2016 Review & 2017 Goals

 

 

I am very much in denial that 2016 is over and a new year is here. 2016 was an incredible year for me, and I am happy to say it was one of my best years so far. I want to share some highlights from this year before sharing what my 2017 goals are.

Highlights from 2016:

1| Graduating with my Master’s Degree at 21: I am extremely proud of myself for this because there were a lot of people who doubted this could be done when I first began school. Four years later, I graduated with my M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications, my B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Spanish. This was a huge accomplishment for me, and was definitely my best moment of 2016.

2| Being more spontaneous: This was a huge goal of mine throughout 2016 because as you can imagine, I thrive off of planning every little detail. I wanted to remind myself that it’s okay to not always have a plan. Sometimes, the best memories are created when you don’t plan much at all. So, I took some trips: one to Albany in March to visit one of my best friends from college, and another trip in May to visit my other best friend from college in Texas. Both trips were amazing and got my travel bug in full swing, which caused me to book a trip to Boston for April 2017!

3| Getting my first job: Can we just say that 2016 was the year that I became a full-blown adult? I got my first full-time job in the marketing field, and I am in love with my job. There’s nothing more wonderful than knowing I get to wake up every day and go to a job I truly love. I know many people are stuck in a job they hate, and I am blessed to be in a position I love.

4| Moving out of state and buying my first place with Josh: I didn’t move too far away from home; but I did move from NY to PA back in April when I got my job. After over two years of being long distance, Josh and I got our first place together, and we couldn’t be happier! We love our home, and we love that we were able to make our relationship a priority and bring our lives together.

5| Putting my health first: 2016 was the year that I got back on track as far as my overall health. From all the stress of finishing my Master’s brought on poor eating, lack of exercise, and other unhealthy habits. Once I moved to PA, Josh and I got in the habit of running three miles two or three times a week, eating healthy, and taking more time for self care. I feel great, and hope to keep this up for 2017, too!


Goals for 2017:

Personal Goals:

1| Read (8-10 books throughout 2017)

I did not do well in the reading category for 2016, so I’m hoping to turn this around for 2017. I created a huge wish list of books for Christmas, so I’m hoping I’ll be gifted some content to achieve this goal!

2| Plan 2-3 trips for 2017

We do have our trip to Boston scheduled, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. I’m hoping to plan another trip to Pittsburgh and potentially a third trip in 2017 as well. You could say I definitely have the travel bug.

3| Achieve my career goals for 2017

In my mind, I have so many different career-oriented goals for 2017 that I want to accomplish. Although I know work-related goals should be its own category, I’m listed it under personal because there are too many topics to cover for this section!

4| Focus on my vision board

I’ve been working on my vision board A TON recently. If you’d like to see a blog post on my vision board and how I created mine, make sure to leave a comment below!

Blogging Goals:

1| Focus on my blog direction

I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction I want Blissfully Brunette to go in. And while you can expect an entire post on it, I want to at least let you know there might be some changes coming to the blog for 2017.

2| Increase blog social media engagement by 20 percent

I know so many people who focus on specific stats and numbers. For me, it’s not just about numbers. I care a lot about engagement, interaction and genuine connections via social media.

3| Take more risks

Sometimes, anxiety can hold me back, but I don’t want it to hold my blog back from its full potential. 2017 will be the year that I take more risks and try new things here on the blog.

Financial Goals:

1| Put an extra $8-10,000 into savings

This is a huge goal of mine. I’ve created an in-depth plan on how I plan to achieve it. Let’s just say it’s going to take a ton of spending freezes (I’m starting one for the first quarter) I’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on this goal, too!

2| Track my spending regularly

I mentioned that Josh keeps a very specific excel sheet on what he spends every. single. day. I admire his commitment because I see that he’s able to achieve his savings goals, so I’m hoping to adopt this and do the same!

Health Goals:

1| Increase my weekly running distance

We aren’t currently in running season, but we are still training all winter long for when running season does pick up again. My goal is to increase my weekly running distance to 10 miles.

2| Don’t focus on numbers

I don’t want my weight or size in general to affect my overall happiness and perception of my heath and fitness endeavors. I feel like numbers takes a negative toll on your mental health, so I don’t want this to take priority for me.

