Monthly Goals | January 2016

Normally when I write these monthly goals posts, there’s a long preamble in which I look back at the previous month’s goals and tell you how I got on with them. 

This time, though, I’m going to be really quick with that part, because last month I didn’t manage to meet ANY of my goals at all. Like, NONE of them. Not even the stupid “read more books” one, which I thought I couldn’t possibly fail at, because it was the kind of goal that isn’t really a goal at all, isn’t it? It’s basically one step away from saying, “My goal for the month is to breathe air!” And yet I STILL  failed to meet it. GOD.

So, yeah, December kicked my ass, basically – as it always does. This year, the ass-kicking was a little bit harder, on account of the longest and most annoying head cold EVER. I was basically sick for the entire month, give or take a few days here and there, and although I wasn’t sick in an “OMG, I need to retire to bed clutching my smelling salts” kind of way, I was sick in the way that makes everything you do take twice as long, and feel five times as difficult. Then there was Christmas, and New Year, plus a handful of birthdays and other events, and between all of that, and the fact that I wasn’t getting much sleep thanks to the non-stop coughing, I decided to just give up on the goals, and concentrate on making it to the end of the month unscathed.

Well, I did that, so I’m going to stop the self-pitying whining now, and aim to do a better job with January. These goals are going to sound really familiar to anyone who’s read my previous posts in this series, but you have to start somewhere, and here’s where I’m going to start…

January Goals, 2016

(Oh yeah, this is my 2016 diary, by the way: it’s from Paperchase, and the struggle to decide between the gold version and the turquoise version was very, very real…)

01.  Save some money

I think December is probably an expensive month for most of us, but my ever-growing Lindy Bop addiction, plus my habit of convincing myself that I NEED new outfits for the various events of the season… well, it doesn’t help, does it? To make up for it, this month I will allow myself to buy anything I deem essential (by which I mean products that run out during the month, not dresses I absolutely MUST have…), but other than that, I’m aiming to spend as little as possible, and to set some money aside, so we can hopefully get out of the country for a week or so and escape the relentlessly horrible weather.

Now, this probably seems like an easy task to most of you, but as you know, shopping is my hobby (I know, I know) and writing about fashion is my job, which means I’m confronted by temptation every single day. I can’t just close down my blogs so I don’t have to look at retail websites, but I WAS thinking of doing some kind of capsule wardrobe, challenge or similar, just to prove to myself that I really DON’T need new clothes. I know most of my readers aren’t as obsessed with capsule wardrobes as I am, however, so maybe a weekly roundup of what I wore? Or something else I haven’t thought about yet? We’ll see…

02. For the love of God, start exercising again, woman.

Yeah. I had the best of intentions with this in December, but getting sick made it impossible to even THINK about exercising, and after that… well, after that I probably could have tried harder, let’s be honest, but I didn’t, and I kinda hate myself for it. This month I’m aiming to get back on the Fitbit bandwagon: once again, I’m not going to set a specific step target, because ANYTHING will be better than the absolutely nothing I did in December, so let’s see if January will be the month I finally manage to get back into some kind of routine.

03. Publish my ebook

One thing I did do in December was to finish the first draft of the ebook about blogging which I started writing a few months ago: I’d say this means the month wasn’t a total write-off, but I haven’t tried to re-read it yet, so it’s probably best to reserve judgement until I’ve cast my eye over it and found out just what kind of rubbish I’ve managed to come up with under the influence of cough medicine and lack of sleep. (When I say I “finished the first draft”, I mean I wrote the first couple of chapters in a burst of enthusiasm ages ago, then sat down and hammered out the rest over the course of two evenings in December. Just call me Jack Kerouac, seriously…*)

I had hoped to get it all ready for publication by the start of January, but life got in the way, so that’s not going to happen, but I would like to publish it at some point this month: assuming I can get over the all-consuming fear which is holding me back, that is. For some reason I have no problem whatsoever with vomiting thousands of words a day onto my blog, but the idea of creating a book, and putting it out into the world is absolutely TERRIFYING to me. This may prove to be a bit of a stumbling block, I fear…

04. Put  together a media kit

Like most bloggers, I get dozens of emails every day, from people wanting me to promote their product, publish their guest post, or whatever. I do have an ‘advertise’ page on the site, which I use to try and pre-empt some of those questions (and to point out that NO, I DO NOT ACCEPT GUEST POSTS), but still they keep coming, so this month I’d like to put together some kind of media kit, which I can just mail out to everyone who asks. I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, but have never gotten round to it, so hopefully this will be the month I finally cross it off my list.

