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16 things in 2016 {aka My First Year of Blogging}

Originally, this was going to be posted to celebrate and review my first year of blogging. I started in December 2015 and had… no idea what I was doing. But besides the holidays being a busy time of the year, I really didn’t get passionate about being “A Blogger” until a few posts in, so right around January.

So this morphed into my overachieving goal gushing post for 2017 as well as a reflection on 2016 and everything I learned and everything that happened in my first year of being A Blogger.

16 Things That Happened in 2016

aka: My First Year of Blogging

 

1. I started identifying as A Blogger.

It’s not just a title change, I’ve done the transitions before, especially with Photography. There’s the day you advertise yourself as A Photographer, and there’s the day you feel like you have the right to identify as one. And I had that day in 2016 with blogging. It was pretty awesome.

2. I joined #BeautiesOnFire.

Seriously if you haven’t joined our Facebook group yet, you should. What started out as an already awesome group of girls doing weekly themes has evolved into Beth hosting this amazing group of blogging tips and themes and she freaking rocks at it and I’m so happy to be a part of this group with her and all of the other lovely #BeautiesOnFire.

3. I started really caring.

That sounds so ridiculous to type. But I did. I started caring about how I look, trying to do things to my face with makeup and skincare and experimenting and actually having fun rather than sticking to the absolute basics.

how to rock a red lip

4. I became a Beauty Blogger.

Holy crap that is still weird to me. Nobody on this earth thinks I’m a girly girl, at least not if you’ve met me. I abhor the color pink as an outfit choice (but that might be because it makes my freckles stand out and I feel pasty and red at the same time) and I regard the idea of myself being high maintenance or spending more than 20 minutes getting ready to be the ultimate sin I could commit. But somehow… I’m a beauty blogger, and I don’t feel like a poser. I’m still not ever grabbing that Beauty Guru title though guys. My PhD in Contour will never happen!

5. I started feeling smart.

That’s another thing that sounds really dumb to say. But you know when you feel like you can actually add to the conversation and you’re not just agreeing and gushing over everyone that knows waay more than you? Having that feeling is awesome.

6. I joined the community.

Beauty Bloggers, Facebook groups, even the Reddit makeup sections on and off, and it’s pretty badass. There’s always someone out there that’s dealing with the same crap you’re feeling, or looking for the same product for the same solution, or needing a challenge, and even if you just need some inspiration for what to do on your next post or your next #MOTD, the community in the beauty blogging world is absolutely badass.

7. I got a job in retail.

So this isn’t an accomplishment for a lot of people, and it’s actually suuuper new and I still need to fill out the final papers tomorrow, BUT… I was peeetrified of retail jobs. You been to r/TalesFromRetail? That sh*t’s scary! But also I’m really not the kind of person that Likes interacting with people in person on a large basis, and it’s a big step for me and will fill a gap in my resume and experience that I think will really help me grow and learn new skills. (And it’s a small town so not so scary maybe? Plus my manager at least at the store I’m training at is awesome.)

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8. I started the renewed, never-ending project of a recipe book.

Actually it’s technically a blog right now, because I am stubborn beyond belief and I haven’t found a single system where I can organize things how I want and have them sorted with calorie information, servings, main ingredients, etc. It’s mostly meant for me and the bf (who just got to taste test all the cookie recipes) but if anyone’s interested, you can peek at From The Fortress.

9. I failed.

Let me explain that one. I failed in a lot of ways. I’m an overachiever. My eyes and planner stretch further than my time and motivation sometimes. I failed on this blog, because I got blogger burnout BAD and it kinda still hasn’t quite gone away entirely, so we’re working on it. I’ve got a schedule to get caught up on posts and write the way I love writing again, to you, instead of at you.

But I also failed on a LOT of my personal goals. Weight loss? Oh yeah I lost some, and bounced back over the same 12 pounds all year. #PlanWithMeChallenge? Well my handwriting sucks today or it’s got personal information on it I just won’t post (for the rest of the month).

I failed a lot. And I’m going to own up to that, because I have an amazing guy in my life that I broke down to and knows how important these goals are to me and he’s absolutely unbelievable at reminding me why each goal is there. Good news for you? MORE POSTS! Good news for me? Boyfriend finding ways to bribe me into motivation. Mwahahaha. (IDK it felt right don’t judge.)

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10. I partnered with some brands that I really love and enjoy.

Both as skincare/cosmetics brands, and resource websites. I tried some amazing products and services and got to share them with you guys the way I would with any other brand that I find and think you guys would love too. I did these partnerships both from brands reaching out to me, and through brand-to-blogger connection websites.

 

11. I tried 1001 ways to plan.

OK not really. But damn I tried a lot. And some work, and some suck, and some are amazing and I’m too much of a cheapskate to invest (especially when I wasn’t working a 9-5 in 2016 so money wasn’t exactly steady). I released a planning post and guide last year for blog planning and I’ve got something really cool that I’m planning on posting this week that I’ve gotten a lot of interest on so far, so hopefully you guys will like it.

