My Goals for 2016: How Did I Do?

2016 was the first year I’d had official goals and it felt really good. It made it easier to focus on what I wanted to achieve and it also made me more motivated to complete them. I did have a few too many though!

Here’s how I got on;


The blog is a perfect example of how I should have had fewer goals. Instead I had a lot and I did well on some but nothing on others.

Create a Plan for the Blog

Since I started my blog, in 2014, I’ve never really had a plan…

I still don’t have a plan for the blog and although I’m fine with this, this is a fail.

Finish My Blog Course

Last year I joined a blog course that helps you to improve your travel blog and blogging skills by guiding you through various course units…

A fail! I haven’t even started the blog course! I will start it this year.

Make the Blog More Professional


Part of my blog plan of action will involve deciding if I am continuing the blog as a hobby or taking it down a more professional route. It will also involve being more regular and consistent with my posts and social media interactions, focusing on valuable content and trying to build my social media following.

I think I passed in this respect. I attended a digital nomad summit, which had a number of helpful talks and, on the whole, I’ve been consistent with my blog posts. For the majority of the year I was aiming to post on a set day of the week. I may not continue with this though as it worked for some months but on others it actually stopped me from posting as regularly as I could have.

Social Media Presence

I really need to market the blog more, which will mean being more present and consistent on social media…

I have been consistent with posts on Facebook and I have also been posting regularly on Instagram and maintaining my basic interaction on Twitter and Trover. A pass.

Challenge Myself
Complete The We Create Course

I joined a free online creative course which, for a month, encourages you to challenge yourself and explore your creative side, via daily tasks. I need to work through all these tasks.

I didn’t start this course – a fail!

Give Freelance Writing a Go


The idea makes me uncomfortable, however I do believe in doing things even if they are scary, so I will be investigating ways in which I can start writing freelance.

This is a pass as I started some freelance writing and hopefully I will be able to increase this, this year.

Learn to Roller Skate


For the longest time I’ve wanted to be able to roller skate, but I just haven’t done it. Well this is the year, I plan to buy some roller skates (the funky four-wheeled kind from the eighties!) and learn.

A fail as I can’t find roller skates anywhere in Chiang Mai! So, this goal will have to wait.

30 Day Refuse Plastic Challenge

The 30 day refuse plastic challenge asks you to commit to reducing your use of plastic by refusing all single-use plastic, paper and other disposable items. Living in Asia it is hard to avoid plastic as it is everywhere and generally overused, which makes the challenge even more important.

This is a pass, as I always refuse disposable plastic, if I can, and I use my own bags and stainless steel bottle.

Write an Article that is Published

As part of wanting to start writing freelance and challenging myself I would like to write an article that is published, this could be online, on another website, no rules really anything will do!

I haven’t yet had an article published under my name – so a fail.

Do Something Different
Body Popping Workshop

Body Popping Workshop

I feel I’m fairly open but this year I want to make a particular effort to try different things and exposed myself to experiences that I might not have considered before.

This goal was a big success and I tried so many new things. I attended some personal development workshops and other events; a cupping workshop (coffee tasting), a body popping workshop, an introduction to massage and also a rhythms and roots anatomy workshop, which was a talk about rhythm and the link with the body’s anatomy.

Attend a TEDx Event

A great example of doing something different is attending a TEDx event, which is a conference with the principle of spreading ideas via short talks. I’ve never been to one before as the idea has never occurred to me, however there is going to be a TEDx event in Chiang Mai and the timing is perfect.

This was one of my first passes as I attended my first TEDx conference in Chiang Mai in January 2016.

Do Something I Wouldn’t Normally Consider
Drawing meetup

Drawing meetup

As part of being open to different things I want to try something that I would not normally consider. I’m not sure what this will be yet, perhaps a different hobby or experience, but just something that I wouldn’t have thought about in the past.

This was another big success. I went to a running talk and even completed a 5K fun run, even though I dislike running! I tried things that I’ve never done before; including improvisation and a drawing meet up.

Join a Colour Run

I’m not a runner however when I visited Bangkok last year I saw advertisements for their Colour Run and I’d really like to take part in this. It’s more like a fun run than a proper race and I really like the idea of it.

Unfortunately this event was cancelled, so I will carry this goal over and try to attend this year.

Take a Course/Workshop


I would like to take some courses or workshops this year. Something that already interests me is a massage course but I also want to consider courses/workshops that are a new concept to me.

I attended a canvas bag workshop and a Theatre Improv workshop. Both these workshops were casual but a pass.

Became a ACE/AFAA Group Fitness Instructor

As part of my Zumba Instructor Training they encouraged us to continue our education and take a course in group fitness instruction. I haven’t forgotten this and this year I’d like to get certified through ACE (American Council Exercise) or AFAA (Aerobic and Fitness Association of America).

