goals 2016

The One Goal I Gave Up in 2016

Last week, I wrote about all the things I stopped buying in 2016. Over the weekend, though, I started trying to remember what my resolutions or goals were last January. 

In January 2016, I was definitely fixated on continuing pumping. I remember desperately thinking that if I could keep pumping breastmilk for just three more months, I was at 6 months--and then it would be easy to make it to a year, right? Nope! By the time April rolled around, I was pumping less than 1/4 of an ounce every 2 hours, even through the night, totally just barely 6-10 ounces per day. I had to give up the ghost. So that's one goal (would you call a fixation a goal?) that didn't make it in 2016. 

But I don't remember actually ever sitting down and thinking about goals in 2016. I really wanted to take more time for myself. I really wanted to start working out again. I really wanted to eat healthier. 

But I didn't really set any hard and fast goals. At least as far as I remember. 

Then, my husband reminded me: one of my top goals in 2016 was to use my free time to be productive. 

At the time (January 2016), Forrest was 3 months old and barely sleeping. We were still in an exhausted haze. We didn't start sleep training until late June. Which meant that every day for the first 6 months of 2016, every moment of every day, I was holding Forrest--for naps, for play times, for bottles, everything. 

And yet, I wanted to be more productive. The house was a mess; we ran the dishwasher only when we were totally out of silverware; and I always felt just a bit on the edge of losing my mind in terms of how our house looked. 

Once Forrest started sleeping (which meant I had free time to clean, read books, write, whatever), I started beating myself up for doing things like lying on the couch reading or going to bed early. I got a precious 4 hours every evening to myself--I should spend it being productive... at least, that was my thought process. 

I gave up on forcing myself to be productive. 

Here's the thing: I love being someone who is very self-motivated to learn and try new things. I love the fact that my anxiety drives me to be working nearly every hour of every day. 

But sometimes, I need to be kind to myself too. When I'm feeling exhausted and just want to sit on the couch, that's ok. 

Since August, I've struggled with weeks-long tension headaches and migraines (a super fun combination). I try to still get things done regardless of how my head feels, but sometimes, it's just harder. The floors go without being vacuumed; the windows haven't been washed in months; the dishes pile up in the kitchen. And that's ok. It's ok. I'll get to it eventually. 

For me, forcing myself to be productive was a way of forcing myself to believe that if I don't do something right this moment, it will never happen. But the reality is: if you let things go (the floors, the dishes, the whatever), it's not the end of the world. They aren't going to be ruined. They'll live to see another day. 

And if I allow myself to relax and do what I need to do, I will see another day too. I don't always have to be productive. 

My Personal Goals

Yesterday, I wrote about one of my most important personal goals for my 28th year: taking better care of myself, including allowing myself to want things. 

Just like with my blog goals, I find it easiest to break goals into small steps that I can follow one at a time. My typical process for doing this includes doing one thing a week. As an example, when I was pregnant, I set a goal to get dressed every day for a week; then I set a goal to shower every day for a week; and then I set a goal to do my make up every day for a week. I slowly build on my goals until I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something. 

For my personal goals for the next year, that's what I'm doing. 

At work, we often do something that I find very helpful: you plan just 3-4 months at a time (usually a quarter); then in 6-8 weeks you reassess what's happened and what's coming up next and you make appropriate changes. I really like this process because, combined with my usual method of setting and achieving goals, it makes it really easy to stay on top of things. 

As with my blog goals, I want to share the next 3 months of goals. 


For November, my goal is to focus entirely on self-care and intuitive eating. I recently started listening to Food Psych by Christy Harrison (a podcast about eating disorders and intuitive eating) and I've found it really helpful in terms of dealing with my anxiety and food issues, as well as body image. For November, my goal is to do one self-care process a week--and really focus on it. These include journaling, quiet reading time, alone time (going shopping or out to a meal on my own), and incorporating exercise into my daily life. 


