2016 Adventure to Bliss

After reading Gretchen Rubin’s, The Happiness Project – I knew I needed to make some changes in my life. I knew I could be happier and I knew there were little things I could do to make this happiness a reality. And so, it is finally born, my 2016 Adventure to Bliss!

My Adventure to Bliss will ultimately be a list of goals and although I’m just announcing it today and tagging it as a 2016 Adventure… it will really be the start to a new path down my journey called life. This year is just a baby step of what I wish to accomplish!

This post outlines a list of traits or qualities – phrases – I wish to incorporate into my life. Maybe I already do on some level… but I have strong hopes of going further to bring them to my daily journey even more! These aren’t New Years Resolutions – these are goals for the life I want.

Then, below each trait is a list (and below the entire list for all those hard-to-place goals). These are more rigid – more tangible ideas of things I want to do, to make the qualities ring true. I say want, because (fun fact of the day) only 8% of people are able to commit and follow-through with rigid New Years resolutions. It’s actually more valuable to have a desired feeling or trait and work towards that than a rigid plan of set goals.

“You’re not chasing the goal itself – you’re chasing the feelings that you hope attaining those goals will give you.” – The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte

Ultimately, the list of phrases below all combine together to what I believe to be happiness. Hence, my 2016 Adventure to Bliss 🙂


The List

– Be Me.

That’s right. Most of the time, I’m happy to say that I can be myself without a care in the world… but there are moments when I hold back or refrain for whatever reason – whether it be likability or social norms or whatever. This isn’t how it should be and in these moments of second guessing myself, I am going to step back and say hey! You be you, girl 🙂


– Act the Way You Want to Feel.

I’ve mentioned this before. (We are a response-able people). Life, is all about choices. I have a choice of how to feel and how to act. If I can pretend to be happy through all the little mishaps in life – I likely will be less likely to snap, less stressed and happier overall.

Steps to Achieve Bliss…

  • Stop Nagging.
  • Feel, speak and act with thankfulness.
  • Practice Patience.
  • Sleep at night. This means 7.5 hours or more!


– Moderation is Key.

This one originally was put on the list because of food. Sometimes, I find myself going through a vicious cycle of “no more ice cream this week.” and “I need ice cream to move forward.” 😛 This drastic mindset of food is ridiculous. I’ve been reading up on the French’s eating habits (who else). Their take on food is incredibly interesting… no snacking, well-balanced meals, and hey, if you want some ice cream – have it. But ensure you’re consuming proper portions and maybe have a salad the next time you’re hungry.
Like I said, this was originally about portions. But this is also a piece of advice I’ll take to heart this year in all that I do. Moderation in everything, is key.

Potential Steps to Achieve Bliss…

  • Limit the food “gotchas” to three times per week! Basically this will put a bit of a limit on the sweets, the ice cream and just overall unhealthy food choices.
  • Fiber! Fruits! Veggies! Whole Grains! Oh my! 🙂
  • Learn portion sizes and stick to them!
  • Splurge on Food – sometimes, food that is a little more expensive or takes a little more effort goes a long way. I’m a huge fan of the kitchen, but sometimes don’t want to put in the effort or the moula! Sometimes, going the extra mile for what we put into our bodies is worth it 🙂


– Be Flexible.

Change was a HUGE part of 2015…but it’s not something I’ve mastered quite yet. I’m not afraid to admit that I like to have a plan set in stone. And then I stick to that plan. And if there’s no plan, well, I’m not the most patient person whilst the plan is being finalized/made. 😉 In 2016, I want to work on being more flexible. I have NO clue, what might happen in the next 30 minutes, let alone tomorrow or next week or next year… So, I just have to let it go! (cue Frozen…) 😉

Potential Steps to Achieve Bliss…

  • Stress Management – think twice, be patient and just breathe. Life works out, just the way it’s supposed to.
  • Release the tension before it appears.


– Moments Trump Stuff and Things.

Bring on the minimalism in 2016. I’m terrified of minimalism. What if I need those raggedy t-shirts from Middle School next month?! Or this or that! I’m attached to things and stuff. I don’t want to be, but I am. This realization occurred to me during my move to Louisville this year from Michigan. When my other half and I filled up the U-Haul… well, let’s just say that 75% of the stuff, was mine. This year, I have plans to detach from stuff and things. I plan to replace this attachment of mine with an attachment to moments.

