Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 Goals and Resolutions

So yesterday I posted my reading challenges and goals for this next year. Now I wanted to post some of my own personal goals and some of the changes you can expect this coming year.
Personal Goals
Get Organized: I am a little tired of all the clutter in my house, things not having a home and having to scramble on days when things are due at school or some appointment, etc. So I plan to accomplish something each month to work towards a goal of being more organized (ie: update calendar with Birthdays, anniversaries, etc., update address book, clear out old clothes/toys/decorations, unsubscribe to junk emails & junk mail if possible, etc.).
Get Healthy: I have found in the years past that setting diets, exercise, weight or size goals just don't work for me. I decided I will just work towards getting healthier with little goals each month. I am a habitual soda drinker and I want to cut that back and drink more water. I want to get more active but not strictly an exercise routine. I also get fast food breakfast every morning on the way to work because my mornings are so busy getting both Munchkin and myself out the door, I want to cut this back as well.
Projects: I also want to work on some of these crafty projects I have the supplies for, some of them I have never even started. I would like to narrow down on the focus a little bit, decide if I am going to focus on paper art or beading, etc. I would also like to finish up the current works in progress and get my Etsy shop up and running again.
Letter Writing: I have had so much fun writing letters and finding new penpals this year. I want to really set aside time at least 2 days a week for my writing and establish a place to write. 
Nails: I have been really good up until the end of the year with painting my nails weekly. I want to continue doing this, it makes me feel pretty, especially since I don't wear makeup and I am not really all that fashionable.
Family Fun: I can't believe how many fun things we got to do this last year as a family and even just with Munchkin. As a result Munchkin is so curious and has a wide variety of interests now. I want to continue expanding his experiences when I can and plan to take him to another aquarium, a seaport, a butterfly garden, on a trip to MN to see my extended family (and go to see Paul Bunyan and the big ship port in Duluth), among many more things. He is also getting more self reliant so I want to encourage him to do things for himself (getting his own breakfast, helping to cook, etc.). He is also finally getting the tubes out of his ears & I want to get him into swim lessons. Hubby & I will also each be taking a weekend to ourselves and one with just us, we both need a break from the house and some alone time to follow our own interests that have been set aside in recent years.
Bucket List Items:
I know a lot of people use this for selfies, but instead I want to take a picture of something every day that makes me happy.  I tend to be a little pessimistic and want to try to look more toward the good things in my life, sometimes they are just little things like a new pen that writes beautifully, getting to sleep an extra 15 minutes in the morning, or a delicious cup of tea; sometimes the good things are bigger like a really big hug from Munchkin, a free day off from the boss, or a having a debt paid in full. So I have set up a Flickr account to post all of these daily blessings, if you would like to follow them here is my account: EasternSunset9
Believe it or not, come June Hubby & I will have been married for 9 years, and guess what, I still have not made our wedding scrapbook! Let alone start on one for Munchkin! So one of my goals this year will be to finish up that scrapbook.
I have always loved coloring, and in college I would use it as a bit of stress relief during finals. If anything my stress level is just as high if not higher anymore. So I want to get back into this simple form of stress relief for myself. I would like to either finish one of those adult coloring books or 2 children's coloring books.

There is something special about using your holiday to bring joy to someone who might not have had it otherwise. Growing up my family would volunteer at a soup kitchen, or wrap gifts for the food bank, or even deliver for the food bank. Someday I will do those things with Munchkin but I don't feel like he is quite old enough yet. So instead I am going to work throughout the year to make cards for Hospitalized Children. I also came across a program called Operation Christmas Child, while I would like to help kids in our own country, there was just something about seeing the video of kids in other countries who may have never received a gift before open that package. So Munchkin and I will try to fill a shoe box each month of the year (maybe 2 - one for a boy and one for a girl) to send to this program.

So Munchkin and I had some picnics in the front yard last summer, but this year I want to go on an actual picnic. Make a day of it, find a nice spot and laze about with the family, no phones allowed, and spend the whole day relaxing, chatting, resting and playing.
Boy that seems like a lot of goals for the year, but I think the main focus of this next year will be on having fun and looking to the brighter side of life with friends and family. Now that I have all those personal goals out there, I think it is time to let you all know about what to expect blog wise this year.
Blogging in 2016
Can you believe I have been blogging here for over 5 years?! In that time I have made some changes, adjusting to both my preferences and hopefully a little to all of your preferences (I always love to hear if you really like something I am doing or dislike something too). So this next year will be no different, I am going to expand on things that are enjoyed and try a few new things too.
I am going to continue Monday Reading List, Tasty Attempts, Pen to Paper, After Dark Reviews, Early Reader Reviews, Bedtime Stories, Graphic Novel Reviews, Fun with Munchkin and Crafty Times posts.  I will be adding to that list Magic Tree House Mondays, which will be a review of a Magic Tree House book each Monday Afternoon.  I will also be adding Tea Time Tuesdays, it will be every other Tuesday (opposite of Tasty Attempts) where I share my increasing love for tea, I may share a particular flavor I am loving at the time, a new tea goodie, a historical or other fact about tea I recently learned, etc. as I learn more about tea. I will also be adding Sunday Inspirational Snippets, where I will share a quote, a picture, etc. that inspired me to do something or make something and I will encourage you to join me too.

I will be only posting challenge updates every three months but will be updating my challenge page more frequently. I will also be giving up on Story Stacks for a little while to debate them as a regular post or just a special occasion post or not at all.
I will still be maintaining the focus of this blog on books and reviews, but I will be considering an additional blog about crafting.

Points System
So last year I instituted a points system for myself, I earn points for reading books on my shelves and in turn can use those points towards purchasing new books. I stuck to it pretty closely for the most part, occasionally I would still have impulse book buy that I would forget to subtract from the points. I want to continue with the points system and hopefully stick to it even better this year!

Reading values:
Children's Book & Early Reader = 1pt
Graphic Novels, Audio Books & Ebooks = 3pts
Print Books = 5pts

Bonus Points to Earn:
Completing a Series = 5pts
Completing a Challenge = 10pts
10,000 pages read = 10pts
24 hours listening = 10pts
Month with no book purchases = 15pts

How to Spend Points:
Children's Books & Early Readers = 5pts
Graphic Novels, Audio Books & Ebooks = 10pts
Print Books = 15pts

Exceptions to Spending Points:
Scholastic Book Orders - Must still be kept under $25 per order/month
Audible Monthly Download - 1 book per month
BookBub Freebies - 1 book per week
Special Collection books - I am working on filling out special collections/author signed books and these will not cost points as there was already space made for them on the shelves. (Dr. Seuss books, Serendipity books, Robin Cook, Vintage, Author Signed etc.)


  1. I'm so impressed with your goals. They've inspired a few of my own. I really like that pic a day idea. I think you're an awesome mom and it sounds like you're going to be even more awesome this year. Munchkin sure is lucky!

    1. Thank you Jenny! I would love to here what your goals are for the year. I am really excited for the picture of the day, I just hope I can remember to do it every day! I really try to be a good mom but we all have our doubts from time to time, it is nice to hear that others think I am doing something right.