Good morning and Happy New Year! I missed you guys a lot last week but it was really nice to take a step away from the computer and enjoy quality time with family and friends over the holidays.
Ryan, Chase and I spent New Year’s Eve in Orlando with some of our best friends. It was wonderful to see a handful of the people we love and care so much about and I’m glad we were able to make the drive from my parents’ place in Jacksonville to ring in 2016 with some of our closest friends from college.
During the 2+ hour drive to Orlando, Ryan and I spent the majority of the drive talking about the new year. We reflected a bit on 2015 and shared some goals we both have for 2016 with each other.
I divided my goals into categories since I often feel like a Category Queen. For some reason, creating categories for my goals made it easy to compartmentalize my goals and focus on certain areas of my life. This is a wordy post, so buckle up, my friends!
Goals for 2016
- Streamline/Automate Social Media
I’ve already started to do this a bit in the last two weeks of 2015, but now that I’ve purchased a year-long membership to CoSchedule, I think that streamlining the social media component of blogging will really help me feel less stressed and more organized. Truthfully, I don’t really love social media. I find it distracting, jumbled and overwhelming, but I understand its value, especially related to this blog and I do genuinely enjoy connecting with you guys via social media (especially Instagram!). Hopefully by automating some of the Twitter and Facebook-related social media shares that aren’t time sensitive, I’ll end up saving time in the long run and feel more organized all around.
- Focus On Evergreen Content
I’ve been doing a decent amount of reading about the future of blogging and already can see how much blogs have changed since I first started blogging in September 2009. I absolutely love sharing personal stories with you guys on the blog, but know that for Peanut Butter Fingers to continue to grow and thrive and function as my job, I need to be a little more strategic with my blog content. That’s where Evergreen content comes into play.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, Evergreen content is content that is continually relevant. A weekend recap might be fun to read once, but after it’s published on the blog, it’s typically forgotten and, therefore, not Evergreen. A recipe for an easy 20-minute one pot dinner, on the other hand, is always relevant, making it Evergreen. Readers are more likely to share Evergreen content and it’s much more likely to be searched for on Google, Pinterest, etc. I don’t see myself ever abandoning the personal aspect of Peanut Butter Fingers because I know that is the heart of this blog, but I do hope to sprinkle in more Evergreen content in 2016.
- Update Recipe and Workout Pages
My recipe and workout pages on this blog need so much help. They’re a visual mess and hodgepodge of content that I don’t personally find very user friendly. I’m hoping to get these pages updated sooner rather than later and know I’ll likely need to hire someone to help with the coding of these pages to get them to look the way I envision and make them as visually appealing and easy to navigate as possible.
- Research and Pursue Outside Product Idea
I hate to be vague with this one, but I’ve had an idea for something I’ve wanted to create and sell for years now and would love for 2016 to be the year I figure out how to make it work. I truly have NO idea where to begin but the idea has been nagging at me for way too long to ignore. It’s totally unrelated to this blog and combines my desire to create something beautiful with something that gives back in some way.
- Bring Back Our Monthly Date Night Tradition
For years, Ryan and I had a monthly date night tradition where we’d alternate months and take turns planning special dates for each other. They never had to be anything fancy but we always had so much fun thinking about the other person and taking the time to put a little extra effort into planning a date we thought the other person would enjoy. With all of the baby craziness of 2015, we let this tradition fall to the wayside, but we are planning to bring it back this year! Ryan will be kicking things off and planning our January date and I’m already looking forward to a fun date night with him.
We did a little bit of traveling in 2015 (our Canyon Ranch Babymoon was a blast!) but now that Ryan’s vacation time isn’t going to be totally swallowed up by tons of weddings, we’re hoping to use some of his free days to travel more in 2016. We’ve always loved traveling and exploring together and if there’s one area of our life that we think is worth splurging on a bit every year, it’s travel. Seeing new places and creating new memories with Ryan (and now with Chase!) is something that lights me up inside and I hope we can plan an exciting vacation or two in 2016.
- Focus on Healthy Eating and Meal Planning
I know the food choices I’ve been making lately leave room for improvement. (Helloooo ALL the SUGAR.) During the past two months, we’ve had a ton of visitors stay with us and then the holidays arrived, so meal planning fell to the wayside a bit and I found myself reaching for packaged/convenient/not-so-nutritious foods time and time again. This year, I want to take some time every weekend to plan healthy meals for myself and our family and utilize Sunday afternoons to prep food for the week ahead. I know this is important for me when it comes to setting myself up for healthy-eating success!
- Sneak In 10 Minutes Of Cleaning Every Day
Ryan and I got a little better about keeping our house cleaner in 2015 and I’d love to carry that over into 2016. I’ll give myself a little leeway on this one since sometimes a messy house is unavoidable with a little one, but I’d really like to try to sneak in 10 minutes of cleaning every day. I started doing this right after I put Chase to bed at night last month and noticed how much better I felt when I woke up to a kitchen that didn’t look like a total disaster or a living room that didn’t have baby toys thrown about all over the floor.
- Keep Chase Number One
Working from home is such a blessing. I know I am so incredibly lucky to have a job that allows me to stay at home with my baby boy, but there are definitely days when I feel overwhelmed because I don’t have time to do everything I set out to do. The demands of caring for a five month old vary day-to-day and I sometimes allow myself to feel frustrated when a day comes and goes and I feel like I have accomplished nothing professionally. This blog is so incredibly important to me, but Chase is 10,000 times more important. I know I will never have this time with my baby boy again and I don’t want to feel regret when I look back on his baby days and wish I would’ve focused on my son more. He deserves my full focus and attention and everything else can and will fall into place even if it takes more planning, some late nights and saying no to things along the way.
- Find A Playgroup
I am currently part of a women’s small group through a local church and absolutely love it! We meet every Wednesday morning and bring our babies, but it isn’t a playgroup for our little ones. As Chase gets older and more interactive, I would love to find a playgroup or two to join to connect with other moms while our little ones play and learn to socialize and interact with people other than mom and dad.
- Explore Every Day
It can be really easy for me to keep Chase at home when I am trying to get a ton of blog-related work done, but I know that Chase LOVES getting outside and exploring! He is such an animated little guy and seems to thrive on new experiences. It’s so fun to watch him light up and his eyes get wide when we go for a walk together, sit outside in the backyard or even head to the grocery store to pick up food for the week. I’ve noticed that Chase seems to get fussier and more restless if we stay at home all day and I want to continue to focus on showing him new things and getting out of the house every day for a little while, even if it’s just for a walk around the neighborhood with Sadie or a quick trip to a friend’s house for a lunchtime visit.
Question of the Day
- I’d love to hear about some of your goals for 2016! What is one of your personal goals? One of your professional goals? If you are a parent, what is one of your parenting goals? Please share!