Potential Steps to Achieve Bliss…

  • Focus on when to buy, when to throw away and when to organize! Things are not life. Keep only what is necessary and the things that bring true happiness.
  • Observe the evening tidy-up!
  • De-Clutter at least two areas. First up, my closet!
  • Be Social! Host and Hang at least a few times a month!
  • Send Snail Mail 🙂
  • Date Nights and Commotion Free Dinners with my other half 🙂
  • Family time!


– Be Mindful. Be Present.

If you read through my 2015 Q & A yesterday, you know that this year has continuously felt like me running around like a chicken with my head cut off… 😉 After reading 10% Happier and starting to meditate, I have come to the conclusion that mindfulness is incredibly vital to being present in the current moment. So, when I’m eating – to be mindful is to enjoy the food and how it effects each one of my senses. If I’m with family, to be mindful is to acknowledge and gently push away the thought of today’s to-do list. In 2016, I want to be mindful and present.

Potential Steps to Achieve Bliss…

  • Unplug – Unplug for an entire weekend! Unplug after work or before bed! I’m on my phone WAY too much. And I know that part of the reason for this is because of all the reading I do… but even still, I will be unplugging in 2016 🙂
  • Stop Multi-tasking. Did you know that multi-tasking is actually training our brain to be even less focused? Yeah… so, this year, if I have a task, I will stick to that task, complete it, and then move forward.
  • Meditate. The power of meditation is amazing – the health benefits alone are worth giving it a shot. My goal is 5-10 minutes a day.


Other Steps to Achieve Bliss…

Some of the steps I have in mind for 2016 just don’t seem to fit in the qualities/traits above – or they possibly fit into two places 😉 On that note…

  • Floss once a day – Every time I go to the dentist they ask, “so do you floss once a day?” and I have to admit that “I try to.” My next dentist appointment? This will not be a thing.
  • Stop crossing my legs – I have this bad habit of crossing my legs. Mainly whenever I’m cold. So, this year, I’m dressing warmer and keeping both feet planted on the floor.
  • Cut the swearing – Sorry Mom and Dad 🙁 For whatever reason, when I’m outside of work and away from family, I occasionally drop a swear word here and there. I stub my toe and off I go with a potty mouth. I’m not a fan of this, and it’s going to stop. Right meow! 😛
  • Define Career Goals: Now that I’m out of school, I see so much potential for my career – so many paths in which I could embark down. Exploring how I feel about the numerous options and reflecting on long-term goals is important!
  • Fitness goals:
    • 10,000 Steps + 30 minutes cardio per day – this is already pretty solidified in my routine, but it’s always good to have a balance of goals you know you can achieve and those that are a stretch.
    • 30 minutes of strength, 3 times a week
    • Run a couple 10ks (or 5ks or a half marathon or a marathon) – The marathon is the stretch goal. I’ve done the half, but I’m still not sure how I feel about a full marathon. I’ll be honest, I’ve read some scary stories… we will see 🙂
  • Volunteer – find a cause and figure out how I can contribute. In high school and college, I found ways to give back to the community around me. Now that I’m in Louisville, I want to find an organization or group I can help! 🙂
  • Read 25 Books. I’ve seen other reading goals – anywhere from 20 to 100 books. Kudos to those of you who can read 100 books in a year, but I know that putting that kind of pressure on myself isn’t worth the consequences. So, this year, I’m hoping to read 25 books. With the current list I have… it comes out to about 25 pages per day. Plenty for the schedule I have 🙂
  • French Learning Goals! — I’ve been back and forth with my French learning. I never feel like I get very far before I have to quit and move forward with other things. So, the goal this year is consistency! 30 Minutes a day, every day. Four days with new material and three for review.
  • Blog Goals: MLIS didn’t grow quite enough this past year. I JUST got to 100 likes on Facebook. Although, I would say that I made the switch from Weebly to WordPress, worked on my Media kit, built my icon, etc. I’m happy with the progress I made, but more excited than ever for what is to come in 2016!
    • 3 posts a week – at least!
    • More interaction with fellow bloggers and with Blog Passion Project and the Blogging Elite!
    • Put more effort into pictures. I have a DSLR Camera and I need to use it. 🙂
    • Investigate timing of posts.
    • Stretch Goal: 500 Facebook Likes, 500 Twitter Followers, 150 Bloglovin’ Followers

That’s a Wrap!

