appreciate the update as far as what I can look forward to as a reader. Love ya!


I started following you on YouTube and am now hooked on your blog! I’m a couple hours behind Eastern Time so I read your blog every night before bed. I am a college junior and everything you write speaks to me! You are so inspiring and I wish you the very best this year! I can’t wait to see what you do with your YT channel.


Love how realistic your goals are. I too wish I could remember names better haha! And totally want to get with grips of YouTube more, I’m still so uncomfortable filming myself! Probably doesn’t help that I have a dead strong accent as well, it always makes me cringe! x


I really want to elevate my photography and work on being more forgiving too. I really give myself a hard time, mostly because I compare myself to others so much and don’t recognise that I’m comparing someone’s chapter 30 to my chapter 14!

Abigail Alice 💕

Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

In 2015, I relied heavily on my DSLR, so in 2016, I wanted to work on my iPhone photography, but I think I’ve become too lazy and reliant on it, so in 2017, I want to get back into the habit of carrying my DLSR around. Oh I wish I was in your area to help out with photography, but I’m currently studying in Philly! Good luck with your arch and your goal 🙂 I’ve also been gaining more interest in YouTube. I haven’t pursued it because I feel like there isn’t too much action when I’m in school (lots of time spent in the CS lab), and I’m definitely more interested in creating those kinds of vlogs than the sit-down-and-chat type. Anyways, I’ve loved seeing how your channel has grown in 2016 and look forward to more 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

Kay Curran

Re; Post suggestions
Over the past years, you have given great advice about moving in/living with a boyfriend. I am wondering, and I hope this is not to upsetting to talk about, if you could offer some advice about the post-break-up dissolution of the apartment. My boyfriend and I have spent a great deal of money on apartment furniture and furnishings, both of our names are on the lease, and we have a dog that we adopted together. Without this being a marriage and having no leagal course to follow, how does one go about decided who gets what if both want it, especially the apartment and the dog. Any advice that you could offer would be greatly appreciated and respected.



Maybe daily vlogs aren’t your thing and that’s totally okay! Maybe shoot for weekly vlogs to add to you On My Radar posts. And then lookbooks would also be amazing! Definitely when you travel I would say to do vlogs though, because that’s a huge market right now on YouTube. They would definitely help facilitate your posts for sure, plus it would give your youtube a boost!


A great yoga/wellness retreat is Canyon Ranch! It is all inclusive and you can relax and stay centered away from all distractions!

Jordana @WhiteCabana

Your intentions seem well-articulated and diverse, Carly. And they’ll be fun, too, I think! I completely appreciate that you post every day. I love clicking on TCP and seeing something new each morning!


Love this post! My mom and I are going to Aruba in March to take some classes at Island Yoga and relax on the beach for a few days. It’s not a traditional retreat, but taking a morning and evening class allows plenty of beach time during the day 🙂 Also I would love to see you post about styling tricks on your youtube channel, making outfits with what you have in your closet, and more of the pups!


You should look into the Boston Athletic Association 5k in April! It’s a great race, really flat, and two days before the Boston Marathon so there’s a lot of excitement in the air!


I’d love to see more fitness posts! How to run in the rain/snow, your favorite fitness clothing, etc!

Jess Zimlich

I love your point about being more forgiving of yourself. I’m definitely one to get down on myself if I make a mistake and that generally follows me around for far too long (stifling creativity and my ability to work). I’ve been in Chicago for 6 months now and there are far more blogger events/opportunities than there were back in Kansas City. I’m hoping to say “yes” to more and really put myself out there this year! (especially now that I’m single again and don’t have the relationship aspect in my life right now) 🙂


If you’re talking about Denver at the Stamford Apple Store- hes the best!!! I had the struggle of remembering his name just because I thought of Colorado, Delaware- every location except Denver. haha

Melisa Cardona

He also works at J.Crew right across! He gives the best advise and has picked out some great pieces for me!Love him


I really love this list – simple goals that are all pretty manageable. I’ve also made it a mission to read more books this year (I’m shooting for 50, although that may end up being a bit overly ambitious). I also love the “remembering more names” thing – I’m honestly the worst about forgetting people’s names, so that’s definitely something I could work on in the coming year.

Taylor |

Haley Ashcom

These are great goals and intentions! I think your top point about being more forgiving, especially to yourself, drives home with so many readers!

Also, a light afternoon post that I would love to read is tips on taking quick breaks throughout the day to gather thoughts and refocus! I’m sure with how busy you are you have advice on this!

Dylan O.

For the fitness goals/yoga retreat, you may find a vacation such as Canyon Ranch to be a good starting point. There is one in the Berkshires and they are wellness resorts that make for great getaways with girlfriends!


Wow, Carly… that’s quite the list! Be very careful and don’t forget to always be kind to yourself.

All the best from Germany!


So many great goals, both personal and business!

My (selfish) plug is to bring back the College Prepster Book Club on GoodReads 🙂

Maybe not every month since that is difficult to maintain, but my work does a quarterly book club and I love it!


