2024 Goals and Bucket List

Today I’m sharing some of my 2024 goals and bucket list items, as well as some general things I’m looking forward to this year. I know the year isn’t super new anymore. But since we’re still less than two months into 2024 I figured it’s not too terribly late. I totally meant to publish this post back in January. However, the end of January was pretty busy for me. Then at the very beginning of February I broke my elbow while ice skating. (More details about that injury to come in another post.)

Due to the limited mobility that accompanied spending nearly two weeks with my right arm in a sling and the physical energy continued healing requires, I’ve been a bit behind on life stuff this month. My broken elbow has also set the timeline back on some of my 2024 goals and caused me to alter other goals entirely.

Even though I had this very unexpected setback only one month into the year, I am not letting it define my 2024! There’s plenty of year left to accomplish some of these goals and bucket list items once I’m fully healed and feeling more like myself! In fact, that’s why I prefer New Year’s “goals” to “resolutions.” “Goals” implies something that you work on steadily throughout the year. “Resolutions” entails a sprint that kicks off January 1, but then is abandoned early on in the year due to frustration or running out of steam.

2024 Goals and Bucket List Items

Blog more consistently

For most of 2022 and 2023, I inadvertently put my blog on the back burner. This was a combination of being busy and also dealing with some mental health challenges that depleted my energy. However, I am in a much better place to start off 2024, and I want to make my blog more of a priority. I love this creative outlet where I can share things that bring me joy as well as provide encouragement and style inspiration.

I am proud to say that I almost all caught up on recapping my monthly favorites posts (I was still recapping some of 2022 well into 2023). In fact, I actually published my December 2023 Favorites post during the first week of January! January 2024 Favorites will be coming soon. This year I look forward to sharing my favorite things from each month in a much more timely manner, as well as providing additional content! If there’s something you want to read about on here, send me an email!

Speaking of email, I also want to cultivate connection via my email list more consistently this year. If you would like to receive fun bonus content (I know inboxes can get crazy, so don’t plan on doing this more than once a week), let me know here!

My broken elbow has prevented me from being as consistent with creating blog content as I would have liked thus far in 2024. But I am honestly still doing better than I was this time last year with writing timely blog posts!

Take a trip to Zoo Atlanta to see the pandas before they have to return to China

Pandas are my favorite animal, and I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember. When I took a school trip to Washington DC in the 4th grade, I was most excited to see the giant panda at the National Zoo. I still have a stuffed panda that I got in the zoo gift shop on that trip. I’m so thankful I have gotten to see a giant panda in person once in my life, but I would love to see one again.

A notable news story back in Fall 2023 was the National Zoo’s current pandas returning to China. When I read an article, I learned that Zoo Atlanta is the only US zoo that still has a giant panda following the return of the DC pandas. Due to deteriorating US-China relations, the “panda diplomacy” started during the Nixon administration is sadly coming to an end. US zoos have had to return their pandas to China when their loan ends, with no option of getting a new one. Zoo Atlanta’s panda agreement ends at some point later this year, and I hope to make a trip down there to see the panda before that happens!

Giant Panda at National Zoo in DC March 1995

 

(iPhone photo of the picture I took of the giant panda at the National Zoo in DC with a 1995 Kodak disposable camera.)

Get more involved with serving at church and in the community

In the final months of 2023 I joined a really great life group and officially became a member at the church I started attending in fall 2022. In 2024 I want to get even more involved at church, particularly through serving. I know this will be a great way to meet more people. It’s also something I’m called to do as part of the body of Christ. Some areas at church I am thinking about volunteering with are hospitality and college ministry.

I also want to participate in more community volunteer opportunities this year. One particular organization dear to my heart is Pregnancy Support Services, which walks alongside women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies. One of the services they offer is free parenting classes. Last month I had the chance to help provide food and hospitality to the participants at one of these classes alongside my life group. I look forward to getting more involved with Pregnancy Support Services and other local organizations throughout the rest of 2024!

Become more of a morning person 

I feel like “become more of a morning person” is one of my goals every year, and it’s an ongoing struggle. But I’m giving it another shot in 2024. Although I have to give myself grace at the moment while I am recovering from my broken elbow and am not myself physically. Once I heal I want to be more intentional about forming habits that will make me more of a morning person and in turn, more productive!

Get back into art

Aside from a short summer art day camp, I never did any type of formal art lessons as a kid other than what was required as electives in school. After 7th grade, art classes weren’t a requirement for school. And I didn’t have room in my class or extracurricular schedule to pursue it further.

However, my late paternal grandmother was an artist, and I have inherited some of her natural talent. My art teacher in 7th grade entered one of the pieces I did in class in an art show. I don’t think it won any awards. But I was honored that she even thought it was good enough to enter. My grandfather had that piece of art framed, and I currently have it hanging in my living room.

Back in 2015, looking at framed 7th grade artwork piece and a still life I painted at summer art camp when I was 11 inspired me to pick art up as a hobby. I painted quite a few acrylic on canvas pieces, along with some watercolor and pastels. This phase only lasted for about a year or so. I enjoyed art, but when you live in a small apartment and don’t have a separate dedicated “studio,” it’s a bit of a messy hobby to have. The clutter that leaving out unfinished paintings created stressed me out. Then when I started this blog in early 2018, I really didn’t even have time for art anymore.

All that said, I would love to get back into art in 2024. I’m thinking I will focus on colored pencil and pastel drawings, since I don’t have to wait for them to dry and can easily tuck them away mid-project.

(My 7th grade still life currently framed in my living room. I couldn’t get a pic without a glare reflecting off the glass.)

