1/5/16

The 2016 Journey

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This is pretty random, but one of the things my family and I did over the holiday break was watch a bunch of YouTube videos of the Jabbawockeez Dance Crew. At the end of one of the performances (here), they took off their masks and addressed the crowd of fans and aspiring dancers and said, "Keep doing what you're doing. 'Cause if you want it, it will take you there. For real."

Original Image here / Meme Generator

I made that meme just for you guys (you're welcome) because I feel like that quote pretty much sums up where I am with my goals this year for the blog and other aspects of my life. I don't have grandiose plans or any big changes I want to make. Some of the things I want to accomplish logistically won't happen in 2016. Other goals don't have particularly measurable results, other than my own perception of happiness. For the last couple of weeks those facts had me feeling like I shouldn't do a resolution-themed post on the blog this year, but the Jabbawockeez changed my mind. I doubt they ever dreamed they would become what they are, because there really is no precedent for a dance crew to achieve their level of success. But they loved what they were doing and just kept doing it, and it took them straight to the top. Maybe some of you all can relate to where I am with just moving forward in what you're already doing and maximizing your happiness in the journey, regardless of the destination (if there even is one). This is probably all too vague, so let's get more specific:

Blogging:
This year, I don't feel like my blog goals are going to be easy to measure. I'm not looking to get to a certain number of followers or to collaborate with any particular brands. I just want to keep going and blog smarter. I want the amount of time I spend blogging to be worth the amount of personal enjoyment I get. I also want the content I create to be the best possible synergy of what I'm comfortable/enjoy posting vs. what readers want to see and read.

I always check my stats to see what people are clicking on the most and what I can learn from that, so here's a look at my Top Five Posts of 2015 and what they mean for my content going forward.

Top Five Posts of 2015

FIVEOutfits on the Daily 9/11/15
Cami: Express "Berry" / Jeans: Express / Necklace: Purple Peridot / Clutch: Express (Similar) / Bracelet: Stella & Dot / Shoes: Forever 21

FOURRecent Purchase Hits and Misses 12/15/15
Jacket: Express / Tee: Old Navy / Jeans: Nordstrom / Short Necklace: Kendra Scott (c/o) / Long Necklace: ExpressBooties: Express (Similar) / Bag: Danielle Nicole

THREEOutfits + Fitness Recap 11/6/15
Sweater: Express (Similar) / Tank: Target (Maternity for extra length with leggings) / Necklace: Kendra Scott "Emerald Cat's Eye"/ Leggings: Express / Booties: Forever 21 / Bag: Express / Ring: Kendra Scott

TWOOutfits + 40% off Sale 10/9/15
Jacket: Express / Top: Express / Necklace: Kendra Scott (c/o) / Ring: Kendra Scott (c/o) / Jeans: Express (Similar) / Shoes: Target (Similar) / Bag: Amazon

(Anything without a link above is sold out. I only linked to a few similar items where I had one handy with a few sizes still in stock.)

ONECoffee Date with Audrey 9/15/15

Audrey's Original Post (with eight other ways to style this piece)

What The Top Five Posts Tell Me:
Outfits for the win. Four out of Five of my top posts are (mostly) about outfits. When I started this blog I strongly resisted the idea of blogging about about my own outfits (Caryl can attest to that), and here I am a couple of years later with exactly that. Maybe someday I'll do a separate post to explain how I got from A to Z, but based on the most popular posts of 2015 it's clear that outfit posts will continue to be part of my blog in 2016.

I'm also happy to see that my Recent Purchase Hits and Misses post did well, because I do enjoy writing more detailed reviews so it's nice to know some people still find them worthwhile. Also, all of my top posts were from September-December. I would think older posts would be more popular since they've had more time to get more page views, but my guess is that the last quarter of the year is when people really shop the most and are most interested in reading their blogs and building their wardrobes.

Even though my number one post was my Coffee Date with Audrey, I think that speaks more to her popularity than anything I did there. That said, I do plan to continue that series in 2016, and I have another one lined up for next Tuesday. I won't make it a monthly feature anymore because I've found I enjoy it more when it comes about more naturally (as it did with Audrey when I met her in person first) rather than when I'm doing it because I "have to" since it's the second Tuesday of the month.

Fitness:
In 2015, one of the things I've talked about more on the blog than ever before is fitness. In October I started adding weekly workout recaps to my Friday posts, and based on comments on those posts, that's here to stay for 2016. Just like my blogging goals, my fitness goals this year don't have a precise end date, but I want to keep doing what I'm doing and going forward anyway.

