My Number One Resolution for 2017

Hey guys, I hope you’re enjoying 2017 so far! Is it just me, or is it weirdly fun reading other people’s resolutions? Maybe I’m nosy, but I find it super interesting. So I figured I’d share mine for the year.

Stop wasting time.

In 2017, I’ve resolved to stop wasting time. Normally I’m a chronic waffler, and waste so much time making decisions. This year I want to start making snap decisions in order to not waste time, money, or energy.

I also want to stop doing things because I feel obligated to, i.e. finishing a book that I’m not enjoying.

In light of my “stop, wasting time” resolution, this year I want to:

  • Stop reading articles just because they’re open in my browser.
  • Stop going to events I’m not interested in.
  • Stop worrying about what other people think. (The biggest time waster of all, in my humble opinion.)

Though this is my main resolution, I have a few others.

Explore Africa.

Courtesy of Unsplash

As you may have read, I just quit my job and am moving to Africa! I’ve been debating if I should move there for months, so it feels amazing to just commit already.

While in Africa, I’d love to see the sugar-sand beaches of Mozambique, the sprawling plains and wildlife of Tanzania, and the restaurants and bars of Capetown. And of course I want to explore Uganda, a.k.a. my new back yard.

Be more open to love.

Yes, I just typed that. Acting class has taught me that I deflect constantly. Every time someone says something that makes me feel even slightly uncomfortable, I make a joke about it. I’ve realized that I’m closed off emotionally to things that scare me, and of course, love is one of the scariest feelings of all.

So in 2017, I want to be more open to love, despite how lame that sounds.

Finish my ebook and non-fiction book proposal.

For YEARS, I’ve wanted to write an au pairing ebook and submit a non-fiction book proposal to publishers. 2017 is the year I do this – no more excuses.

Stand up for what I believe in.

2017 is the year I stop being an armchair activist. I just sent up a $25 monthly donation to Planned Parenthood, which feels so good. Here’s the link if you want to donate as well!

I’m also participating in the Women’s March on Washington in Colorado on January 20. Let me know if you’ll be there as well!

Improve my blog.

While I don’t blog as much as I used to, I still love it. I want to know what you’d like to read about on Ashley Abroad in 2017, and would LOVE if you could take my quick five-question survey. Take it here! 

What are your top resolutions for 2017?

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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.

19 thoughts on “My Number One Resolution for 2017”

  1. I love reading everyone’s goals, too! That’s so exciting that you’re moving to Africa! I’ve always wanted to go to South Africa and Botswana.

  2. Make more progress with the novel I’m writing (so hard between a full-time job and blogging and still wanting to have a semblance of a life) and also recoup a lot of the Spanish I’ve lost.

    I hear you on the chronic time wasting, I’m guilty of that as well. Good luck with your resolutions!

    If you haven’t seen the film Queen of Katwe before you go, I highly recommend it! Wonderful actors, charming real-life story, and set/filmed in Uganda :)

  3. Hi Ashley! Nice post and great new years resolutions – good luck with making them happen and with your exciting move to Uganda!

    I like your resolution about not being an “armchair activist” – well said. In that vein, I wanted to mention the phrasing “explore Africa” in this post. I understand where you’re coming from, because Africa is a huge, beautiful continent and there is soooo much to see! However, I think that the use of the word “explore” has certain neo-colonialist connotations. Africa, as you’re well aware, is a continent that was literally invaded, violently conquered, and divided by European “explorers”. As travelers and travel writers, I think that a lot of us have the tendency to use this word without thinking, because the word seems very innocuous today! But I do try to be mindful, especially as a white traveler, that my words have power, and using language like explore, discover, etc. when referring to formerly colonized places is a bit insensitive and problematic – plus, it carries the same colonial legacy as our ancestors.

    I’m not trying to point fingers at all, I just figured I would point this out because you are an influential travel blogger and seem really well-intentioned. I believe that a critical evaluation of the words that we use is an important part of breaking down oppressive power structures, especially those words that are normalized and don’t necessarily seem harmful on the surface. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the matter, and I would also be happy to dialogue about this in a different setting as well.

    Wishing you all the best in 2017!

    • Alissa:
      Every country on earth was colonized at one time or another. Explore and discover are perfectly good terms to use. Damn, are we supposed to stop using half the words in the english language due to PC police. Attitudes like yours just got Donald Trump elected and now we truly do have in oppressive power structure.
      Ashley expresses herself to perfection so please don’t correct her.

  4. I need to stop wasting time, too! I worry a lot about what other people think of me, which is pretty annoying! Good resolutions. One of my top goals for 2017 is to feel healthy – physically and mentally. It’s gonna be a tough task, but I’m up for the challenge.

  5. I love reading resolutions too – so maybe I should make some, hmm…

    I can’t wait to read more about living and working in Africa. It’ll be very cool to hear about your actual life there, so I hope it pops up on the blog a lot. (And I also have SUCH a hard time not reading 80 articles online before I actually get down to doing work.)

  6. I love reading about travel in Africa, I’m excited to read your future posts! My cousin is in Capetown currently and I’m getting serious itchy feet. One to add to 2018’s bucket list!

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