3| Focus on workouts I enjoy

I spent a lot of time when I was younger doing workouts that I didn’t enjoy. Let me tell you that you shouldn’t spend time doing A N Y T H I N G  you don’t enjoy. Find something you love and enjoy, and practice it daily!

I hope you enjoyed reading my goals for 2017. How did you do on your goals for 2016? What are some of your goals for 2017? Make sure to leave a comment below!

Ki Signature

 

 

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Top 10 Posts from 2016

2016 is coming to an end, so I decided it would be nice to review some of my top posts from Blissfully Brunette throughout the year. A lot has changed for me this year, and I’m happy to say I had some content I was very proud of publishing this year. Grab a cup of coffee or wine, and enjoy some of my favorite posts from the blog in 2016. Make sure to leave links to your favorite blog posts from your blog throughout the year, too!

10| 5 Minimalism Tips [For Beginners]:

Posted on October 26

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9| 5 Simple Ways to Treat Your Mind + Body:

Posted on August 15

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8| 5 Minimalist Outfits for Autumn:

Posted on October 17

25 Great New Outfits For Your Winter Lookbook - Style Estate -

7| 12 Things to do for a Better Day:

Posted on October 10

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6| 5 Things to Remove From Your Office Space:

Posted on October 19

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5| 10 Self-Care Tips For Bloggers:

Posted on September 26

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4| 10 Tasks to Simplify Your Life:

Posted on July 13

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3| 10 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance:

Posted on August 1

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2| The One Morning Habit I Stopped Doing & Why:

Posted on July 11

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1| 10 Things to Remove From Your Closet Right Now:

Posted on August 10

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What post was your favorite? What are your favorite posts from your blog throughout 2016? Make sure to leave links in the comments below!

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October Review & November Goals

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Why and how are there only two months left in 2016? I feel like there is so much more I want to do before the end of the year; and there’s not enough time to get it all done. Here’s hoping these next two months will be productive and filled with accomplishing my goals.

In the meantime, grab a cup of coffee, tea or wine; and catch up on my posts from October.

October Review:

5 Posts I Loved: October Edition

5 Things to Remove From Your Office Space

5 Minimalist Outfits for Fall

10 Pumpkin Recipes to Try for Fall

12 Things to do for a Better Day

15 Fun, Fall Date Ideas

September Review & October Goals


October Goals Reviewed:

Blogging:

1| Continue to work on Instagram | I would say that this was an accomplished goal for the month. I’ve kept up my engagement, consistency with posting and increased my engagement on other people’s content as well.

2| Participate in a Twitter chat | Guys, why can’t I find any Twitter chats that are relevant to me?! I think it might be a sign that I should start my own Twitter chat–let me know what you think and if you’d be interested in joining a Twitter chat with me!

3| Focus on Pinterest | Huge fail, but I’m perfectly okay with it. I knew that I was really pushing my limits with the blogging goals during a hard month for work, so it’s a give and take here.

4| Write 10-12 posts | YES! I’m happy to say I’ve held up on this particular goal because it can be so hard to consistently post three days a week, especially since I had a crazy month at work.

5| Collaborate with other bloggers | I saw two different opportunities to potential collaborate with bloggers I love; and my anxiety got the best of me. I fear making the first move to get the process going. I’m hoping to work on this and complete this goal by the end of the year.

Personal:

1| Continue to focus on toning | Yes! This goal was accomplished and I couldn’t be happier! Hoping to keep it up through the end of fall and winter, too

2| Increase overall running distance | Achieved! There were several days where Josh and I increased our running distance and I definitely noticed an improvement in my running.

3| Read a book | DONE! There’s nothing better than reading a book and truly loving it, so I’m hoping to have this goal again for November, too!

4| Remove 10 more pieces from my closet | I can’t believe I did this! I am becoming more ruthless about getting rid of things. When I get in the mood to toss things, I let it happen.

5| Limit processed foods from my diet | Check! This was a goal that was easier to accomplish than I was expecting. I will definitely keep this up for November, too!


November Goals:

Blogging:

1| Plan my content calendar for December

It’s no secret I love Christmas. I’m hoping to put out a ton of holiday content for the Christmas season. This will require some extra planning and preparations in November, so I’ll be working hard on the blog this month especially!