The Splits:

Back in October, I posted about my goal of being able to do the splits. I read an article about training for the splits in six weeks and made that my original goal. Well, it's been more than six weeks since that post and unfortunately I'm still not there. I spent quite a lot of extra time stretching in the first couple of weeks after that post, but then my motivation faded. I am stretching more than I did prior to that post, and my flexibility is improving very slowly. So in 2016 I'll live by the Jabbawockeez words again and just keep doing what I'm doing! I'm not sure when I'll get there, but I know that quitting will not get me anywhere.

Ninja Training:

I haven't shared too much about this on the blog, but I do in fact have some Ninja Goals. In June, my oldest son got his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. That day, something triggered in me and I decided I want a Black Belt too. I can't even explain it, but I just decided to go for it and I started taking classes with my kids instead of just watching them. I felt ridiculous and very uncomfortable in classes at first (I have never done anything like this at all), and I really wanted to quit. But I felt like that sent a message to my kids that I'm a quitter (and if I give up on things that are hard at first, why shouldn't they?) so I pushed through it. Now I've advanced a couple of belts and am getting somewhere. And best of all, I'm enjoying it! I won't be able to make it to Black Belt in 2016 (it took each of my kids about three years so I'm sure it will be similar for me), but eventually I will get there and that will be the last time anyone messes with me or my kids. (Just kidding...sort of.)

Random Personal Goals:

1. Cut soda to once per week. Kristen reminded me to make this goal. Ideally I'd quite it altogether but I'm going to allow it as a treat once per week or on holidays. I just don't want it to be a daily habit and I hope finite terms will help prevent that.

2. Read Four Books. This one was inspired by Kristen again! Even though that number may sound extremely low (Kristen reads that many books in a week), I need to make this a goal or I'll completely fall off the reading wagon, and I don't want to do that because I love reading. I do most of my reading in the summer when our evenings are more free, so I think just four books per summer is realistic.

3. Weekly Family Time. For my family and our current stage (elementary school aged kids), it's very easy for us to all do our own thing to entertain ourselves at home rather than choosing an activity we do together. This year I want to make sure that at least once per week we are doing something together, whether it's playing a board game or going on a hike. For Christmas I bought a few new board games for us to try and we're off to a great start on this. We always have a great time when we do it, I just need to take on the official role of instigator so we stay consistent,

* * *
The New Year is one of my favorite times of the year to be a blog reader. I get so motivated and inspired by reading other people's goals and accomplishments, and I usually find I get to know my favorite bloggers on a little more personal level than usual, which I also enjoy. Even if you're not a resolution person, I hope you got to know me a little better today or that you gained a new understanding of why I do things the way I do here! And I hope you'll keep coming back in 2016 as I keep doing what I'm doing. (For real.)




Linking up with:

CONVERSATION

22 comments:

  1. I'm at the same point this year, to keep doing what I'm doing and at the same time to improve the process. Some things I really want to be better about, like shopping less and do something that is out of my comfort zone. So I applaud you for taking tae kwon do classes, that actually sounds really fun.
    This year I also decided to track all my reading so that I know exactly how many books I've read. So far I'm down one. Another goal is to be more open to meet new people and maybe start dating again, we'll see!

    xo
    PinkSole

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  2. I love your goals, and I love that quote! I remember when they were on ABDC...such a great show. I had no idea that you were going for your black belt! That's such a cool thing to do and your kids must be really proud of you :) Good luck this year Gina!

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  3. You never know where you are going to find inspiration or who from. I love your goals, so obtainable! Especially the splits, you'll get there!

    Xoxo,

    Whitney & Blaire

    Peaches In A Pod

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  4. I really enjoyed reading this post (and getting the link to the meme generator thank you very much). Count me as one who is excited that you're going to continue with your fitness recaps on Fridays. It's been very motivational. You've got some great goals. I'm now considering the soda once per week. Cutting it out entirely is kind of scary. So maybe I could have one on a Saturday. I like that idea. I have a feeling you'll be in the full splits before I'm up in crow.

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  5. I love seeing your outfit recaps but my favorites are also the fitness recaps and your coffee date series! Those are all great goals, especially the family time! Happy New Year!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  6. great goals and post! your outfits are effortless!

