I’ve been thinking about this here blog for the past few weeks. It seems I’ve developed a blogging pattern that consists of getting really energized and having a lot of ideas, and all I want to do is sit and write and share with you, but then I lose steam and feel like nothing I write about is very interesting or worth reading so I disappear for a week or two until I get energized again. I don’t like that pattern and I’m sure it certainly isn’t fun for my readers, but impostor syndrome and feeling like a fraud is really hard to shake. If you experience it, you know what I mean!
But I’ve really started to evaluate my role as a blogger — or, more accurately, my desire to be a blogger — because I was watching Instagram stories the other day and I found some of them to be riveting. And that made me wonder what it is about these stories that caught and held my attention, and I realized that it’s because I could relate to them in some way; my stories aren’t that much different from theirs. So maybe what I have to share really is *that* interesting… or maybe not since it’s already been done. Are you catching on to my thought process here? It’s exhausting to think this way all the time.
I’ve been thinking about the blog because I want to write more consistently. But blogging takes a lot of work and effort. Sometimes I feel that if I spend too much time blogging then I’m not being truly present in my life and I’m missing out on time with my son. But then I’m neglecting my blog and my passion. So how do I find that balance of being present in each moment but still devoted to blogging about those moments? How do you other bloggers do it? A few of the bloggers I really like have given birth recently and I love seeing stories about their beautiful new babies. I have a baby, and I’m sure that sharing stories about our day and the silly things he does would be pretty entertaining.
Anyway, this post has been a draft for a while now. Why? Because it wasn’t finished. It wasn’t perfect. It didn’t have the right pictures. I didn’t think anyone would care. Any maybe no one does care. Maybe I’m yelling out into the void. But if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear, does it still make a sound? You betcha. So, I’m pressing publish and making my sound. I just hope there’s someone out there in the forest who wants to hear it.
When you ask someone who their heroes are, they’ll probably answer with super inspirational people who’ve done amazing things for humankind, like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mother Teresa. And, of course, those are awesome heroes to have and I’d jump on that train any day. But if you ask Nikki Crews who her heroes are, she answers with the two most awesome blonde women in the world: Shakira and Leslie Knope!
Listen, I will drop everything to sing and dance along to a Shakira song AND most of the time, I’m quoting the greatest show to have ever existed: Parks & Recreation.
Happy February, everyone! I can’t believe we’re already in the second month of 2017. At the beginning of the year, I set some pretty good goals both for my life and for the blog that I’m really excited about achieving. In order to hold myself accountable, I’m going to check in each month with how/what I did to accomplish them, as well as a plan of smaller goals for the following month to continue using/accomplishing them.
1. Focus more on experiences and less on material things. For this goal, I simply want to get out and do more things so as to make this a habit for the little one on the way. I want him to experience the city in ways that will instill in him a love of community and adventure. He won’t be here until March/April but I figure if we start focusing on experiences now, it will come naturally when he gets here.
–Unfortunately, we didn’t do much in January that focused on experiences. We attended several baby showers (two of which were our own and one was for our dear friends who are due around the same time as me), and I had some job interviews so we’ve been pretty busy.
–I’ve signed up to recieve emails about events happening in and around my town from Get Offline, a company that curates experiences in your city for you to “keep your free time exciting.” I’m hoping that constantly seeing all of the fun things going on around me will remind and motivate me to get out and do more fun things!
–Visit the farmers’ market at least twice during the month, but ideally more if possible
–Have a fun Galentine’s and/or Valentine’s outing
–Try our hand at a DIY maternity photo shoot (I’m really excited about this one!)
2. Focus on my health and learning as much as I can about the rest of my pregnancy, labor & deliver, and being a good mother. Being and staying healthy, as well as being prepared for what is coming in the next few months and beyond, is really important to me.
–We attended a childbirth class and took a tour of the labor & delivery unit of our hospital. I made sure to ask as many questions as I could to understand the processes.
–To focus on my health, I’ve started taking Mia on longer walks. Normally, she gets two to three 15-minute walks per day to do her business but since walking is good for both of us, I’ve tried to incorporate longer walks any time the weather is nice (e.g. sunny, not too cold, not raining, etc.)
–Prenatal yoga at least 3 times a week, with a focus on meditation and relaxation (to help me prepare for labor & delivery)
–Practice some breathing and relaxation techniques at least 3 times a week (also to help me prepare for L&D)
–More long walks with Mia as the weather permits
3. Read more books. For now, I’m sticking to my initial goal of one book per month, at least until the baby gets here when I might lower the number to 6 new books within the year.
–I finished Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. It’s been one of the best celebrity autobiographies I’ve read so far. I was interested in it because I always thought she seems really cool and fun in real life and from what I’ve read, it does sound like she’s really cool and fun in real life, but she’s not without her hangups, which makes her feel all the more real to me. I would definitely recommend it.
Note: I’m continuing to choose and read books related to pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, etc. but I’m not including them in this goal.
–The next book on the list is Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I only intermittently read her blog but I did read her first book and I loved it. I can’t wait to read this one.
4. Write more letters/send more cards to my friends and family.
–Not so good with the progress on this one. With all that’s been going on, I haven’t had much time to think about letters and cards. I didn’t even send a birthday card this month because the one family birthday we had, we were able to have lunch with them so I gave them their card in person. I supposed that still counts, right?
–I did write and mail out some thank you cards from my first baby shower at the end of the month, so that counts, too!
–Continue to consult my calendar to send birthday cards
–Thank you notes for my second baby shower by the end of the month
–Choose at least two people to write a handwritten letter to by the end of the month
5. Write more content. I used to write a lot. Somewhere along the line I stopped writing for fun and I want to get that back. So, along with journaling more and writing more stories for myself, I will focus on creating some original and fun content for the blog.