2| Prep some holiday content in November

I don’t want to give too many details away on this, but I am doing something a little different this holiday season on the blog. And I’m happy to say that it will require a little bit of work and prep early in November to accomplish.

3| Focus on one social media channel for improvements

I don’t know what that platform will be because I’m constantly trying to improve all my social media channels throughout the month. But, I’m hoping to choose one channel and give it a ton of TLC for November.

4| Take more breaks from blogging

Although I am great about taking time off from blogging on the weekends, I know that I need to get better with my blogging routine altogether. I need to commit to a solid three hours of work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I don’t have extra work on the weekends.

Personal:

1| Read a book

This time of year is when I tend to read a little more because I can relax at night with a good book and enjoy it for the evening. I’m hoping to read, “The Color of Secrets.” I’ll let you know if it’s a book you should pick up!

2| Schedule self care

This month was a bad month for focusing on self care. I didn’t keep up with my journal like normal, and I wasted a lot of unnecessary time on social media and YouTube. So, I’m hoping to transform my routine to be more focused on self care and getting things done.

3| Transition into my winter workout routine

As the weather turns colder and darker, it’s time to take my daily workouts indoors. I want to transition my spring/summer/fall workout into my winter workout, which will consist of insanity DVDs and other workouts for different days.

Financial:

1| Go on a beauty and fashion spending freeze

October was definitely an interesting month with spending. I don’t buy a lot anymore now that I’ve been incorporating minimalism into my life, but I did buy things I needed. Now, I am set for another month of no spending on beauty and fashion.

2| Save an extra $200 for Christmas

Whether it’s saving more on groceries for the month, or finding a way to make a little money on the side, I want to make sure I save more money this month for the holidays.


Bring it on, November! Did you accomplish all your goals for the month of October? What are your goals for November? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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5 Posts I Loved: October Edition

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Another month has almost passed, which means it’s another opportunity to share some of the amazing blog posts I loved this month from fellow bloggers. If you’re new to Blissfully Brunette, you’ll see that I share links each month from blog posts I want to share with bloggers. I think it’s important to spread the love in the blogging community, so I try to do so any time I can. Make sure to leave a comment below sharing what YOUR favorite posts were from other bloggers from the month. Or, you can share your favorite post from your own blog!

Dear Brands, Bloggers Don’t Work For Free” from Summer

I’ll save the gushing and fangirling over Summer and quote my favorite piece from her post: “Bloggers are great at what they do. You, as a brand, clearly know that. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t keep reaching out and trying to get us to work with you. You know that we have influence. You also know deep down that our influence is huge for your brand. So, why don’t you start acknowledging our worth as bloggers (and people) and actually pay us the compensation we deserve.” If that didn’t make you want to check out her post, I don’t know what will. Summer has a way with words, and she did an amazing job of putting brands in their place. You go, girl!


How to Overcome Perfectionism and Accept Your Flaws” from Molly

stylemissmolly_9586_blog-1024x683Photo from StyleMissMolly.com

I have stumbled across Molly’s blog in the past, but her post earlier this month inspired me. Dealing with OCD and anxiety is something I work on every single day, but her post helped me realize that we all have flaws—and that’s perfectly okay. I read through her flaws and realized that her and I have almost ALL THE SAME FLAWS. She’s like my perfectionism soul sister. It’s amazing she was able to not only recognize her flaws, but post them online in a vulnerable space. Molly also provided some incredible tips on how to overcome perfectionism.


Organization Tips for Bloggers and Side Hustlers” from Erin

As someone who has a demanding, full-time job in addition to blogging—this post was so important for me to read this month. I’m sure there are many other people who are working full time and blogging can also to relate to this as well. If you’re someone who is working on a blog, a job, and balancing everything else in your life, I would definitely recommend reading this post from Erin! You won’t regret it!


Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe” from Becca

img_3004Photo from HappilyTheHicks.com

You all know that I’m all about pumpkin-flavored anything and everything during the fall season. I’ve been on the hunt for a PSL recipe to make at home, and I LOVED this recipe from Becca because it’s so simple and doesn’t take a lot of time or ingredients to create! If you’re looking for an inexpensive, easy recipe to have on hand when you’re craving a pumpkin spice latte, make sure to save this recipe for yourself.


