When I was in Paris at the start of 2024, I took some time to write down the goals I had for the year. I firmly believe you do not have to make goals and life changes the minute the clock strikes midnight. Goal setting and making changes to your lifestyle take time.
I have kept a running paper list and a Google doc to make notes on ideas over the last month.
When I looked back at my 2023 goals, many of my goals remain the same. I even joked to my friend Katie that I wanted to keep the word “foundation” for another year. She encouraged me to choose something similar, and I decided on a “structure.”
I have been working on having a more structured day with my work schedule. There is time to work out, walk with Henri, have lunch, and focus on different aspects of my business throughout the week. It is still a work in progress and something I haven’t perfected just yet. Some days, weeks are better than others. The main goal is to be able to have time to unplug at night and on the weekends to be able to reset and reboot for the work week.
Building the EDP community is a big goal of mine for 2024. I would love to do more in-person events not just to meet other blog readers but to help form friendships and introduce readers to other Francophiles. The book club kicked off this month, and I am excited to share the EDP Facebook Book Club Page. Here, other blog readers can comment and connect while sharing their love of books. April will have a Chicago meetup centered around a book, and I am looking for more informal ideas. Feel free to comment and share if you are interested in virtual events for book club or in-person events in Chicago.
Photography has been my passion and a skill I have worked on since high school. I have been photographing Paris for over 13 years, and I am still learning and growing my skills. There has been a big push for video, especially in the past couple of years. It feels like I am writing with my left hand whenever I shoot and edit a video. Shooting and editing video feels so foreign to me, and I want to grow this skill. I know it will be important for me and my business.
I love cooking and baking, and I want to incorporate this in video form as I grow both skills in 2024.
I feel like I am just scratching the service with SEO (search engine optimization), and I can’t wait to grow and learn more. This was a focus for 2023 and will continue to be one for 2024.
Pinterest is a platform I am looking at growing on. It has been something I have overlooked or put on the back burner for years. Pinterest is a great way to research new Paris ideas and share content from the blog to reach new blog readers. You can follow me here!
One of the BIG Goals I had for 2023 is extended to 2024. I want to continue to build my email list. Social media isn’t my favorite form of communication. I feel like building something on Instagram is the same as quicksand. There are too many glitches and algorithm changes. My newsletter is my focus, and I would like to build another 5,000 subscribers by year-end. You can always help support by signing up, and it is free!
*Right now, I am not considering adding ads to the site or switching to a paid format on Substack. I love the blog format and newsletter I currently have.
Travel outside of Paris. Day trips are a big request from blog readers, and I want to fulfill this and explore my long list. There are so many places outside of Paris in France to explore. My sister and I both would love to visit Saint-Malo. Chantilly, Provence, and the Loire Valley are also on my list.
The Print Shop needs a bit of a facelift and a declutter. As I have been shooting and adding prints to the shop over the years, I haven’t taken much off the site. It is time to move things around, take some pieces off the site, and highlight big prints and gallery wall ideas. This process is time-consuming and a year-long process. I have already started working on this slowly each day, devoting a little time.
This was a big project for 2023, and it was so much fun to write and share with the community. I would love to share my knowledge of Paris with more Francophiles in 2024. The Paris Guide was originally a PDF download only, and it was requested by so many of you to have it in print format. This happened at the end of 2023 and was a big project with a learning curve. Developing and selling downloadable and print products was a whole new venture.
Extended product ideas you have voted on in the reader survey include a Paris Planner (thanks, Tammy, for the push), and I want to do some Paris-themed notepads. This idea came to me early in 2024 during my stay at different hotels. There was a notepad on the bedside table, and I always carry it around with me, especially when I am out and about in Paris.
When working with brands, I am looking for more long-term partnerships. I would love to establish a year-long relationship with brands I love and know the EDP community would enjoy, too. Being authentic is important to me, and I want to support and work with brands I use and love. There is one (maybe two) in the works I am very excited to share soon!
My dream list of partnerships hasn’t changed much from the first day I started the blog. J.Crew, Madewell, Nordstrom, Cuyana, and Merit.
If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough
Save more/spend less. We are working on a budget to save more and work towards house projects and other goals.
Be more health-focused. I would love to drop those extra 5 or 10 pounds I can’t seem to shed. My doctor recommends mixing in strength training along with my usual dance cardio. I have tried incorporating yoga and pilates into my weekly workout routine. It won’t happen overnight, but I am determined to make the change before my next checkup this summer slowly.
We did quite a bit in 2023, so I don’t see significant changes for this year. There is a gallery wall in the works above my desk. Initially, it would be all black and white, but I am considering mixing the two. This is a great way to feature my photography at home and have a Parisian-inspired workspace. My husband and I have been debating on a piece of art for above the bed, and I would love to decide on something and print a big 60×40 to complete the room.
I do have the dream of redoing our kitchen. This involves a lot of planning and saving. Our fridge was on the fritz at the beginning of this year, and my husband and I were crossing our fingers it could hold on just a little longer.
I need to declutter my closet and my beauty cabinet. I aim not to buy more beauty products this year until I move through what I currently have at home. This would free up some space all around. My closet is busting at the seams, and it needs to be purged and items donated on a seasonal basis.
Other areas of the house need to be decluttered as well. We are having a family visit in the spring, and I would love to have parts of our home organized and cleaned. I am working on focusing on a tiny area each weekend to make the big project feel more manageable.
My husband and friend Ashley have encouraged me to work towards stretch goals. They are bigger goals than you think are possible. In 2023, I had some goals that I crushed, stretched, and crushed again. It is WILD to think how far you can go. At the end of the year, my husband took the paper goals I wrote and framed them to celebrate my wins. It’s a good reminder to keep it in my workspace.
Find an accountability buddy and tell someone your goals. Cheer each other throughout the year and support them on the ups and downs. It is never a straight line, and it is only normal to have setbacks and failures. I struggle with it, and I hope to learn to fail better.
Photos of me by Katie Donnelly, Magda for Katie Donnelly and Yulia Sribna