Phew! What a list! So, at the end of each month, I’ll share an update on what goals I focused on – my successes and failures. I’m SO excited to share my 2016 Adventure to Bliss with all of you 🙂

Looking back over this list, it’s clear that I have a hefty set of goals and I am certain it won’t go as planned… but that’s the whole point right? Life is a series of trying, failing and trying again. This year – and as I continue my Adventure to Bliss for years to come I have hopes of tossing my plans in the trash, falling off and getting back on the horse continually and just living life. 🙂


Your Turn

Your Turn is a place for me to ask you questions! Be sure to answer them in the comments below! 🙂

  • SO many great goals!! I definitely need to cut down on my swearing. . . Totally unflattering by sometimes I do it for shock effect. My friend told me I’m the most unfiltered person she’s ever met and I do NOT want that over me! I am going to work on being more filtered and graceful in my speech this year. I have LOTS of goals floating around in my head, but tonight I’m going to write them out!!!

    • You go, girl with those goals of yours! 🙂 I’m so excited to keep hearing of your adventures over at Hugs and Lattes!

  • Sarah Koves

    This is a great list. I love the being more present because that is always on my list. I keep flossers everywhere: in a dish next to the sofa with my lotion, in my car, in my purse, so I can floss anywhere.

    • Sarah, that’s so smart! I never thought about having floss more accessible! Thanks for visiting MLIS 🙂

  • So many great, thoughtful goals! Flossing was one of mine from last year that I actually did accomplish…. 😛

    Looking forward to following your goal process through the coming year! You can do it!

  • WOW…you are going to have a busy year…I agree that moderation and flexibility are key

    • I know, I am looking back at this list now and it’s daunting but I’m just so excited about it I know I’ll make time for what’s important! Thanks for stopping by MLIS, Kim! 🙂

  • Belle Vie A Deux

    Your goal list is so impressive! Well thought out and you are definitely going to have an amazing year! Can’t wait to hear how it’s going. 🙂

    • Thank you, Belle! I’m super excited for my Adventure to Bliss 🙂

  • Jenn

    I am a crazy list maker myself, and sometimes these lists seem big and daunting once you get all of your words out, but just putting them somewhere makes it easier to accomplish all of it. And I usually find when I look at them again one day, I’ve crossed most things off 😉 Good luck!!! 2016 is looking great! 🙂

    • Jenn, I totally know what you mean! It is so helpful to make a list… even if the list is crazy long 😛 Happy New Year and thanks for sending love to MLIS!

  • I have The Happiness Project, but I have yet to read it! Great goals, Ashlee! And thanks for mentioning Blog Passion Project 😉

    • Ahhh! You must read The Happiness Project 🙂 I loved it. Thanks for stopping by, MLIS!

  • Sheri Little

    I love your goals. Ambitious, but do-able! When it comes to being you I suggest reading anything by Brene Brown!

    • Hi Sheri, thanks for the reading suggestion! I’ll be sure to check out Brene! 🙂

  • I love the way you broke your goals down into smaller goals!! That is the best way to achieve them! Your sleep at night comment made me laugh because it is currently 1am and I’m not tired, but I know my daughter will wake me up in 6 hours so I have to go to sleep. Good luck!

    • Haha 🙂 Sleep is so important, but it always seems to be one more thing and one more thing! Thanks for stopping by, Raewyn! 🙂

  • Pam

    I love your goals and the way you broke them down! I have The Happiness Project downloaded on my Kindle – I guess I finally need to read it! Best of luck on your goals!

    • it’s an amazing book! be sure to! i loved it so much! great first read of the year!~

    • Thank you, Pam! Definitely check out The Happiness Project 🙂

  • P.S sorry I’m late commenting on this post- I think it’s WONDERFUL and I’m also cohosting for Bloggy Brunch… I picked your post to highlight this week- be sure to link up again!

    What do you think about this set of goals? Think it’s too much? I think it’s a lot BUT I know you can totally do it and it’s easily attainable too the way you’ve broken each part down into smaller more managable pieces. Good Job! Cheering you on!
    What are your goals for 2016? I’d love to be consistent in blogging, grow my blog, specify my blog, return to dance, get my house in order, spend more time with my husband.
    Have you read Gretchen Rubin’s, The Happiness Project? What did you think? I have read it and as a matter of fact- I might read it again as a goal motivator! It’s a GREAT book I think to start January off with!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Nora! Your list of goals is great and I cannot wait to link up with the Bloggy Brunch again 🙂