12. I broke like ALL of my electronics.

I’m accident prone. We’ve talked about that right? I broke the SAME PHONE, 5 times. It’s got biiiiig cracks in it. Wasn’t so bad the first time. (Hello February free phone upgrade please come sooner k thanks bye) and my laptop. Which broke in September and stopped charging… Here’s an example of my fail level… I can get it repaired or replaced free… and it’s sitting in a box in my closet and hasn’t been shipped off yet. I know, I know, it’s on my to-do list for tomorrow.

13. I got my boyfriend to marathon on EVERY Doctor Who episode.

OK not the old ones yet, but 2005 on? We finished those in like 2 1/2 months. Did you catch the Christmas special? Even if you aren’t a fan, you’ll probably like the Christmas special. Weird accomplishment, but its like our thing now.

14. I started the KonMari method system.

… for like the 3rd time. I kind of have a project addiction, and while it’s definitely not hoarding, getting rid of something that I could use for a project is hard, especially when feeling broke as f*ck and not wanting to waste money buying the same thing again. But I did get rid of a ton of clothes that just don’t make me happy, and I’m making progress with it a little at a time with the main method of Does It Bring Joy, since I can’t handle the overall right now. (It doesn’t help that my familys stuff including books are stored in my 2nd room and some are “mutual property” so no matter what I do I know for a fact there will always be crap in there I don’t want so it alllways feels like it’s doomed to fail.)

15. I flew down to see my guy.

For our 3rd anniversary. That’s right I got to see him exactly once in 2016. But it was the first time we stayed at his new place and spend our anniversary weekend together. Definitely need more visits in 2017.

and 16. I had fun in 2016.

Making awesome friends in the blogging world, doing photography projects, even interviewing for jobs I knew I didn’t want or probably wouldn’t get. I got a lot of experience in 2016 in so many ways and even the stressful stuff ended up being really fun and a really good experience in the end.

That’s definitely not all that happened in 2016. I got approached by some brands and companies that I’m already a big fan of and I’ve got a few of those projects coming up very soon as well as a couple in my inbox now that I need to respond to, but it’s 16 big things that I’ll remember about 2016.


17 [Goals] in 2017

NOW… It’s the first week of 2017. It’s not the 1st. That was a Sunday and I spent half of it lounging in bed marathoning on Z Nation and other badass shows after a midnight Skype date, but it’s the first week, and for most of the overachievers I know… that means you have either already made, or are working on a big list of things you want to accomplish in 2017.

Some of these are blogging related, some aren’t, because blogging isn’t separate from the rest of my life, it’s part of it.

1. Lose 30 lbs by July 1st.

This isn’t my overall goal, it’s not even my overall goal for the year, but I wanted a midway goal that I can meet and having a more immediate deadline makes things feel a lot more important and pressing.

2. Get 1500 blog followers by December 31st.

This doesn’t sound like a lot, but I also don’t do what a lot of people do for followers. It isn’t to say it’s bad, but it’s not the way I write and blog at this time so a more conservative number is something I’m comfortable with and that’s a good growth for where I am. I plotted out estimated numbers I need to be at per month to meet my goal based on how much time and what type of content I plan on producing each month and that’s really only 50-100 followers each month. Very doable with an active posting schedule.

3. Get 3000 Instagram followers by July 1st.

I’ve had jumps of a few hundred in a month before, and to reach this goal I’ll need about 300 in sustained growth (not those follow just to unfollow pages!) each month, with the exception of January where I gave myself a bit of time to get ahead and get into a new routine. (Let’s connect! @thatgeekygf)

4. Save $800 by December 1st.

Going “real job”-less depletes most savings, and with starting a new job I really want to get my savings / travel fund back up there. It should be pretty do-able, but it may have to adjust depending on the hours and shifts I’m given.

5. Pay off “debt” by November 1st.

This is really more paying family back, and it’s an extra $100 per month until I’m caught up. Easily do-able in most hour ranges for work and a priority over the savings account / travel fund.

Touch of Peanut Butter Brownies

6. Enter 100 recipes into From The Fortress by December 1st.

I want to have my recipes all squared away before Christmas Cookie season, so I’ve got a plan of adding about 10 a month until the final months where there’s only 5 so I have time to try new recipes. I’m also entering calorie information and serving info for each recipe so it takes a little more time to get that information together before I can accurately enter each recipe, and some I don’t have pictures for yet, which means they’d need to be cooked before I can enter them.

7. Start an email newsletter by August 1st.

This is definitely a blog goal, I’ve got a few ideas in mind for how I want it to look but I’m a perfectionist and don’t want to make the mistakes that make me want to unsubscribe to newsletters for blogs I love.

8. Post 12 times per month all year.

Realistically I want to post more than that, but it’s a good baseline for me that I think I can manage to keep up with both posts partering with brands and companies, as well as content that I publish as resources and just for fun in general.