I have registered for the AFAA training and I have a year to complete it. I class this as a maybe as I’ve taken the big step and now just need to complete the course.

Learn CPR

Now that I teach group fitness I think it is really important to be able to deal with a potential medical situation in any of my classes, so I really want to get CPR certified.

I had to prioritise my AFAA training so I will carry this over to 2017.

Research Nutrition/Fitness Training

My introduction into group fitness has sparked a further interest in fitness and nutrition and I really feel this is something I want to explore in the future.

I believe there is an aspect of nutritional training in my AFAA course, so another maybe.

Thai Lessons

I recently started learning Thai and I really want to do the best I can in lessons. I want to feel comfortable speaking the language and be able to have basic conversations in Thai. To help me do this I want to make time to plan before my lessons, and schedule in weekly study time.

This goal has been hit and miss, as some months have been better than others. It’s a maybe and I will continue to learn Thai this year.

Cover Expenses

I’m not quite covering my expenses and this is something I plan to change this year. There are a few options, including freelance writing and via the blog as well as a few other potential ideas that I have.

I’ve done much better this year and will continue to explore my options in 2017.

Start to Save

I want to be able to save money as well. This may be to use to travel or to visit the UK, or just to have a small savings pot.

A fail and I will carry this over to next year, as I would like to travel more in 2017.

Health & Fitness
Healthier Food Choices


As a general rule I eat a fairly balanced diet, however I know I can make improvements…

This is a pass, as I eat a fairly balanced diet, with most things in moderation. I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, many of which are organic and I no longer take sugar in my coffee.

More Flexibility/Toned

I really want to be more flexible and also tone up more so I intend to go back to yoga to help me with this.

This is a maybe, as I did do some yoga last year and will continue this.

Re-start Yoga

Yoga in Luang Prabang

I initially tried yoga when I first moved to Chiang Mai, I enjoyed it and I really started to see the difference in my flexibility…

A maybe, as at the beginning of the year I was going to yoga every week, however my schedule changed and I stopped. Towards the end of the year I re-started again and I need to make sure it’s part of my weekly schedule.

Improve My Dancing Technique

I dance a little bit of salsa and bachata and have been lucky to take part in a few group performances, however there is so much to learn and I would like to continue improving my basic technique.

This is a maybe as although I took some workshops and was dancing weekly in the first part of last year I have not been dancing much recently. My schedule has changed a lot and I’ve wanted to do other things too but I will be open to going again when I can.

Learn To Ride a Scooter

Riding a scooter is a part of life in Thailand and although I generally get around by mountain bike I feel like it is time for me to learn how to ride. I won’t be driving every day but I’d really like to learn as part of my experience living here and also it will be handy to be able to use our scooter if I need to.

I keep changing my mind on whether I want to learn to ride. The roads are so crazy in Thailand but it would open up a lot more possibilities for me and stop me having to cycle everywhere. I’m going to put this goal on hold for now.

Appreciating My Relationships
You have to have fun!

You have to have fun!

I believe I am extremely lucky and I have the most amazing people in my life. I don’t want to take this for granted and I try to remember this every day. This year I want to make sure that all the people I love know and find ways to show them how much I appreciate them. This is especially the case for my amazing partner, Jay.

Yes! Jay and I are very lucky and we get to spend time with each other every day. We have also been scheduling more dinner dates, massages and attending workshops and talks together and making sure to fit in fun activities. I also spend time with my fantastic girlfriends here.

Be Better at Keeping in Touch

I know I’m not bad at keeping in touch; however I feel I can improve and perhaps be in contact more consistently.

I’ve been trying to keep in touch regularly and I also saw my family and some of my friends when I went to the UK for Christmas/New Year. A pass.

Commit to Chiang Mai

One of our problems in the past is that Jay and I found it really difficult to decide on a long term plan. We made a great start last year, changing our visas, and this year I really want to continue with planning more long term and to generally be more organized…

Done! We decided we are happy where we are living, for now, and we have sorted our visa, so all good until next year.

See Family and Friends
With some of Jay's Family

With some of Jay’s family at Christmas

Obviously we still want to see the people we love so I’m hoping that as we are committed to being in Chiang Mai this year, then some of our friends and family could visit us…

A big yes. I had visits from my Mum and friend, Ranjit and I also saw my friend Nadine and Jay and I got to see our friend, Kyle this year. We also visited England for Christmas and New Year and I got to see our families and some of our friends there.


I did a small amount of volunteering last year and I really want to do something more this year. Care for Dogs, which helps to home dogs in the local area, is an organization that appeals to me.

A no. I didn’t do any volunteering this year and I will carry this goal over to 2017.