Re: the yoga retreat, here’s my advice on as both a yoga instructor and a retreat participant.
1. Biggest thing: make sure it’s a yoga style you know and like. You don’t necessarily need to go with a studio or instructor that you know but make sure you’re in to whatever style will be taught. Ashtanga is very different from Hatha which is very different from Kundalini. If you don’t know what you practice or what you like ask your favorite instructors for guidance. There are SO many styles out there that you can definitely find something that you enjoy.
2. It’s 100% ok to go on a retreat and skip a class or take a day off or explore on your own. It’s YOUR time so if you’re not feeling something, don’t do it. There’s nothing better than sleeping in extra late one day and reading by the pool instead. If you’re traveling far, give yourself the time and freedom to explore.
3. Don’t expect a retreat to change you. I mean, it might, but a yoga retreat is just some time away from your life and problems. They will still be there when you get back. I see a lot of people who want to go on a retreat to “find themselves” and that’s just not the case. Go in with an open mind but if you don’t leave a green-juice chugging, enlightened limber goddess that’s ok.

Monica D

Carly, you look AWESOME in black! Just fyi…I’ve been loving (even more so) your recent black colored outfits 🙂


I love your goals for the new year, you have inspired me to come up with some of my own. I love that you are going to try to figure out youtube. That is something I have always wanted to do but never got the confidence to do it. I totally understand where you’re coming from when you say it’s hard and awkward. But I really enjoyed all your youtube videos and hope you continue to do something.
Kelsey |


Reading more is one of my goals in 2017 too — I’m attempting 52 books in 52 weeks!


I agree with a commenter above – more videos of your adorable dogs, outfits and makeup. Maybe even show us some of your yoga moves!


I’m going on a Yoga Retreat in April in South Africa. I’ve only been practicing for about a year, but am SO excited for the opportunity to dive deeper into my practice and explore Cape Town! If you’re interested – here’s the website with information:


Yes to YouTube! I really looked forward to your vlogs each day, but I understand it being hard to not include people who don’t want to be in them. Could you do a review or a “tour” of the paper planner you’re using this year? I saw a picture of it, and it looks beautiful! I also love watching favorites videos – maybe monthly ones?


While I really enjoyed your daily vlogs and will miss them, I think it’s more important to create content that you’re passionate about. I really enjoyed your December favorites and fall closet organization videos; I’d love to see more content along those lines. Also, maybe “week in the life” vlogs would be a good alternative to daily vlogging?


As a long time reader of your blog I have to say your photography has gotten better year after year! Would love to see if you have any tips for taking photos when you do not have a photographer around – or how to find a photographer at all! Really love you YouTube as well! Here’s to more in 2017!


A helpful trick to remembering names (at least short term) that I learned during sorority recruitment is to repeat the person’s name back to them three times in the first few minutes of your conversation. It really helped when you have to talk to 50 girls in a single day and then remember your conversations with them… 🙂

Katie McC

I want to get better at photography this year also! Oh I get what you mean with talking to a video camera! I want to start a YouTube video about fashion but it’s so nerve wracking to think of hearing myself on camera. It will be a fear I have to get over.


Carly, I am excited for whatever you’ve got coming this year. I love your intentions, and we share a couple – I always want to read more as well! And I don’t think it can be said enough, I appreciate how down to earth you are despite your success.


Carly, I have an idea for a post/request that maybe you’d be able to do.

I just got a job at basically a startup investment bank in a city. I’m having trouble finding outfits that are business casual, but more of a casual option. I am getting mighty tired of skinny jeans, flats, and a button up shirt/cardigan combo. If you have a chance or think it would be a good post, I’d love to read about your take on business-ish casual-ish and how you’d style some outfits that are office appropriate. So many bloggers/youtubers have made videos, but everything they suggest it completely out of my comfort zone and realm of possibility with my job. I can’t really get away with super short skirts and anything mega trendy.

Regardless, happy new year 🙂

Codie Rastoka

You could bring back the book club! Provides a post and helps with the goal to read more!


I love the goals! I’ve been a reader of your blog for years now, and I know you enjoy books and reading. Have you ever checked out “BookTube”? It’s basically the corner of YouTube devoted to books — reviews, hauls, wrap ups of what people read in a month, etc. I watch tons of BookTube channels, and I watch your channel, and I think it would be awesome if you incorporated a few bookish videos on your YouTube channel every now and then! I’d love to hear your thoughts about the books that you’re loving! I know you post about it on your blog too, but it would be cool to hear it in a video as well!

– Rebekah

Sara Miltenberger

I work for a health & wellness company and these are the retreats that people have gone on and loved:

Guatemala: January 22-28, 2017 + May 14-20, 2017 (register by Feb 28 for 10% off) – Relax, reinvigorate, and heal during a tranquil week in the highlands of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, for a unique retreat where you will explore and experience the Mayan culture of Central America. More at

Arizona: February 9-13, 2017 (register by Jan 1 for 10% off) – Fill your days with fun activities, or relax by one of the three pools between yoga and dance fitness workshops at the beautiful Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa. More at

Cuba: February 18-25, 2017 (register by Jan 1 for 10% off) – Enjoy educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba, including Eduardo Pimental, known as the ‘father of Cuban yoga’. More at (I did this trip this year so if you’re interested, come talk to me!)


I can definitely relate to all of your personal goals. I will definitely be writing a few of those down for myself, like reading and getting more sleep! So important. I would also love to sign up for a 5k this year! I did a fun, inflatable obstacle course one last year, but this year I think I want to try an “real” 5k. As far as yoga retreats, I have never been on one. I have a friend who is a huge yogi and goes to Wanderlust every year in Hawaii. I believe they have locations all over though!

xo, Taylor


It’d be interesting to read a post about how you decorate your pin board, I bought one recently and some inspiration would be super helpful!