Year of the Danbo

9. Project: Year of the Danbo.

I’ve done a 365 photo project for the last two years. Although honestly I didn’t even pick out photos for the last few months of 2016. This is my plan for getting back into having more fun with it. Every day, my little plastic cardboard robots Danbo and Clark (or at least one of the two) will be featured in a photo. I’m unsure so far if many of these pictures will be shared, but as the minimum at the end of 2017 I’ll pick my favorites and share them when I update on the project. I really feel like this will get my mind thinking creatively again.

10. Learn app development by December 1st.

I learned some of this secondhand in school, but there’s so much more I want to know and I want to feel confident enough in my abilities to add it onto my resume.

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11. Complete #100DaysOfMakeup challenge by December 31st.

Right now my goal is to do about 10 looks a month. I know that I won’t want to do crazy or harsh makeup on a daily basis, even just for 1/3rd of the year, so that wouldn’t work for me or my skin, but I feel like if I spread it out and make it work my way then I can experiment and have a lot of fun and some awesome photos to show off when I’m really in the mood to do it and not just to meet a goal.

12. Write down one special message from the bf every day.

Right now I’m writing them out in my Couples bullet journal (literally just a Leuchtturm 1917 that I use solely for a memory book of things in our relationship) in monthly layouts and pretty gel pen colors. Not too hard, he’s pretty sweet every day.

journal_lists

13. Read 50 books by December 31st.

I already finished 1! I’m not going to do specifics this year for what type of books, I just want to enjoy reading again. I’m using Goodreads as well as my planner to track the books I read all year.

14. Read 100 comics by December 31st.

That goal is both easier and harder than 50 books. Some comics are really hard to read, even if you love the story. But there’s enough storylines that I can enjoy myself while letting the bf guide me through storylines he knows will add to my comic experience overall.

15. Track calories 5 times per week all year.

This isn’t an entirely accurate goal, because I hate tracking calories. What I do like doing is setting up meals the night before and portioning them out when I’m not hungry. Then it’s just jotting down the calories per meal and leaving a little room for if you feel hungry between meals in the calorie goal. But knowing what I put into my body is going to help me a lot with reaching my goals and just… feeling better.

16. Work out 3 times per week all year.

I don’t even care what I do. It might be dancing for 15 minutes, or the elliptical in the other room, or going for a run or following a strength training workout or a workout video. Duration doesn’t matter as long as I’m going as much as I can without hurting myself, on a regular schedule. I’ll probably add in more specific goals for myself like monthly themes or every Monday is dance day or something later, but for now… I just want to learn to enjoy it.

and 17 (kinda weird, but) Upgrade underwear/lingerie collection.

 

You know when you don’t buy new bras for forever, and then all the sudden they all wear out at once and underwire is popping through your sweater? Well… almost all my bras are wireless now! (Except my AdoreMe ones… which is where I’ll be upgrading most of my bras, and this isn’t even a sponsored post for them!) I want to get things that truly fit and stop “making do” with half broken things that make my back hurt and are 4 cup sizes too small anyway.

Bonus goal #1: Find out my F**KING credit score. CreditKarma seems to think I have a lot of mortgages and car payments that… don’t exist. Nor am I even linked to accounts where they exist.

Bonus goal #2: Successfully partner with 5 brands I approach for a review, sponsored post, or giveaway. Not including brands that I reach out to through sites where they have posted opportunities, or brands that reach out to me.

What are your 2017 goals? Blogging or otherwise!
Let me know in the comments or link me to your posts with your goals! I’d love to check them out!

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3 thoughts on “16 things in 2016 {aka My First Year of Blogging}

  1. I’m in a long distance relationship so girl I feel you! I hope you accomplish all of these goals and more! One question if you don’t mind me asking, what websites do you use to get sponsors?

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  2. Omgsh I love this post so much!! I have seriously loved watching you grow over this year!!! You have come so far love and I am just amazed!! Your content is killer and I have enjoyed reading every single post you have written!!!

    And omgsh you are seriously the best for mentioning me and the Beauties On Fire group!!! I am so proud at how far the group has come!

    I totally failed in 2016 too! I think everyone did in one way or another! Failure really isn’t a bad thing at all! It makes you stronger and wiser!

    It is totally okay to have blogger burnout!! I hope you are starting to feel better love!! We miss you so much!! You seriously are such an amazing blogger…never let your thoughts tell you otherwise!!

    You’re boyfriend really sounds like an amazing guy!! I can totally understand because my boyfriend is totally my support. I put him through everything and yet he is always calm and right there with me! I totally didn’t know you were in a long distance relationship (or did I?)! Me too!!! We have been together for 3 years and it is freaking hard to be away from him! He actually just finished his Masters in CS so he is moving here in 10 days!!!! AAAAAAA I am just so crazy excited!!

    I totally hope you will get to see your BF more in 2017!! I totally feel your pain!

    Total congrats on the retail job too!!! They are lucky to have you!

    And awesome 2017 goals!! You totally got this love!! I totally plan to lose weight too!! I really have to get on it!!

    Here’s to 2017!!! I can’t wait to see where it takes us!

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