Disney's boardwalk

4 Things I Want to Do by the End of 2016

November is no time to be making resolutions: I mean, cutting it a bit fine, or what?

The end of the year does this to me, though: it makes me feel all anxious and panicky, and oh my God, what have I DONE with my life? Or even my YEAR for that matter? This year I feel even more like that. 2016 really got away from me, somehow. I mean, when I look back to the start of the year, I had so many plans: I was posting my monthly goals (and even following through on some of them!): I was doing regular blog traffic reports (and the traffic was rising!): OK, I wasn’t travelling the world, or doing anything truly remarkable with my life, but at least I felt like I was heading somewhere – or trying to, at least.

Now, though? Well, I gave up on the monthly goals a few months in, when I realised that every single month I was promising myself to start an exercise routine and stick to it – but never actually doing it. I stopped publishing my blog traffic reports when the summer slump hit, and there was never anything new to report. Since then, I feel like I’ve basically just been standing still: that I’ll end this year in almost exactly the same position I started it in –  and while there are obviously worse ways to end a year (I mean, things might have stayed mostly the same, but at least they haven’t gotten worse, right?), I’d still like to make one last gasp attempt to wring something good out of 2016 – and to start next year feeling like I’m moving forward, rather than just standing still.

With that in mind, here are five things I’d like to achieve by the end of this year:

Stop Staring Boardwalk dress at Disney's Boardwalk Resort

01. Finish the second draft of my book

Around about this time last year I completed the first draft of a book I’d been working on, which is basically a memoir of my life, focusing mostly on the years when Terry had his kidney transplant, but with lots of other random life stories in it, too. Cheerful stuff then, for sure. Now I know there really isn’t much of a market for memoirs of random bloggers who haven’t really done much of note in their lives, but these are the stories that have been nagging away at me for years now (or for most of my life, in some cases), so I really wanted to get them down on paper (well, screen, I guess…), even if no one ever reads them but me.

I actually made a start on editing/re-writing that first draft a few weeks ago, but it’s been slow going so far: mostly because I can never seem to find the time for it. When I DID make the time for it, though, I was really enjoying it, and while finishing another draft by the end of the year is probably a little bit ambitious, if that goal motivates me to get at least SOME of it done, that’ll be better than nothing, right?

02. Get to 12,000 followers on Instagram

Yeah, yeah, I know you’re not supposed to care about “the numbers”, but honestly, any pro-blogger who genuinely doesn’t care how many people actually care about what they have to say/post is… well, let’s just say they’re a far better person than I am, and leave it at that. Like everything else this year, my social media has really stagnated this year. I started 2016 with just over 11,000 Instagram followers, and, until very recently, it looked like I’d be ending it with almost exactly the same number: which isn’t exactly in keeping with the spirit of ‘moving forward’, is it?

I wrote a post quite recently about my struggles with Instagram, and how I seem to always take two steps forward with it, only to take one step back. Since then, I’ve been putting a bit more effort in over there, and for the first time this year, I’ve started to see some growth. I’m not sure how sustainable it is, but I’d really like to get to the next milestone – in my case, 12,000 followers – before the end of the year. (You can help me out with this one, if you feel like doing your good deed for the day?)

03. Get my blog traffic back on track

My blog’s traffic peaked back in February, took a hit during the spring/summer, as it always does, and has been gradually going back up again since the start of autumn. This month’s traffic will be almost exactly the same as this time last year, and while that’s not terrible news, exactly (Like I said, at least it’s not falling!), I still feel a bit like I’m treading water here, without making any actual progress. I’m not going to set a specific goal for this – I just want the upward trend to continue, so let’s see how that goes!

04. Get back in shape

You knew it was coming, didn’t you? I think this particular resolution has appeared on every single ‘goal’ related post I’ve ever written, and yet I never really seem to make much progress with it. That’s not particularly surprising, either: I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not a fan of exercise-for-the-sake-of-it:  I just don’t get that endorphin rush other people seem to get, which makes any kind of exercise routine feel like a bit of a thankless task to me. (And also quite a stressful one, given that it takes up time which I always feel should be spent doing other things!)

There have, however, been times in the past when I HAVE managed to motivate myself to work out anyway: times when I’ve gone running every day, been a slave to my Fitbit dashboard, or whatever. So I know I CAN do this if I try: I just need to find the motivation from somewhere, and this time around I guess the motivation will come from the extra pounds I’ve gained over the past couple of months, and which are starting to make my cloths feel uncomfortably tight. It’s either start eating better and working out again, or buy an entire new wardrobe. Which… actually doesn’t sound all that bad, now I come to think of it?

Aaaand, I think that’s it. 

I mean, I’d love to be able to put “travel somewhere exotic” or “make my first million” on that list, but I’m trying to be realistic here: like most people I know, the last two months of the year are also the busiest for me, and most of the time it’s hard to just keep my head above water, let alone doing anything more than that. Between Rubin’s operation and the vandalism of our car last month, our finances have also taken quite the hit too, unfortunately, so even if we did have the time, travel wouldn’t really be an option right now, as much as we’d both love a holiday. There’s always next year, though, isn’t there?

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  • Haha, I’m with you on the exercising part! I made resolutions to go running regularly, ran a total of four times spaced out during two weeks… then… I fell sick and used it as an excuse.

    November 9, 2016
  • Number 1 is so great! Congratulations for even getting started! I don’t know how people write books – it has to be the most procrastinable (ouch!) work in the world.

    November 9, 2016
  • 2016 has flown by in the weirdest way! I’m gearing up to knock out a few things that were important to me at the beginning before this year ends. It’s never too late to start again!

    November 9, 2016
  • Lauren


    I will 100% read your book, whenever it does come out. I love your writing and I actually really enjoy those kinds of stories, even from people I don’t know well (though I feel that I know you at least a little bit from your blog). Well anyway, not sure if that is motivating, but whenever you’re done, please know that someone will read it. Great goals, by the way. I can truly relate to #4… Have a great November.

    November 9, 2016
  • Deanna


    I love your motivation to make some goals at this time of year – I like to make some as the holidays approach, usually about keeping life simple during the holidays and not piling too much on my plate. Then I forge ahead and host three holiday parties, Thanksgiving, etc., destroying all my good intentions! This year will be the same – except I’m leaving the country for ten days, returning home three days before Thanksgiving – just to throw in a little MORE chaos, because that’s always good, right????

    November 10, 2016
  • Ah, I’m motivated by you! And Amber, I love your total honesty. It feels like the online world is so full of everyone looking perfect and living perfect lives, making 6 figures and transforming the world (gag!) I definitely don’t fit into that.

    I am trying to make a couple of biz goals by the end of this year, too, but it gets hard when you’re busy! Re: exercising–I only do it bc I want to stay healthy and fit into all my clothes. I do at home Beach Body videos–each work out is only 1/2 hour, so it’s easy to knock out and they work. I’m done with the drive to the gym, work out for 1.5 hours, drive home…1/2 hour will get you in shape!

    November 11, 2016
  • BTW, I just followed you in Instagram (even though I never look at Instagram, sorry!)

    November 11, 2016
  • D. J.


    Beautiful photo! I live at the shore and it reminded me of here. I could almost feel the breeze! Good for you, setting goals no matter what season. I just accomplished two of mine: purchasing the 2017 Writers Market book and copyrighting one of my poems. Some of the best books ever have been everyday tales told well. I just finished “A Few of the Girls,” a collection of short stories by Maeve Binchy. And, yeah, WHY is exercise so difficult to stick to? Best of luck to you!

    November 15, 2016