–I’ve included a few new features that aren’t just outfit related (e.g., NCsquared Conversations, my mini house tour post) so I think I’ve gotten a good start. I would still like to incorporate some of my personal views on things, but I have to figure out how to do that in a peaceful and non-divisive way.
–At least 3 Fashion Flashback posts where I compare my style over the past few years. It’s style related but at least I can incorporate some thoughts.
–Writing more stories about my childhood and incorporating more humor into the blog
6. Post more often. Writing more content should lead to posting more often. I’m still aiming for 3-4 posts per week.
–I’ve gotten off to a good start with posting at least three time a week
–Post at least three time per week
–Spend more time on the weekends planning and writing,
–Maybe even try to take photos in the morning when I first get dressed instead of waiting until the evening (when it’s much less likely to happen) or the weekend
7. Take better pictures. This year, I resolve to comprehend more about lighting, ISO, aperture, exposure, focus, how to take advantage of the features on my camera, as well as better editing so that my photos look better are more appealing.
–I read a few tutorials on how to improve my Instagram photos. That’s a start.
–Read as much as I can about lighting and aperture speed to figure out the f stop feature so I can take my camera off of its automatic mode!
8. Grow my readership. I would like to create content that is fun and engaging for a lot of people and, therefore, gain more readers.
–I’ll admit I haven’t done much this month to grow my readership. I did start a Facebook Page for the blog and have done a decent job of keeping it updated.
–Read at least 2-3 blog posts from other bloggers that give advice on growing your readership and brainstorming how I can incorporate their advice into my blog
–Make a plan to incorporate at least 3 new ideas from these advice posts by the end of the month
–Participate in more link ups
The year is off to a great start. Here’s to hoping I can keep up the momentum, especially after the baby gets here in March!
Every year I set resolutions and every year I only make it about halfway to completing them. Well, some years I’m more successful than others, but mostly I’d say it’s 50/50 that I complete everything I want to do. One of my favorite resolutions was to try at least 6 new things in 2012. I think I did maybe 3-4 things, but I have a lot of good memories of them so I would say it was a success. This year I have several resolutions I’m hoping I can stick to.
Focus more on experiences and less on material things. This seems like a good one to start now with the little one on the way. I want him to have so many fun experiences that will help shape his life and personality. I will focus on trips, events, and local outings that will instill in him a love of community and adventure. Saturday morning farmers’ markets, trips to the park, and petting goats in a petting zoo; these are the experiences I want him to have.
Focus on my health and learning as much as I can about the rest of my pregnancy, labor & deliver, and being a good mother. I’m a pretty healthy person to begin with but it’s easy to fall off the wagon, especially now that I still have really strong sugar cravings. I want to make sure I’m being mindful of what I eat and how much exercise I’m getting, both now and after the baby comes. This is also a good one to start now so that I can model it for my son when he gets older to ensure he grows up as healthy as possible. I’m already signed up to take all of the necessary classes — childbirth, postpartum and newborn care, breastfeeding, etc. — but I will also research some parenting methods and choose the one that I think will be right for my family.
Read more books. My initial goal was to read at least one book per month, but I realize that might be slightly difficult when I’m sleep deprived and taking care of a newborn. Maybe just 6 books this year? No matter the number I decide, I will put the phone/social media apps down and pick up books more. I received so many good ones for Christmas this year that my list is already halfway made so, as long as I spend my time wisely I think I can do it.
Write more letters/send more cards to my friends and family. You know that feeling you get when you open the mailbox and find a handwritten envelop containing a handwritten letter or card? For me, it’s awesome and I’m so grateful because it lets me know someone is thinking about me. This year, I will not only take more time to think about the people in my life but to show them that I’m thinking of them with a nice letter.
Write more content. It’s not that I don’t love taking picture of my outfits but I’ve always wanted to be a writer because I love writing. When I was a kid, I wrote stories all the time and won several school and county contests with them. Somewhere along the line I stopped writing for fun and I want to get that back. So, along with journaling more and writing more stories for myself, I will focus on creating some original and fun content for the blog. I’m not sure what that looks like yet but I think I can make it happen. And don’t worry, there will still be plenty of outfit posts!
Post more often. Along those lines, I will make sure I’m posting more often. I’m aiming for 3-4 posts per week. That seems simple enough but when life gets busy, it’s easy to put blogging to the side. But I will do a better job of holding myself accountable and if I’m writing more content, then posting more often shouldn’t be a problem.
Take better pictures. When Nick bought me a fancy camera for Christmas a few years ago, I was so excited to learn all about lighting and camera settings and all those things that would make my pictures look amazing. I read a few articles and tried a few things but I never really put much effort into it. This year, I resolve to learn and comprehend more about lighting, ISO, aperture, exposure, focus, etc. etc. This also applies to my Instagram photos, as well.
Grow my readership. I think this is every blogger’s goal, and while I don’t necessarily look to become famous or anything like that, I would like to create content that is fun and engaging for a lot of people and, therefore, gain more readers. I’m going to start following some of the advice offered by other bloggers on how to grow your blog, pay more attention to SEO, take better photos, etc. so that I can really start to feel successful in this little hobby of mine.
There you have it: four life goals and four blog goals. I’m feeling super optimistic about this year and the future, so I’m telling myself I can do it. And I really believe that I can! I’ll also try my best to follow up with periodic check-ins to help hold myself accountable. What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
Hi, I’m Nikki. This is where I blog about my life and personal style. I’m a wife and mom, sushi lover, wine drinker, and coffee enthusiast. Welcome to my little corner of the world where I try to lead by example!
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