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  7. Great post Gina! I love how you've captured goals that are based on your own personal enjoyment and growth, and not just generic resolutions that most people list and then forget about. I think you're well on your way to making this a great year!

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  8. you go girl!! first, i meant to mention in our emails that i would love to get to a point where i can have soda once or twice like at events or on holidays, but i think i need to get like a year under my belt of no soda, because what i normally do is have one and then have 10 so i'm right back where i started. the longest i have gone is 9 months. anyway, i'm rambling.
    yay books!!! who cares what i, or anyone else reads a week! you are MUCH busier than me. I have nothing else to do but read haha. if you need any ebooks, let me know!
    yay black belt! you are so awesome! congrats. i did jiu jitsu when i was a kid and absolutely loved it. i 100% never came close to a black belt though.

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  9. Loved reading this Gina, you always have the cutest outfits (I want everything you post!) and it's great to get inspired by your resolutions/goals. Happy 2016!

    Tracy
    www.TracysNotebookofStyle.com

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  10. I love your goals ♥
    Melina
    www.melinaalt.de

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  11. Awesome goals! Cutting back on soda is always a good idea, and I love your reading goal. It's about the same for me, and I'm always in awe of how much Kristen reads. Girl is a rockstar!

    Happy New Year <3

    Green Fashionista

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  12. Have we already talked about how I'm a yellow belt? The husband and I took Tae Kwon Do for one hot minute and we quit after yellow. It was intense and not for me, but I can totally see why you would be black belt motivated! And I read my first book in 3 years and it was magical. I missed it and am ready to download the next one now! Interested to see where blogging takes you in 2016! I'm feeling motivated and rejuvenated so it's off to a good start at least!
    Carylee | http://morepiecesofme.com

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    Replies
    1. I had no idea you had done Tae Kwon Do!! That's awesome! Glad to hear you are back into reading. :)

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  13. I totally agree with you Gina. I'm not that kind of gal that sets years resolutions. Cause 99.9 % of the time i forget. ( sorry ) I end up doing the opposite. We can do so many great things. We think we got everything under control, but we actually forget about what's really important ( all our loved ones). Now I live one day at the time.
    However, i do have a mission, dreams that I want to accomplish but honestly tomorrow nobody knows.
    Love all your outfits & your chic style . You always look incredible in anything.
    I enjoyed reading this. Amazing post!
    Happy New Year. I'm glad we connected through IG / blog! You are truly amazing and inspiring!
    Hope you are having a great week so far.
    Xo, Raysa

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  14. Loved reading this Gina! I don't have any real resolutions this year but I do think it's a natural time to think about whether there are any changes I could make that would be meaningful to me. Your post has honestly inspired be to be a bit more serious about it and I'm going to devote some time this weekend to get some ideas on paper.

    And books! I started Girl On The Train last June and finally finished it over xmas break. I love to read but it always seems to drop to the bottom of the list. I love reading about personal development and mindfulness so Rising Strong by Brene Brown is next in my list.

    What other blogs did you read with good resolution posts? I'd like to check them out!!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post and found some inspiration! I sent you an email with a list of some of the posts I enjoyed. (If anyone else reads this comment and is interested let me know and I can email you as well or include it in an upcoming post. It's just hard to link to allthe posts in the comment section here.)

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  15. Great Post! I would love to see a roundup of your favorite jewelry :)

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion on the jewelry post!! I will add it to my list of future topics. :)

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  16. Happy New Year Gina! I love reading everyone's resolutions also as it is always very motivating and gives me some great ideas other things I want to do and/or ways to reach some of my goals. I really like your blogging goal and the ninja one! I can't wait to hopefully read more about that journey!

    Nicole
    Nicole to the Nines

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  17. Good for you to take on something to challenge yourself. I keep telling myself to do the same thing. I have terrible social anxiety and any new situation with new people, a new place gives me hives. My goal this year is to join a class or a volunteer type organization. And regarding books, I used to read a lot and stopped once the kids came along. This past fall I started up again after making a new friend that also reads the same types of books that I do. I downloaded the app Goodreads (recommend by the way) and have been reading a book a week. My 2015 goal is 50 books. I'm down 2 already. You gave me a good idea for a post on my recent favorite books :-)

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  18. I love your blogging goals. I think mine might be similar, because I don't want to get too wrapped up in numbers.

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  19. gina your outfits are always on point! great goals and your blogging ones too as mine are similar. cant wait to keep up with your blog! its super cute! hope you'll drop by mine as well :)

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