Setting Goals for 2022

Setting Goals for 2022 - Riding a Segway in Flagstaff

A new year means setting goals for 2022 and sharing how I did with my 2021 goals. With travel being stifled still, it is hard to get motivated to plan anything. But I’m trying to be optimistic, at least for domestic travel this year. Why do I share my goals with all of you? Researches say that sharing your goal keeps you accountable; it also makes you more motivated, simply because you care what they think of you. So, for all of you reading my blog, I thank you! and appreciate the wonderfully kind words you have been sending me in the comments on my site and on Facebook. It means the world to me, especially when I get the doldrums as most people do at this time of year. With that being said, here is my attempt to set goals for 2022 based on how I did last year.

Setting Goals for 2022 - Riding a Segway in Flagstaff

Travel

  1. Visit six new destinations this year – Last year, I was able to accomplish this and if you read my 26 Best RaulersonGirlsTravel Photos of 2021, you would have seen most of the cool places I visited. With one road trip out west, I was able to see many new travel destinations that you have to add to your bucket list like Tulsa, Oklahoma; Gallup, New Mexico; Amarillo, Texas; Flagstaff, Arizona; Mesilla, New Mexico; and Liberty, Kansas. This year on the docket for new places is Lafayette, LA; Columbia, MO; Gulf Shores, AL; and a possible sailing trip in Maine. And this year, I’m thinking of going on spur-of-the-moment weekend trips to new citiies with cheap flights found online (I’ll be writing up more on this later).
  2. Travel with my niece and nephew – I would love to be able to keep doing this even if it is somewhere local. As they get older and start doing their own things it does make it more challenging. Last year I was able to take them to see the Childrens Museum in Indianapolis. This is one of the largest childrens museum that I’ve been to and there was so much to see there. I am housesitting for them for a couple of weeks in June while they go on vacation, but maybe I’ll be able to do something before or after that with them.
  3. Particpate in two travel conferences/workshops – This one is going to be difficult with conferences being postponed left and right or cancelled outright. But, I’m looking forward to going to TBEX in Lafayette. If you haven’t been to a TBEX conference before and are curious about it, check out this TBEX newbie article. I also have conferences scheduled for Brno, Czech Republic and Phuket, Thailand. I’m not sure if those will happen, but like I said earlier, I’m staying optimistic. I also want to attend another Travel Writing Workshop like the one I went to last year in Flagstaff where I learned a bunch from other talented travel writers and get to work with the tourism board directly. So much fun and I have tons of stories to share with you soon.

Photography

Heather at the top of the Arizona Snowbowl
  1. Increase my Stock Portfolio – I so need to do better on this one. My goal is to be adding 50 photos to each of my stock sites monthly. I would love to have 1500 on each of these sites by the end of 2022. I have 850 selling photos on iStock and Adobe is at almost 700 and they are both finally finally making money each month. Not much, but the more I put on there the bigger the financial rewward will be. So, I need to get photographing more. If any of my friends want to be models, let me know! And if you are looking for amazing photos to decorate your home or office, check out my SmugMug site. I’m constantly adding new photos on there.
  2. Enter 10 Photo Contests – I didn’t enter as many contests last year, but this year I’m determined to enter as many as I can. The key is to have the photos ready to go when the contests show up. So, I need to get shooting!
  3. Expand Heather Raulerson Photography business – Last year I have been freelancing taking photos of real estate homes and restaurants for UberEats and GrubHub. I’ve also been able to pick up some freelance contracts here and there. I would love to do more portraits and candid photography. If you are interested in having your photos taken, let me know through my photo Facebook site. Wish me luck, I applied to be the professional photographer for a group tour going to Tanzania, Africa in May. This would be my dream job, to be able to travel and take photos as a living!

Travel Blogging

  1. Make RaulersonGirlsTravel self-sustainable – I’m really proud of the progress I have made. Since starting this adventure, I have gone from barely having 1000 visitors a year to almost 90,000 this past year. That might seem like a lot, it is, but I need to do so much more. Last year I finally added a revenue stream that pays out monthly and hopefully the ads aren’t too distracting for you. I also promise to you, to write more each month. I have hundreds of stories to share with you that I haven’t written and you guys keep telling me that you want to hear more from me so that is what I’m going to do. But, this is a two way street! Let me know what you think about my stories by sending me comments on my website. I love hearing if a story resonates with you or has sparked an interest to add to your bucket list.
  2. Increase content for YouTube and TikTok – I had this on my list last year and nope didn’t do it. I have to do better. I have been taking videos while I’m traveling, but haven’t done anything with them. Maybe, I need to just hire someone to help me on this goal, hmmmm?
  3. Publish – Okay, this is a bit generic, but it is actually pertaining to two things. First, I need to finish creating my travel coloring books. I have two I’m working on right now (Arabian horses and Safari animals) with more travel destinations to follow those. The second pertains to my first contributing author book that is being published this year. The Capital Cities book is a great coffetable book to order to start planning your next bucket list destination. Plus, by ordering this book (will be delivered in March) you will be helping me out as I do get proceeds from every book sold. And I have contributed 3 of the 118 capital cities. I’m super proud of this book and who best to help show you the world than me! You can order your copy of the Capital Cities book here and get a 10% discount.

Freelance Writing

  1. Procure 10 new bylines – Last year I worked hard writing for two publications, Rovology, and BucketListPursuits which unfortunately due to the world in crisis had to fold. But, I’m hard at work finding new publications to write for. I also wrote for NewsBreak for a full year and have submitted over 200 articles on there. If you want to read any of those or follow for any future articles, my profile is here. To help find new bylines, I’m a member of the Travel Writers Cafe/Travel Writers University which helps freelance writers and this is the group that sponsored the workshop I went to last year in Flagstaff.
  2. Pitch a story/week – You can’t get bylines without pitching! I need to do better and keep myself on task to get over my fear and just do it! I’ve created a database with almost 1100 publications to pitch to and I should have no excuse. There is always a publication that would love a story by me! Don’t ya love my pep talk?!
  3. Write 5 articles/month – This has been in the past, but I’m determined to complete this goal this year. Whether they are magazine articles or blog posts, I know that I can do this!

Personal

  1. Read a boiok/month – As I have written before, you can’t be a writer without reading books. I have finally started reading again after a too long hiatus. And to help me out on this endeavor, I will be creating a RaulersonGirlsTravel Book Club that will be posting and sharing on the Facebook page. The first book for January will be The Lost Diary of Venice by Margaux DeRoux. If you are interested in joining the book club, sign up on the Facebook page and we will have a zoom call once a month to share our thoughts/cpmments on the book. I hope that you will join me on making sure I meet this goal!
  2. Learn a new skill – Last year, I was able to try riding a Segway for the first time. I was so freaked out about it, but in the end, it was exhilirating riding down the streets of Flagstaff. I forget sometime that my fears try to hold me back and sometimes all it takes is a little bit of courage and then you might be pleasantly surprised. Besides learning a new skill I want to embrace an older one. I plan on getting back into my painting again. It has been too long and I do miss it. I have even got a travel painting kit to take on the road with me.
  3. Establish a home base – For those who didn’t know, last year, I put down roots back in Rochester, Michigan. I plan on staying another year so, if you are around, let me know and we can get together and catch up. I miss seeing all my firends around town.

I hope that you enjoyed seeing what my plans are for this year. Setting goals for 2022 doesn’t have to be scary; you have to get something down and then make sure to share it. We always love to cheer each other along, and I would love to help cheer you on with achieving your 2022 goals. Here’s to a great and fulfilling 2022!

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