Day Trips in Chiang Mai
The Nest, Chang Dao

The Nest, Chiang Dao

There are still a lot of trips and days out in Chiang Mai that I want to do, for example I’ve yet to see Chiang Mai’s version of the Grand Canyon or do the famous Samoeng loop, which is a beautiful day trip in the North of Thailand, and other there are so many other great places to visit outside the city.

Yes, yes, yes – I had so many cool day trips around Chiang Mai this year. I took Mum to Wat Doi Suthep. Jay and I spent a night at a boutique resort, visited Lamphun, explored Hang Dong and had our regular re-visit to the Royal Park Ratchaphruek.

I checked out a new art gallery, Bua Tong Waterfall and visited The Spa in Mae Rim and The Nest, in Chang Dao with my girlfriends.

See Some More of Thailand


I’d really like to check out more places of interest in Thailand, such as the Ayutthaya and Sukhothai historical parks. I haven’t been to any of the Thai islands for many years and this year might be a great time to re-visit an old favourite or discover a new island.

I’d also like to spend more time in Bangkok and experience more of the city. I have some great friends there, including my Zumba buddies, which I’d like to see more often.

Another yes as I finally managed to visit Sukhothai and I went to Bangkok a number of time to spend time with my friends there.

Take a Solo Trip

I love travelling with Jay, however I believe in getting out of your comfort zone and I really think trying to do some solo travel this year would be a good way to do this. It just keeps you from getting complacent and you appreciate your travel partner even more after.

I got to do so many things this year but I didn’t get chance to schedule a solo trip. However this is a maybe as I did travel to Sukhothai by myself and also visited Vientiane by myself. I’m going to carry this over to 2017 and do a specific solo trip, like take the train to Lampang.

Visit Other Places in Asia

Whilst we are based in Thailand I’d really like to take the opportunity to visit some more of Asia. I’d love to go to Hong Kong, Myanmar and Taiwan to name a few! I’d also love to re-visit a few other countries, which I haven’t been to in a long time, such as Cambodia, Malaysia or Vietnam.

No. I haven’t had the money or time for a trip outside Thailand but hopefully this year.

Be A Better Zumba Instructor


This is ongoing as I hope I will always want to improve my teaching skills. However in the short-term this means learning new routines, practice, and more practice and taking on any advice and tips I can gather.

I also feel that I will become a better teacher as I continue to explore my niche and specific style of class. I know I’m on the right track and it’s an exciting prospect.

I do feel that I’m becoming a better instructor and I’ve grown and learned so much since I wrote this goal. I’ve attended numerous trainings, embraced new routines and I feel I’ve found the rhythms that express my style. I’ve tried to learn from more experienced instructors and I know having different classes and students has helped me improve and grow.

Get Another Zumba Class

Now this is a surprise as I have only just started my second class, however a friend of mine suggested thinking of getting another class and although the idea hadn’t occurred to me it’s certainly a possibility for 2016.

This is a pass as I teach numerous times a week now.

Go Back to Other Classes
With Beatriz

With Zumba Jammer Beatriz

This year I would like to try to go to other instructors classes again, when I can. It’s good to say hi and keep in touch.

I’d also like to try other classes in different cities, as it’s a really good way to connect with other instructors and learn from each other.

This has proved difficult, due to my schedule, but I’ve managed to go to a few instructors classes. I also got to try some in Bangkok, including Num, who was the first official Zumba instructor in Thailand and Beatriz, who is Thailand’s Zumba Jammer. A pass and I will attend other classes when I can.

Implement My Recent Training/Other Training

On stage with Beatriz (Photo credit – Christine)

This year has already started off really well as I attended a training course early in January to improve my skills as an instructor. The next step is taking the time to implement the lessons that I learned.


There are a lot of further training options available once you became a licensed instructor, either to help you become a better instructor or expand your skill set, and I going to look into what further training could benefit me and my classes.

This is a yes!! I reviewed the training courses I’ve taken and tried to implement the guidelines. I also feel I’ve become more experienced this year, attending training sessions and masterclasses, taking onboard tips and expanding my classes.

I’ve reviewed the structure of my playlist and the order of songs to improve my classes and I bring in new songs and rhythms on a regular basis.

I attended specialized training for Strong by Zumba a new HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) program and it was awesome.

Promote My Classes

When I started my first class I never really promoted it and just relied on existing students attending. Since I started my new class, at a different venue, I have been promoting more and I need to continue with this on a regular basis…

I have been promoting on a regular basis, so a pass.


And that’s how I did! In hindsight I got a little carried away and write too many goals down. I should have limited the areas I focused on and had fewer goals to work on. However overall it was a success, I enjoyed having goals to work towards and I will be doing it again this year.



What were your goals for 2016? How did you do?!



Melinda Blair

Melinda is a travelaholic who left the UK in June 2013, on a one-way ticket and currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She started her blog as a way to record her travel experiences. She is a nomad at heart and is on the search for a flexible lifestyle that feeds her wanderlust.

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