Autumn Fashion Find: Fall Floral Dress” from Chelsie

Not only do I love Chelsie’s style and her fashion posts in general, but I love how she’s an honest and real fashion blogger. She’s not the type of person to have an outfit that’s over $300 because that’s simply not realistic for most people. But that’s what I love about Chelsie, she finds ways to make her fashion posts inspiring and unique without breaking the bank. I think that’s something we all can respect, especially if you’re someone who is trying to save money!

What posts have you been loving from your blog or from other bloggers? Make sure to leave a comment below sharing some links!

 

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12 Things to do for a Better Day

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If you have been struggling with getting through the day because of stress, or you have been feeling overwhelmed with life altogether, keep on reading. I’m sharing 12 things you can do every day for a better, more blissful day.

1| Be prepared

Your outfit is set out, along with your meals for the day, and your bag is packed by the door ready to go. The more you prepare the night before, the less you’ll stress in the morning while you’re getting ready. Take a little time to make your lunch and get your breakfast planned, and pick your outfit. You’ll thank me for this one in the long run.

2| Make your bed

There are two types of people: people who make their beds and unhappy people. I’m serious when I say that there’s nothing better than getting into a fresh bed after a long day. Take two minutes to make your bed in the morning. It brings your entire room together and keeps the space looking clean.

3| Drink water immediately

I keep a water bottle next to my bed so that the first thing I do is drink water. Even if you’re not a morning person, water will hydrate you and get your body and mind moving more quickly with little effort. You’ll feel yourself wake up naturally and you’ll feel a little happier before the day begins.

4| Enjoy your breakfast/coffee at home

Don’t skip breakfast. Allow yourself enough time to have coffee and something for breakfast, and have it at home. Don’t pick up breakfast sandwiches and coffee from Dunkin Donuts. You’re spending unnecessary money, and having breakfast sandwiches or bagels everyday isn’t good for your body altogether.

5| Tackle your biggest task first

Skip the email check and morning chit-chat with people in the office. Instead, focus on the big project, report or event you have to work on, and get that done. Then, you have the entire day ahead of you to work on all your other tasks, and the end of your work day will be smooth sailing.

6| Don’t buy your lunch

Another way people spend unnecessary money is by buying lunch every day. Let’s do some math. If you spend an average of $10 a day on lunch and multiply that by 260 (5 days a week for 52 weeks a year) that’s $2,600 you’re spending. You’ll save money, calories and time if you bring your lunch instead.

7| Detach yourself from work after 5 p.m.

This can be tough for some people, especially if you work in a field where people think you should be on the clock 24/7. Don’t read your emails, and don’t answer work calls or texts after 5 p.m. You deserve time for yourself. No, you’re not being selfish if you don’t respond to your boss because you weren’t created to work 24 hours a day. It can wait until tomorrow.

8| Get your 20-30 minutes in

Set aside time when you get a little active whether it’s yoga, walking, running, or Pilates. What’s great about this is that you can do so many activities that are fun and don’t feel like you’re working out. Find out what workouts are best for you, and incorporate them into your everyday routine. You’ll relieve stress and clear your head from the day.

9| Clean as you go

Instead of letting dishes pile up in the sink, wash them as you go throughout the day. When you take something out, put it back. You’ll be surprised how this little task can affect the entire cleanliness of your home. Then you don’t set an hour a day just for cleaning up because you’ve been working at it throughout the day.

10| Do a little self care every day

Keep a journal, take up a new hobby, put on a face masks and drink some wine. Whatever is it, make sure you’re giving yourself a little treat and time to unwind after a long day. You deserve to have time for self care in your daily routine even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day.

11| Write your to-do list for the next day

Take five minutes every night to plan out your day for the next day. Make sure to account for any meetings, appointments, plans with friends and family, etc. Outline what your day will look like, so you don’t stress about anything at night. You’ll feel relieved you did this small, but essential step for a blissful day.

12| Don’t get sucked into social media all night

When I sit and scroll on social media late at night, I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Instead, I stop checking my phone after a certain time, and I prep my mind to go in sleep mode. It has done wonders for my sleep schedule, and it ends my day on a good note because let’s be honest, sleep is too important to overlook in your routine.

What tips would you add to this list? What tip do you need to work on? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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