january | small goals

photo by Briley Noel

One last goal-related post this month, and then I swear no more goals until February! 2015 is already off to a bang! I accomplished a few goals this weekend from my 25 before 25 list including submit a piece of writing to a zine and meet a blogger in person. I sent off a brand new essay that I'm really excited about to Vagina :: The Zine's Winter '15 issue, and now I just cross my fingers and wait! I also had an impromptu blogger date with Sara of Sincerely Sara, who had come to Austin for a wedding until I borrowed her from her family for tea at one of my favorite little coffee shops and lots of fun blogger talk. It's so nice to be able to say things like Disqus, ban.do, and Happy Mail and not have to explain it! As I write this on Sunday night, I also have two quick (and really sad) chapters left in Truth & Beauty, and then I get to start Yes Please, the first book on my 2015 reading list!

Before we get into goals for January, let's look at December's small goals:

1. send out family holiday cards | done! I posted the card and the outtakes on the blog, and we emailed the card to our loved ones. The overall response: "adorbs!"
2. follow five new blogs | done! Actually, I forgot the goal was only 5 and I followed 10 blogs: The Demure Muse, Sarah's Real Life, Love Wild. Be Free., What Olivia Did, The Clothes Horse, Triple Thread, JennifHseih, I Want You to Know, In My Sunday Best, and Lost in the Haze. I'm already feeling more inspired in general, and I'm excited to form new friendships with a few of the bloggers I listed!
3. post at least 3 times a week | I totally forgot I set this goal, and then I decided to take a week off for the holidays between the 18th and 25th. But! Aside from that, I did meet the goal.
4. buy a dryer | Okay, I know I said "dryer or bust," but we ended up receiving some really difficult family-related news that I'm not going to write about here, so we aren't going to have dryer money for a while. We've instead settled on a nice little drying rack!
5. reflect on 2014 and establish resolutions for 2015 | done!

Not bad for a month where I spent about two weeks napping and living off of eggnog and cookies!

1. finish Yes Please | I kind of expect this to be a quick read, and since it's only January 5, I think I should have time to finish the whole book this month. (I'm a notoriously slow reader -- no shame!)
2. do 5 minutes of Duolingo 5 days a week | I've decided it's about time I learn Spanish so I can communicate with Dago's family! I'm setting this goal at 5 minutes a day 5 days a week, but I expect myself to do more like 10 minutes a day 3 days a week. We'll see what happens.
3. Scope out some new outfit photo locations | In following a bunch of new blogs, I'm really inspired by creative photo locations in all these exciting cities! Austin has so much beauty and interest to offer, so I want to find some new locations and really be the artistic director that blogging has begun requiring.
4. finish a puzzle with Dago | I came home one night last week with a date night in a box and a bottle: I brought a box of puzzles and a bottle of Moscato. Dago isn't really into puzzles, but I thought it would be fun to do something together that takes us away from all the screens in our house. Plus, it feels so good to start with a bunch of pieces and take the time to complete the picture!
5. take down the Christmas tree | Oh yeah. This goal. Dago and I left our tree up last year until almost Valentine's Day. This year I've been intentionally leaving it up because it makes Dago so happy to see it all lit up, which is just precious to me, but we really need to get it taken down before we get too far into the new year!

So, there they are. My small goals for January! I think these are pretty attainable, and I'm looking forward to seeing them through! Are you going to try making monthly goals this year? I highly recommend it! This will be my third year doing goals each month and they really help me stay on track!


  1. I want to know who some of your new blogs are that you follow! I am needing some new inspiration!

  2. I linked them in the post, silly! they're in bold!

  3. Yay! It was amazing meeting you! I wish we lived closer so that we could get coffee and talk all the time! :)

    I really want to read Yes Please! Unfortunately I have a whole pile of books I really should get to first, but eventually! Good luck with Duolingo! I've heard that's a great app!

  4. Love the idea of small goals set each month! Makes them wayyyy more manageable, eh? Good luck with Duolingo too... "coach" helped me learn Italian before I lived in Rome this summer :)

  5. to be totally honest, i HATE the coach aspect. it just isn't an effective form of motivation for me. it's my one complaint about the app so far (which i've already been using for a week or so). i wish i had an option to change out the coach persona and put in a kind and inspiring friend who makes me tea while we learn.

  6. Hahah wouldn't that be the best? I have to agree with you on that one. I'd much rather have tea any day! Not to completely ruin your thoughts on the app but when I got back from living abroad, "coach" would continually send me notifications about not reaching my goal for ___ (normally a ridiculously embarrassing amount) of days. It was the wooooorst! Eventually I found a way to stop that, but still!

  7. These goals are super. I used Duolingo for German around this time last year when I was babysitting for a dual language English/German family--I was feeling inspired to learn some basic German vocabulary. It was really great for that, but I struggled to learn the verb conjugations based on the format of the app. Be forewarned! There's a website too, though, and I think there are more options there. I've been considering trying beginner French this year, or maybe just going back and brushing up on my Spanish. Can't decide! I say, if you do 25 minutes of it a week, call it a win.

    It's so funny that you mention the puzzle/wine date, because my sisters suggested the same thing to me when they were visiting, except with friends! Tis the season for puzzle longing, maybe.


  8. First of all, that photo of you is AWESOME. I can't see your face, but there's something about this photo that is so filled with life, confidence, and freedom. Love it.

    I know we're into January a little bit, but I'm really wanting to start some monthly goals...I think I might start with some more attainable ones this month since I won't have the full 31 days to complete them :) I love that you want to learn Spanish to communicate with Dago's family! I took 5 years of Spanish in school and LOVED it, but I've gotten a little rusty. I bought some old Spanish textbooks from half.com several years ago to help myself learn the language again, and I just started working my way through them over winter break. I'm such a nerd, but it's been SO much fun to read and speak the language again! It should come in handy - we have a lot of Latino families and migrant families in my school district, and to be able to communicate with students and their parents in their native language is going to be so awesome.

  9. I have toyed with the idea of monthly goal but never really done it before. Your post has inspired me to really doing it. Is it too late if I start today?

  10. it's definitely not too late! not to sound cheesy, but it's never too late to set goals, especially small ones!


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