I am well aware of the fact that it’s early February, and the time for clean slates and resolutions has already passed- but, I still feel like talking about goals here, so that’s what I’m gonna do. 

I love the New Year- I love the idea of blank slates, pages, and canvases and brand new years are no exception. Most people are either New Year’s resolution believers or strict non-believers- but, since the age I learned to write I’ve been making them every year. 

Of course, my way of displaying resolutions has always had to have a twist, because it’s me and I can’t be satisfied with just writing something down.  

I started around the age of 7 by buying 4 blank white t-shirts from AC Moore and some fabric markers on New Year’s Eve (should have been a telling sign of my passion for decorating t-shirts that would come later in life).  From the years of 2006-2010 my family spent New Year’s Eve writing our resolutions on our t-shirts and decorating around them.  And if you don’t believe what I put my poor family through every year, here’s an example of the resolutions of 11-year-old Claire: 

The shirts definitely faded, but my resolutions included: “do more biking”, “save more money” (some things never change), “play with puppy more”, “sew”, and “be me”- not bad for an 11 year old, actually.

Gradually, I realized that neither my parents nor my sister wanted to wear a t-shirt with their friggin New Year’s resolutions around town (shocking!). So I moved on to time capsules. For a few years, my family would have to fill out long questionnaires I made about their favorite songs and movies of the year, and we would then bury the capsule (reluctantly by my father) somewhere in our yard. I still haven’t found them to this day, which I’m actually bummed about.

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Above features some of the questions I asked (as you can see, I’ve been a Tar Heel fan from the start)

By the time I got to high school it was no longer cool to sit around with your parents on New Year’s Eve and make crafts about our goals for the year (believe me, I think my entire family was happy when I aged out of this). I would start going to parties with friends from then on out.

But Claire, did the crafting continue? Oh, yes it did. From 2012 until present day I’ve spent all January 1st making a blank sheet of paper beautiful. Here’s 2019’s that I dug up:


I really thought I had narrowed it down, but there are way too many bullet points underneath each goal.

2020 was no exception to the tradition. This year; however, I learned the importance of incorporating research and strategy to make the creativity actually work. So, I researched the best way to make goals. Here’s what I found:

  1. your goals need to be something you actually care about achieving
  2. they should be specific and something that you can actually measure progress in
  3. write them down
  4. make a plan
  5. actually stick to them

So, instead of writing every minute goal to achieve over my entire life I decided to break it down into eight distinguished categories:









Then, I broke down each goal- what specifically they were, WHY I wanted to achieve them, HOW I’m going to achieve them, HOW I’m going to measure progress, WHEN to celebrate them, and what the end all, be all goal is.   Here’s an example:


WHY: improves creativity, good for resume/to talk about in interviews, works my brain, might come up with the best idea ever

HOW I’m gonna achieve it: write 1 new idea/day

HOW to measure: if I actually do it

END GOAL: have 366 new ideas by the end of the year 

CELEBRATE WHEN: I do it for a whole month, then go for 2, then 3, etc

Once I had all of this, it was time to do what I do best- make it organized in an aesthetically pleasing way. I changed it up this year from my typical piece of printer paper and decided to make individual cards with each goal on them- this way, they would be easier to digest, rather than one big horse pill of goals to swallow. Here’s what they look like:


Alright, so I’m sure you’re wondering- Claire, you’re a month in, how have you been holding up? Well, here you go Curious George:

FITNESS: I joined Orange Theory Fitness and have been going twice a week (along with my 5 closest friends I convinced from school, which makes it way too fun)

GETTING UP EARLIER: well… we’ve done better. I signed up for a 9:30 class purposefully to force me to get to bed early and get up earlier. I’ve got the getting up early down, but here I am up at 2am watching my hours of beautiful beautiful beauty rest escape me.

LEARNING TO MEDITATE: I’ve picked up a pamphlet from my local Buddhist meditation center– does that count?

FORGIVENESS: I have a few people to forgive; we’ll get into that in later blogs. I definitely struggle with this though, hoping the meditation and my upcoming “Eat Pray Love” journey to South East Asia will help with that.

NEW IDEAS: I have purchased a notebook, and have actually written a new idea every day this month (some of them are very, very stupid however)

BUDGET: I spent $300 over budget in January… but at least I tracked it all?

WORK ON MY BUSINESS: I got my teenie tiny t shirt business up and running in January, and managed to make some sales!

FIND A JOB: No job yet; however, I am enrolled in a career prep class as well as the branding course I’m writing these blogs for, and I’m hoping the combination of the two will help me out (if you’re my future boss, here’s my portfolio and LinkedIn if ya missed it last week)

I know it’s only February, BUT I don’t plan on quitting anytime soon- and hey, I’m proclaiming them to the world now, so, hold me accountable!

Art of the day: I recently discovered that UNC has its own concept store where student artists can sell their work. I love supporting local artists, especially my fellow broke college students, so go check out the cite! In particular, my favorite piece on so far has been Madi Whalen’s “OFF WHITE” print (I do not personally know her, but if she’s reading this, Madi, your art is dope!). I for some reason just am super drawn to the pink- haired lady in the picture- She looks just like a snobby instagram model to me, or maybe it’s because I recently dyed my own hair pink? I don’t know, but check it out.

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