My goal for December, as promised, builds on my goal for November: I want to focus on staying active, maintaining my mental health, and focus on intuitive eating. As the holidays approach, I can sometimes get overwhelmed and retreat into my feelings of anxiety. This year, my strict goal is going to be to continue to allow myself alone time, but to also say yes to all social obligations (unless childcare arrangements cannot be made). This last part is very important as I'm a pretty well known social flake! My main goal is to attend one social function a week. 


For January, I want to start taking steps to improve my anxiety through improving the appearance of my home. I've written before about how my house is messy, by my standards. (Most people tell me my house looks "cozy": not pristine, but not a disaster. To me, it's a disaster.) In January, I want to focus on deep cleaning one space per weekend, focusing especially on my office and bedroom. This goal will definitely improve my self-care goals and feelings of anxiety. 

How do you set personal goals? Share with me on Twitter!

2016 Blog Goals

It’s good to have goals. I love writing goals, but I have to be honest: my way of expressing my anxiety is to get really, really lazy. I find myself paralyzed by the fear that I will do badly, that I won’t meet my goal, and therefore, that I shouldn’t even try. I experience the static, hand-wringing kind of anxiety. Some people have to follow a schedule, have to complete tasks, have to always be working. My anxiety turns me into, essentially, a sloth. 

I’ve been planning a post for ages on my process of setting very small goals to break myself out of my anxiety and depression loop, but for now, a simple explanation is that I often choose one thing to do every week and then build on it. For example, a few weeks after I had Forrest, I set the goal that I would change my clothes every day; then the next week, if I succeeded, I would try to shower every day; and then the next week, if I succeeded in both of those goals, I would try to leave the house 2-3 times a week. This sounds like the lamest form of baby steps ever, but I find these kinds goals much easier to digest, personally. 

For my blog, you may have noticed that I’ve recently started posting a lot more. That was a goal I set for myself in August: I wanted to post every week day. Once August was done and I’d successfully kept up blogging every day (usually writing everything in advance the week before), I set the goal that in September, I would keep up a process of scheduling tweets alongside blog posts a week in advance. In October, my goal is to start cleaning up my Instagram feed (a process I’ve already somewhat started) to better promote my blog. 

To be completely transparent, I want to share my goals for the last few months of 2016, so that I, the anxiety sloth, can stay accountable. 


As I said, my goal for October to clean up my Instagram feed to better promote my blog. I will, obviously, still share photos of Forrest because he is my number 1 main man. However, I want to start posting, at most, 3 times a day, plus Instagram stories. Here’s my content plan for Instagram: 

  • 0-1 Forrest post per day (this is entirely selfish & for my family) 
  • 1 blog-related post per day
  • 1 personal post per day (dinner, walking, thoughts, etc.) 

Hopefully, this will clean up my feed and allow my Instagram to be more than just a shrine to a baby named Forrest. 


I will share more about my goals for November later, but I’m going to be looking into switching from Squarespace to Wordpress. My Squarespace subscription renews in September, so I will keep Squarespace for at least another year. However, Squarespace is very expensive. Way more expensive than I really enjoy paying. That being said, Wordpress seems to be kind of a fight for me, especially with my insecure internet. I need to do some more research on the process. A breakdown of my goals for November: 

  • Keep up blogging, Twitter, & Instagram schedule 
  • Research Wordpress


My goal for December is entirely growth-based: I want to start sharing my posts on Pinterest more consistently and I want to see an increase in my traffic of at least 25%. I have a few ways that I want to do this, but they mostly include using my existing social media to better push traffic to my blog, participating in those Twitter chats that I know are important. 


Ok, not in 2016, but in January, I want to do something I’ve written about for a while now: I’m going to launch a newsletter. I’m going to change how I was originally going to do this, but I think it will work out really nicely. And hopefully, as my blog and brand grows, I can make positive changes in the direction I want to go. 

I’ll be checking in on these goals periodically in the coming months. Keep my accountable, ok?