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!
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.