I cringe a little that by now everyone is long past making 2016 goals and are well on their way to quitting them (I’m kidding!), but as I’m getting back into the swing of things this week, I really can’t get the year rolling without setting some intentions of my own. I’ve been brainstorming things I’d like to work on or work towards and my goodness, there is a LOT. I thought about narrowing it down to 10 or trying to put some order to it, but ultimately I ended up with a long list of scattered thoughts and it just felt right to put them all. So for my SMART goal lovers, I’m sorry, this might drive you crazy, but I’m just going to throw them all out there so when a point comes in 2016 when I’m feeling stuck, that I might be able to peruse this list and feel re-inspired for what I’m shooting for.
I’ll start with family goals. I’ve mentioned that David and I do an annual state of the family address, but perhaps you didn’t realize how ridiculously serious I was about it. It’s a legit presentation. We let our nerd flag fly.
In it, we comb through the following:
(not everything is blog-appropriate for sharing) and it helps us focus in on what we are aiming for in 2016. And with that…
Further research and dip our toe into homeschooling. We are both really excited about this. We have some conference trips in the works and I hope to be working with Hailey on a kindergarten curriculum by the end of summer.
Reign in our crazy December spending (which got a little out of hand) and stick to the goals we’ve established for monthly budget, savings, investing, etc. We’ll check in on this monthly.
Monthly date nights, whether those be at home or out.
Travel as a family. Specifically, we are hoping to do 2 long weekend getaways and a 1 full week vacation. Odd fact: David doesn’t actually get vacation time that he can just “take”, so it’s always a little challenging to plan these things, but we made it happen in 2015 and I have high hopes for 2016.
Find a way to better give back. I want to get myself, and possibly Hailey if appropriate, to get some skin in the giving back game. Giving money is wonderful, but I want to find a way to get involved personally.
Re-do the office. It’s a terrible eyesore in Tiffany blue.
Fine tune my focus to write about what I am passionate about, which at this moment feels largely about focusing on the joy in healthy food, family and self growth.
Continue to build this space as a community. No forums are coming or anything, but as a blogger it’s easy to get caught up in straight pageviews. I understand why they are important; pageviews determine your pay on sponsored work, opportunities available to you and is the main factor when comparing success. However, I can’t fully agree with this. I want to continue to focus on WHY I love writing here, and to me that’s because you guys engage with me through thoughtful comments on posts and social media. Having a well-connected and engaged readership means so much more to me than a single post that went viral. And though it would be inauthentic if I said I wouldn’t love to see pageviews increase, it’s not my focus.
Decide on which social media to engage in. I can’t do all social media. It’s too overwhelming. I’m foregoing snapchat, but am excited to be active on instagram (my love), facebook, pinterest and am still noodling around continuing on periscope. I LOVE the intimate interaction of a ‘scope, but struggle with finding the time to be consistent.
Be a better responder. I read every comment. Always. They come through as an email to me and I always respond in my head immediately, whether it’s with a smile or an answer. But I haven’t been the best at responding via the blog and will work on that this year, even if it means responding a day or two after the post.
Improve my photography. I’m freaking amazing with a point and shoot (haha), but hand me the DSLR with the special lens and I’m clueless. David takes most of my recipe shots, and while I’m super appreciative, I want and need to learn to do this myself. I’m planning on switching the mode to manual and forcing myself to get comfortable with it.
Stay ahead of the game. I’ve recently taken to a program called Coschedule, which I am beginning to fall in love with. It’s a way to organize all my post ideas so I actually get to them. It is allowing me to plan, while keeping the flexibility I crave to chat about what I want, when I want. It is helping me streamline social media and overall is organizing what formerly was just a lengthy list on evernote on my phone.
Recipes. I’ve shared a lot of random recipes over the past 5 years, some trying to keep up with trends or what I thought people liked, but as my blog has come into its own, I have a much better idea of what recipes I want to share. I will be sharing REAL recipes of REAL food that my family eats on the regular. These will be focused on healthy foods with a reasonable prep time that are realistic for health-focused, busy families. I also will be going back and retesting old recipes to ensure they are the caliber I want to be shooting for.
Continue to limit sponsored content. This is challenging financially because one of the best ways to make more money is to take on more sponsors. However, working with companies I’m not passionate about sucks the fun right out of this spot. Still, this blog does take money to run AND I do enjoy being able to contribute to my family’s income, so I will still be working with brands. And I’m EXCITED about it. Because by limiting it, I can seek out the companies I really love and will feel comfortable giving them the attention they deserve.
Commit to getting up always at least an hour before the kids. Since I do 90% of my blogging in the early morning when my mind is working, this isn’t hard to stick to, but I’d like to try getting up a little earlier to gain a little more solo time. The girls are both up at 7:00 am now, so I’m playing around with what that means for my schedule.
Focus on myself. Sounds so vain doesn’t it? But I feel like for 4 years I’ve been so focused on babies and now that Kaitlyn is 19 months, I feel like I have a little more energy to put towards me. I have several things I’d like to do, like ensure I get all my annual doctor appointments in (I already checked off the dermatologist this week- 3 biopsies- get your skin checked friends). I’d like to also find a grown up skin care routine (laugh lines are legit), learn how to properly dress my body (please help!) and look and feel more pulled together overall.
Read. How vague is that?! And how often has it been on my list over the past few years? Ha. Ideally I’d love to shoot for 6 books this year. I’m thinking of starting with What Alice Forgot, since so many people seem to love it.
Workout 3 days a week. I’m still obsessed with Burn Bootcamp. I want to shoot for 4 days, with hopes that I never do less than 3. It’s a good balance for me.
Stop being a chameleon. I’m such a people pleaser and I want to stop. Oddly enough, I’m most bold right here on the blog because it’s just me typing with no immediate feedback. Still, I get nervous to share some opinions because I hate confrontation. I’m making myself learn that discussion of ideas is GOOD and it does not mean that one side is right and the other is wrong. It’s OK to have an opinion and be open to hearing others’ thoughts on the topic too.
Putting the phone away when I’m with my family. I’ve already been working on this one and it’s something I feel passionately about. I love being quick to respond to fb messages/texts/etc (people pleasing again perhaps?) but I’m going to learn to be OK being a slower response time because I won’t have my phone on me when I’m with the girls and David. They are my priority and I want them to feel like it.
Focus on my relationships with friends and family. It’s crazy season of life and I often feel like I don’t have a free moment from girls up to girls down (versus sun), but I want to figure out a way to stay better connected with friends and family that may not be close by.
If things feel out of whack, pause and re-calibrate. The holiday break was so good for me and if it’s something I need again, I want to give myself permission to take it.
So, here we go, 2016!
Do you set goals/resolutions for yourself or family?
What is one thing you would love to accomplish or work on in 2016?