2018 Goals Reset – October-December

Ugh. We’re more than 3/4 through the year and it’s time to revisit those goals I set back in January. In typical Katy fashion, I set them too high. Today I’m taking a look back at what I have done and how I can continue progressing for the next 3ish months.

This time around I’m taking things month-by-month, being a bit more specific and not overwhelming myself with trying to take on too much at once. So far, it’s been helpful to see what I’m trying to accomplish each month because it’s easier to see what is actually feasible.

Goal Setting

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION

Where I’m At: After reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project,” I decided this was something I could relate to. In general, I had hoped to take smaller steps to get to what I’m trying to accomplish because it’s less overwhelming. I’ve been better about starting a draft blog post or jotting down notes when I think of ideas – but I haven’t been making them into finished posts.

New Goal: Good news – I have lots of half-written posts done. Now it’s time to finish and publish these. And as I mentioned above, my overall approach to goal-setting is going to be about making progress throughout each month without overwhelming myself.

FOCUS ON THE BLOG

Where I’m At: I was off to a decent start this spring, with six blog posts in February and seven in April… but then I lost my groove. I have so many ideas but got busy with freelance writing work (yay!) and the craziness of summer. I also want to be better about promoting content I do write via social. My goal of 100 blog posts in 2018 is LOL at this point… I have 23 down so far.

New Goal: Aiming for 2-3 posts/week from now through the end of the year, which will bring in 26-39 more posts. Even on the low end, I’ll at least close out the year with 50 posts, 50% of my original goal. And on the note above, I want to take the time to promote my posts, particularly via Pinterest using Tailwind, which I hope to have all figured out within the next few months. I also have a big goal of going through a blog redesign before the New Year, but admittedly I need to do more research to understand how big of a project this really is.

PUBLISH TRAVEL CONTENT

Where I’m At: Ok… so I’ve only published one travel post so far this year on Daily Katy. BUT in April, I took on a freelance travel writing gig with TripSavvy.com, which is something I had been looking to do for a long time. Admittedly, it’s taken away from my regular blog content, but the reality is that it is a paying, steady job that I needed to get in a groove with before I could spend more energy on the blog.

New Goal: I still have lots of travel content to finish up and publish, including new recommendations from recent trips to Palm Springs, Savannah and soon Grand Cayman! Aiming to publish one travel guide a month for October, November and December. I’m also playing around with a new travel-specific Instagram, @katyctravels, so follow me there!

LEARN NEW SKILLS

Where I’m At: I still have BIG aspirations when it comes to learning new skills. I have this urge to figure everything out for myself, but just don’t have time to do it all – or at least do it all well. I got a new iPad and the fancy pencil thing that goes with it but have yet to try out the Procreate app that I’ve been dying to learn. I also haven’t taken any photography or editing classes either, but I almost had my first gig shooting headshots, which unfortunately fell through due to scheduling.

New Goal: Not going to set this one too high. I’d like to play around with Procreate to teach myself digital calligraphy when the weather gets cooler, which seems like a good Sunday football activity. Next year I can get back into photography.

GROW MY ETSY SHOP

Where I’m At: Zero progress here. I’ve made a few sales on existing items in my shop here and there, but really haven’t spent much time building out my shop. I did create a few invitations and favors for a friends’ baby showers and as gifts, but haven’t yet posted them.

New Goal: Post what I’ve made! I don’t know why this always seems like such a daunting task. And after that, I plan to add a few new types of items to my shop – potentially a 2019 calendar and to do list notepads I’ve been playing around with. I also plan to listen to a few podcasts about how to best promote the products I do have in my shop, especially heading into the holiday season.

READ MORE

Where I’m At: This one was off to a slow start – but I blame my new-found love for podcasts. I was late to the game, but they are perfect for my short commute! Read about some of my favorite episodes/podcasts here. I had set a goal of reading 12 books this year – I’m at at least 8, so actually relatively on track. Definitely not one a month, but two YA trilogies helped me zoom through 6 books!

New Goal: Back to one book a month starting in November. It’ll be an extra bonus if I can get a third in during October or December, but right now it feels like I have a lot on my plate to start. I do want to publish at least one more book review blog post, which I already have in the works.

DECLUTTER

Where I’m At: I’ve been OK at this here and there and am gearing up to do a big Goodwill donation as I change over my summer to fall clothes.

New Goal: Keep working on this – it’s certainly not one of my strengths but I know it does make me feel good when I have fewer things to sift through when I get ready in the morning.

MAKE SMALL HOME UPDATES

Where I’m At: SUCCESS! This year, I’ve successfully revamped my bathroom (see the full transformation and shop everything here) and our condo’s entryway (coming soon!). After being in our condo for over 6 years, it was time for a little bit of a refresh. The goal was/is to not break the bank because eventually we’ll move to a house outside the city.

New Goal: Next projects will probably be finding a good rug and coffee table for our living room, but this may not happen this year. I’ll be on the lookout – maybe something will catch my eye during holiday sale season.

BE MINDFUL & PRESENT

Where I’m At: The 5-year daily journal and gratitude journals were a fail. Turns out that I’m not good at remembering to do things like this and then it feels incomplete and I stop all together. I did try out the Headspace app a few times.

New Goal: I think this will be a never-ending goal, as we could all use a little more of this in our lives. I would like to keep trying the Headspace app more consistently. And I also want to take time to do things like read a book, get my nails done, etc. – sans iPhone. I’m also trying not to mindlessly scroll quite as much.

TACKLE THE LITTLE THINGS

Where I’m At: I think I’ve gotten a little better at doing things like writing my to do list the night before, but still have lots of work to do in this department.