(The acrylic on canvas still life I painted at an art camp when I was 11.)

Run a 5K

Even before I broke my elbow, I was battling some tailbone and sacral injuries from ice skating in December. So I haven’t run in over two months now. But when I’m all better, I would love to run another 5K after I get back in shape. The last 5K I ran was 14 years ago.  I got first place in my age group and was happy with my time. Once I’m able to run again, a 5K is something that I can be in shape for with my usual running routine. Because of some hip issues that I’ve had with running in the past I don’t really try and train for any longer races like a half marathon or marathon.

Play more Pickleball

Back in September 2023, I played pickleball for the first time at a clinic and had a lot of fun. Due to the busyness of fall and the weather getting cooler, I wasn’t up for playing more during the remainder of 2023. But once my elbow is healed and I get clearance from my doctor, I would love to play more pickleball in 2024! It will be consistently warmer by then too.

Actually read my coffee table books

This is a bit random, but I have so many gorgeous coffee table books that I’ve flipped through but haven’t read all the way through. I want this to be a fun ongoing endeavor during 2024. Later I will do a post about my coffee table book collection.

Journal more frequently and become more consistent in my time with the Lord

I feel like journaling and consistent quiet time with God is another goal that regularly makes an appearance on my “Yearly Goals” list. Despite my best intentions, there’s always room for improvement. I’m hoping that 2024 is the year where I become truly disciplined in these things, not because I need to do them to earn God’s favor, but because they will help me grow closer to God. (In my upcoming January 2024 Favorites post I will share one resource which has helped me be more diligent in my time with God.

An Original 2024 Goal that Has Since Been Scratched

If you follow me on Instagram and read my 2023 recap blog post, then you know that learning to ice skate was a big part of my 2023. Although I only went a handful of times last year, I really enjoyed it and was getting the hang of it. If I had written this blog post a month ago, I would have included “go ice skating at least once a month and possibly even take lessons” as one of my 2024 goals. And I started the year off going 2 for 2 with my monthly ice skating goal.

However, during my early February ice skating outing, I fell and broke my elbow. The immediate aftermath of the fall actually wasn’t too terrible.  My initial thought was that I would take ice skating lessons to learn better technique and how to fall safely as soon as I healed and got medical clearance.

But then the reality of life in a sling set in, along with anxiety about my follow-up orthopedic appointment and nearly passing out from pain and shock of moving my arm for follow-up x-rays after it was in a sling for nearly two weeks. Therefore, I have decided I’m done! It’s a bummer, but the risks outweigh the benefits of ice skating at this point in my life. I’m also aware that my injury could have been a lot worse!

In retrospect, I should have taken ice skating lessons first instead of trying to teach myself. But since I can’t go back in time, I can happily say I gave ice skating a shot and learned how to do it. And I’m hanging up my short-lived ice skating hobby due to health and safety reasons, not because it’s too hard or I’m embarrassed that I fell!

Things I’m Excited For in 2024

There’s also a few things happening in 2024 that aren’t necessarily goals, but are still things I’m excited about and have definite plans to do/see already!

More Carolina Ballet performances

I attended four Carolina Ballet performances in 2023, and am looking forward to going to more in 2024. At the end of January I actually had an opportunity to see a dress rehearsal of their Rhapsody in Blue ballet. (More on that in my upcoming January 2024 Favorites post.) Then I already have tickets to see The Little Mermaid in March and Cinderella in May.

I don’t know yet what performances Carolina Ballet will do during Fall 2024, but I definitely plan to go see their production of The Nutcracker again this December. (Seeing their December 2023 performance of The Nutcracker was a highlight of my holiday season!)

Going to Sporting Events

I’ve already attended a couple college gymnastics meets and a women’s basketball game. I’m excited to attend more live sporting

Seeing The Lion King musical for the first time

As soon as the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) announced that The Lion King would be part of their 2023-2024 Broadway season, I told my parents I wanted a ticket! I’m excited to go see this show with my family in May! Also, after seeing four Broadway shows at the DPAC in 2022, I didn’t go to a single one in 2023. So I’m excited to take in another DPAC Broadway performance in 2024 with a musical I’ve wanted to see for awhile! My parents and brother have all seen The Lion King musical before, so I’m the only one in my family who hasn’t.

Paris 2024 Summer Olympics

I’m a huge Olympics nerd, and the Summer Olympics are my favorite. So I’m super excited that 2024 is a Summer Olympics year! I can’t wait to watch Primetime coverage of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics for two weeks straight, especially swimming and gymnastics. In addition, I look forward to watching the US swimming and gymnastics Olympic Trials in June 2024! Seems like I was just watching the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Summer 2021!  One advantage of having the 2020 Summer Olympics delayed for a year was only having to wait three years for the Summer Olympics to come back around. And those three years have flown by!

Here’s to 2024!

Thanks for reading my 2024 Goals and Bucket List! This isn’t an exhaustive list of all my goals and everything I’m looking forward to in 2024. Just like every year, I am excited about lots of beach trips and going to sporting events. And I have a couple of really big personal goals for 2024 that I am refraining from sharing on here at the moment. But hopefully at some point this year I will have exciting news to share related to these!

What are your goals for 2024, and what are you excited for this year?

Ps. To keep in touch, you can follow me on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. In addition, I’m on Pinterest and would love for you to follow me there. I’d also love to add some extra happiness to your inbox with my e-newsletter, and you can sign up here.

-xoxo Liz

Hey Y'all!

I'm Liz- and I'm here to inspire you to embrace the simple joys in life and encourage you to be your authentic self!

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