05. Get back into Instagram

Instagram is my favourite social network, but I’ve really struggled with it lately: it’s been far too dark most days to take decent photos, and I’ve also fallen into the trap of comparing my feed to everyone else’s, and feeling like crap as a result. I’ve no idea what I can really do to fix this, because it’s STILL too dark to take decent photos, but I don’t think I could do much worse in that respect, so let’s see how I get on.

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And with that said, I think I’m going to leave it there for now. January is a month in which I really struggle to motivate myself, so I’m setting the bar pretty low this month. Oh, and as you probably noticed, I decided to start including blog-related goals in these posts again, rather than in my blog traffic reports. I will still be doing the traffic reports, but they’re long enough without that stuff, and to be perfectly honest, most of the goals I set myself each month tend to be blog related anyway, so I figured they probably fit better in these posts, anyway.

What are your goals for January? 

  • Louise


    Happy New Year Amber and good luck with your goals.

    I’ll definitely be on a health kick in January. X

    January 1, 2016
  • I think my goal at the moment is to really try to sve some money so that I sometime i the near future can buy a new lens for my camera, so that I have any chance at all to take outfit photos inside.

    January 1, 2016
  • Moira


    One of my goals for January, like you, is to have a bit of a fast where clothes shopping is concerned…I also want to sort out my wardrobe a bit better, am pretty good at rotating through my clothes, but it takes me way too long to find things. I’d like to get out on my bike a bit more too. Happy New Year, Amber!

    January 1, 2016
  • Happy New Year Amber- good luck with your goals… A media kit sounds good though, I might look into it for my blog too! X

    January 1, 2016
  • Maybe try a mix or ditch challenge, find things that you’ve not worn in a while and create a few outfits with that item etc. I’ve seen some of that floating around blogs last year

    January 1, 2016
  • I am very excited by you publishing an ebook as I find your posts amazing and you to be a total blogging inspiration 😀
    Water Painted Dreams

    January 1, 2016
  • TinaD


    A month for remixing separates, maybe? I’m not thinking capsule wardrobe so much as endless chaining…this black top goes with this pencil skirt, which then can be worn with this pink top, which tones nicely with these beige crops, etc. [That’s how I plan my sewing (when I sew…there you go, new goal, I’ll make a point to sew this year). If I do wardrobe-based plans I get overwhelmed and go to bed with a sick head; this way it’s one piece at a time and I can quit whenever I like.]

    January 1, 2016
  • Trudy


    I hear you on the problem of saving money. Why are clothes so darn expensive! (Nice ones, anyway.) Because I don’t actually NEED anything new, I made myself a rule that I can only buy myself one new thing a month. Sometimes if that one thing is fairly cheap, I will let myself buy something else as well. But the temptation! I don’t let myself go online shopping once I have bought myself my one thing.

    The only New Year’s resolution I have made is to lose weight 🙁 I am not super overweight, but I had hit my upper weight limit before we even got to Christmas, so now I need to do some serious dieting – not fun 🙁

    January 1, 2016
  • Ooh, please publish your eBook!! I love your perspective on blogging, and will download it as soon as it is available.
    I can totally relate to your fear though: I just published my first (e)book of personal essays about finding yourself, and it was the most terrifying and rollercoaster-y experience of my life. But also: One of the most AMAZING ones. And I have barely sold any copies, but still: Just knowing that a long-term goal of writing a book “one day” has become reality is so incredible!
    Please, please go ahead and do it! You’re an amazing writer, you write for a living, and you blog for a living – you are the perfect person for it!

    January 2, 2016
  • Happy New Year!

    I got that paperchase diary in turquoise, and its just SO PRETTY. I can’t stop staring at it..

    My goal for January is to get back into blogging properly, I’ve been blogging in the same place since I was in my first year at college at the age of 17, and I’m now 25 so I got a little burnt out on it all last year. I missed it so much though, so this year is comeback time! Blog blog blog.

    Rai xx

    January 2, 2016
  • I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe but then I look at my wardrobe with its five million items and I think how could I possibly condense that down to just 37 items! I like the idea though.

    I joined a gym at the end of september and my aim at first is to go once a week and then once I can manage that up it to a couple of times a week!

    I hope 2016 is good for you xx

    January 2, 2016