New Goal: Refocus on small things – picking out an outfit for the following day before bed, not letting dirty laundry pile up beside my bed, responding to emails that only require a couple minutes of my time instead of letting them sit.

 

2018 Goals

Like most people, I’m not into resolutions. But I do want to be better about setting goals, so I’m going to put them all out here in writing so I can hold myself accountable. I’d love to hear your goals for the year! Maybe next year I’ll get to these before we’re halfway through January… better late than never!

2018 Goals

1. Progress, not perfection. My favorite book of 2017 was the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (more on that here). This is one of her mottos and one that has stuck with me – so I’m making it my main 2018 goal. I tend to have lofty goals and then get overwhelmed and don’t follow through on things. With the blog, I have a great idea for a blog post but then I start and don’t finish it for some reason. Or at home, I’ll avoid doing a closet clean out because I know it will be an all-day project and I don’t want to make an even bigger mess if I don’t finish what I set out to do. So this year, I want to take baby steps and when I have an idea, do a little bit at a time until I get there. The end result might not be perfect, but I’ll be taking steps in the right direction.

2. Put more focus on the blog. I upped my Insta game this year but admittedly didn’t blog as much as I wanted to. With Instagram (& Facebook) constantly changing their algorithm – and the potential that social networks could disappear/change and be replaced with new ones any day – I’m realizing that my blog is the only thing I can truly control. I also noticed that it’s where I see the most success with readers clicking through to items I’m recommending. I’m setting a goal of 100 posts in 2018. And with that, I need to do more sale and product roundups next year! Another goal within this is to pay more attention to my blog and social stats to get a better understanding of what my readers and followers like best. I also plan to continue contributing to other outlets whenever I can.

3. Hit publish on travel content. This goes back to that progress, not perfection thing. I have SO many travel posts halfway completed. I keep wanting to edit photos, add more recommendations, etc. Travel guides take a while for me to get through, but once they’re done, they’re the posts I’m most excited about and proud of. It’s my passion area – I wish I could travel all the time and focus on this topic even more! The goal for 2018 is to dig through my photos and trip notes (yes, I actually take notes on my phone while traveling so I remember all of my favorite parts!) and pull together posts for Italy, Ireland, Hawaii, Portugal and a few stateside locations. I can always update a travel guide with even more recommendations down the road – that mentality may help me get these up on the site!

4. Learn a few new skills. I loved taking photography classes back in 2016 and while I continued practicing and learning on my own last year, I didn’t necessarily learn anything new. I’d love to learn more about indoor photography – it’s just too cold to get outside whenever I want to take pics in the winter! On a similar note, I know I have lots to learn when it comes to editing – I’ve taught myself enough to get by in Lightroom, but I know there are lots of tips and tricks that would make that process easier and more effective. Last year was really the year of me playing around with graphic design, which led to the relaunch of my Etsy shop, Katy Roll Designs! I have so much fun with this and want to continue learning so I can make lots of fun things for the shop. And lastly, I loved taking a calligraphy class recently and would love to take a few more classes (either in-person or online) on this and/or hand lettering. If that fails, maybe I’ll try watercolor…

5. Grow my Etsy shop. I’ve had so much fun starting my Etsy shop back up this year (several years ago I sold handmade necklaces). Graphic design is so fun to me and I love creating new prints or other things for friends and random strangers on Etsy. It’s so rewarding when I get an email saying someone has placed an order! And framed prints make for great gifts. One of my favorite creations this year was a custom design for my sister-in-law where I created a print with her wedding vows to hang on a wall next to a photo from her wedding. I have lots of creations done but not yet uploaded, so I need to follow through on that!

6. Read more. This is an easy one – or at least it should be. I’ve always been a magazine person (I blame working in PR, but it really goes way back to pre-working girl years), but with many of them shutting down print versions, I’ve gone back to reading. I’ve always been a reader, but it was more of something that I did on vacation rather than in my everyday life. I just got this new Kindle for Christmas (no more glare when I’m reading outside!), so I’m setting a goal of 12 books this year – about 1 a month. And with that will come quarterly book reviews!

7. Declutter. I already started tackling a few drawers and rooms and so far so good on the decluttering piece of this, but I have a long way to go. I need to chip away a little at a time so I don’t get overwhelmed. I’ve been trying to list a few things each week on a consignment app, tossing anything that looks worn in a big giant Goodwill bag and throwing away anything that’s just plain old and unnecessary.

8. Make small updates around the house. We’ve been in our condo for almost 6 years and while I still love it, I think we’re due for a refresh. I’m not talking anything major – just maybe some new throw pillows, artwork on the walls, new coffee table, that sort of a thing. This isn’t our forever home due to space, but we also don’t plan to move anytime soon. We’re in the process of revamping the entryway and it will be nice to come home to when it’s done.

9. Be present & mindful. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to completely disconnect from my phone, but I want to try to cut back on the constant mindless scrolling. I bought this 5-year daily journal and have kept on track with it so far – all you have to do is write one line a day. You write on the same page on the same date each year so you can reflect back on where you were previously. I also started a gratitude journal where I’ve been taking a similar approach and just writing one quick thought a day. We’ll see if I keep up with either or both! I’ve also heard great things about the app Headspace for meditation. I’ll try that out at some point.

10. Tackle the little things. After reading the Happiness Project and starting a bit of my own daily checklist for January (and I tested it out last year), I quickly realized that not letting little things linger is hugely helpful for me. A few examples: making a to do list for the next day before the day ends while it’s fresh in my mind, picking out an outfit to wear the day before, or putting things away right away instead of doing lots of cleanup at once. This also applies to work, especially emails. I can’t figure out why, but sometimes it’s the emails that are so quick to respond to that I take the longest to get back to.