Happy New Year! Hello 2017. While I wouldn't consider myself a traditionalist, one tradition I love repeating year after is setting my goals and resolutions for the incoming year. This year was no exception. I'm excited and anxious to get started crossing accomplishments off my list! Keep scrolling to see what I'm hoping to accomplish over the next 12 months.
- Blog Consistently: Once upon a time I was the master of blogging consistently. Then I got married, had another baby and well...life happened I guess. Nevertheless, I'm determined to become more consistent in terms of sharing on this space like I used to. Writing in this space has always been therapeutic to me. I miss it.
- Collaborate With Others: I didn't get to collaborate with as many brands or bloggers as I wanted last year, but I'm aiming to change that this year. So, if you're a brand or blogger interested in working together drop me line.
- Create A Tribe: Finding my tribe when it comes to blogging is something that I really want to do this year. I've been blogging for coming up on seven years and still haven't found a tribe of bloggers locally that I can get together with to talk blog stuff in person. I have joined local blog groups, but often times I get a "Black blogger out" vibe. And if I do happen up a group of Brown bloggers, they don't think we can connect/network because I have a "mommy" blog and they're strictly lifestyle. I never knew that it would be so hard to find my tribe locally, but the struggle has been real and often times makes being a blogger feel so lonely.
Giving back has always been something that I've been passionate about. It stems from my childhood and growing up in a big family that a very limited income. So many people gave to us and assisted us in our times of need that it would ungrateful and honestly wrong of me to not pay it forward by giving back to others.
- Adopt a Family for the Holidays: The holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) are two of my favorite times of the year. We all seem to be more cheerful, friendly and compassionate. I want to embody these qualities even more by giving one to two families all the fixings for the perfect Thanksgiving meal. For Christmas I'd like a gift a family of four with at least three items each from their Christmas wishlist plus a Visa giftcard that they can use to go towards bills, more gifts or whatever they want to spend it on.
- Get Foster Parenting Certified: My mom wasn't an official foster parent growing up, but she took up in my cousins and a few non-relatives who needed a safe place to stay. Our small home was already cramped, but somehow there was always space for a few more. I admired my mom's compassion for helping others (mainly children). I put having a third child biologically on hold for the next year at least, but this summer I'd love to open our home to a preschooler, toddler or baby in a need of a loving family by becoming foster parents.
- Volunteer in my Community/Church: With the election over and all of the injustices I still see being committed against non-Whites and going virtually unpunished, it's more important than ever that I roll up my sleeves and go above and beyond to do my part for my fellow people of color.
- Create Multiple Income Streams: They say don't put all of your eggs in one basket. The same goes for income. I've spent these last few months brainstorming different streams of income that I can start in 2017 to help me diversify my income sources and I'm excited to put my plans into motion.
- Add $2500 to Kids' College Funds: If I can help them afford their dream school, why I shouldn't I?
- Start Kids' Saving Accounts: Unfortunately this is one goal that we didn't get to last year that is rolling over to 2017. Moo has convinced me to start giving her and JJ an allowance. Plus, we always seem to find loose change in the parking lots when we're out and about. Instead of letting that money sit around in a piggy bank, they're going to each open a savings account in which they will be earning interest on their money.
- Stay Within Our Mortage Budget: Once upon a time we bought house. Then life happened and said house was put back on the market because life decided it was time to say goodbye to the Queen City. We've been house hunting for months now and it's hard to not get distracted by all of these the pretty houses and finery. However, I am determined to get house that has everything we need, but is also a financially responsible purchase.
Home/Personal Life Goals
- Work on my Existing Friendships: In college I had five best friends. Since then two of them parted ways with our group and last year I realized that another one of my BFFs had drifted so far apart we aren't besties anymore, but just regular friends. In the end I still have two besties that I was always the most closest too and had the most in common with. This year I really want to focus on keeping those connections strong and show those persons how much I appreciate them for not throwing in the towel on our best friendship.
- Make Local Friends: While I love my two besties to death, neither of them live near me. One of them doesn't even live in the same state as me. I do have local blogger friends, but outside of connecting for blogging events we don't hang out. And having two kids, dealing with JJ's therapy sessions, etc didn't leave me with much time to make friends. However, my kids are older and this mommy is ready to mingle with other adults. I'm not looking for more besties, but some coffee buddies would be nice.
- Do Daily Prayers & Devotions: This was one of my goals last year. It was a total game changer for us. The kids really looked forward to our morning and evening prayers as well as reading and learning about how we should conduct ourselves as followers of Christ. I'm so glad to be continuing our journey to stronger faith as a family again this year.
- Trust my Gut More: I spent way too much time second guessing myself and my intiution last year. Not this year. See ya later Doubt!
- Do More of What Makes me Happy: Thee string of sudden celebrity deaths and terrorist attacks around the world in 2016 reminded me that life's just too short to walk around being unhappy. Happiness 2017 got my vote.
- Drop 25 lbs & Tone Muscles: Somewhere around summer I feel into a fit of depression (it happens) and I started stuffing my face with tons of things that I knew I should have been consuming in moderation. When I went to see my doctor this past fall, it was hinted at that getting back on the exercise wagon would be in my favor. I completely agree. I worked too hard to shed my pregnancy weight only to let depression pack more on.
- Take a Family Vacation: We took a weekend vacation to the beach last year for my cousin's wedding and spent the month of July with my mom last year. Idk if either those really qualies as a real vacation, but this year we're determined to take one. My mom suggested over Christmas that we take one big family trip and now we're in the planning stages and trying to nail down our destination.