2013 Goals & Resolutions

Hey everyone! Sorry for my extended blog-cation over the holidays, I am now hoping to resume my normal Christmas-shopping free life and start writing again.

So like many others, I wanted to take some time to reflect on not only what happened in 2012, but also what I want to get done in 2013. The older I get the more I realize that I don’t really have many concrete goals in life. All I want is to be a happy, healthy writer who speaks foreign languages, has wonderful family and friends and lives a life full of adventures.

Here are the ways in 2013 that will bring me closer to living my dream life.

1. Learn fluent French.

Despite my frequent social media gripes about how difficult it is to learn French (pardon me for those, dear readers!), I absolutely will be able to learn fluent French in seven months. I know it won’t be easy – I will have to insist that French friends speak to me in French and arrange tandem exchanges -but it will be so worth it once I can speak French beautifully.

2. Get back in shape.

I am so much happier when I am in shape and so in 2013 I need to work out often and eat cleanly. My normal work-out of choice is yoga but it’s much more expensive in France, so I will probably end up joining a gym. I am also hoping to enjoy more of my favorite activities like tennis, horse-back riding and skiing in 2013, and trying new ones like scuba-diving and camel-riding.

And while I do just enjoy being an active person, I also need to get back in shape because I live in Paris. Let’s be honest – love handles are practically illegal here.

3. Build this blog.

When I started this blog back in August, I acknowledged the possibility that I might not enjoy blogging and that I might eventually quit. Luckily those fears were never realized, and it turns out I actually love blogging! Already my blog has brought me so many opportunities, from helping me make friends in Paris to landing me a job as a travel columnist for a local Detroit newspaper.

I want to continue to build this blog to become not only a way to make connections with other bloggers and travelers but also to become a source of income. My measurable goal is a PR of 3 and $500 a month by June so that I can use some of the money to take that long-awaited trip to Southeast Asia.

4. Freelance.

This is something I failed to do much of in 2012. My current goal is to have a travel piece published at least once a month, and I’m looking to pitch to websites like Gadling or Matador.

If anyone knows some great places to send freelance travel writing please do let me know!


What are your goals for the New Year? What could you do better in 2013?

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

26 thoughts on “2013 Goals & Resolutions”

  1. Great Goals! I really admire your ambition!
    And I’m totally with you when it comes to language learning and getting back in shape! I really thought about finally starting to learn Spanish after we talked about it in Cologne :)

    • Well it shouldn’t be too hard for you considering you already speak Portuguese! I wish you lived closer so we could be language/work-out buddies :)

  2. I’m with you on your third and fourth goals! Those are probably my biggest goals to accomplish this year. I started my site in April of last year and it really hasn’t grown much yet, which means I haven’t been dedicating enough time to it!

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see your progress. :)

  3. I miss French.. I’ve contemplated taking a grammar & comp class my last semester, but I’m so scared b.c you have to always keep up with languages and I’ve been out of the French game for a semester. Good luck you can do it!


    • You can do it! I find that with just a little review I fall back into it really quickly. And if you have a smartphone the Google Translate app is fantastic!

  4. Good luck with all your 2013 plans – especially with your writing. Look forward to reading all about your year in the months to come…

  5. Great goals and best of luck! You can totally become fluent in 7 months. Just do EVERYTHING in french. Pas anglais. Our goals are really similar. I’m working to do the same with my site. And, I want to become fluent in French and I’m running my second 1/2 marathon in May (got a lot of training to do!!)

    Apprendre le francais peut etre difficile au debut. Mon grammar… C’est ne pas bon mai, J’essaie. J’ai beaucoup resources si tu veux.

    Just send me an email :)

    • I definitely need to start reading in French and trying to immerse myself as much as possible. And good for your with the half, I should probably tackle that goal as well in 2013!

    • There were so many more I need to focus on, like getting better at photography and graphic design, but I am trying to have these four goals in the forefront of my mind going forward!

  6. Trade out speaking French to “re-learning Spanish” and I think out goals are pretty similar :) I’m sure you might be a little more successful with yours though…I’m afraid once I start traveling around India it will be really hard to juggle writing (and wi-fi connections). Either way, I’m so excited to see what 2013 brings! Good luck!!

  7. Hi Ashley, I found your blog through Far Sickness and am so glad I did so! I’m also struggling with french, and have set myself a goal of 15 minutes a day… small steps – hopefully still leading to big results. I’m looking forward to reading about it!

    • Hi Katherina, I checked out your blog as well and it is very cool! I’m kind of obsessed with Spain, by the way. I’m sure you’ll get there with French, and hopefully I will be right there with ya.

  8. Hey Ashley, great resolutions! Mine are very similar, particularly the blog building and freelancing, except I want to learn Spanish rather than French :) And my one big resolution is to set off on my RTW adventure! Congrats on your columnist job by the way, what a great start to the year. Happy 2013, hope you achieve everything you set out to do :)

    • Hi Clare, definitely do the RTW trip! I’ve been meaning to get to Asia for ages (as well as so many other places) and 2013 is the year I intend to. Happy 2013 and the best of luck on your adventures!!

  9. Those are some pretty kickass goals, lady! Sounds like you’ve got an awesome year ahead of you. It would be really cool if you shared the process of pitching articles – I would love to hear more about it.
    Cheers and good luck with your goals!

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