Category: Goals and Plans

Blog Goals!

Blog Goals!

If I’m being honest, find my aesthetic is a pretty big theme in all areas of my life, not just blogging. From what I’ve read, style is something that’s more rigid and closely linked to interior design and clothing while aesthetic is more what you do and how you do it in order to give a certain impression and feeling (a vibe, if you will). Right now, mine is chaos and shenanigans and I’d like to have a little bit of a more peaceful vibe. But with more color than is probably acceptable.

My biggest blogging flaw is that I don’t post consistently and take very long breaks with no warning. This isn’t really a big deal since I’m not trying to make any money or sending people to the blog for writing samples or anything but if I’m going to keep doing it, I should really do it. I want to have some solid hobbies, and I’d like for blogging to be one of them.

I have a lot of posts on Coffee & Crows, and I have no idea what 99% of them are. I may not remove a single one, or I may remove 100. I’d like to take a tour regardless. It’ll be really nice to see all the pictures I’ve posted over the last few years and re-read the stories I’ve told. Maybe I’ll steal some post ideas from Past Me for Current/Future Me.

Six years of not checking if I’ve posted about a book before has taken its toll. I have a ton of book covers that are twins, triplets, and quadruplets of themselves throughout my media library. On top of that, I have some images that are all kinds of sizes, versions, etc. and I’m only using 1 of them. I’m not running out of space, but I can always use more. Especially if I’m going to be posting more frequently.

Taking pictures is one of my favorite things, and I would love to actually use my own photos for blog images instead of one from Pexels sometimes. I’d also like to create some graphics – maybe a logo, maybe header images for series I do on my blog – basic things like that. All of that requires a lot, though, I need to plan out my posts better so I know what I need to shoot, I’ll need to do photo shoots, learn to edit my pictures (I usually just throw them up unedited), and get a very basic handle on graphic design. Because, look, I’m not going to become an amazing graphic designer/professional photographer, but I’d like to pretty up Coffee & Crows a bit.

2023 New Year’s Resolutions

2023 New Year’s Resolutions

This year, I decided that I don’t want to do traditional New Year’s Resolutions. Sure I need to lose some weight and change my diet for health, and on and on and on, but I decided that I’d rather have a theme to 2023 instead of very specific goals. That allows me the room to change and adapt my goals as the year goes along.

I’ve learned over the past few years that you never know from one week to another what may happen, so making year long goals seems too ambitious and having quarterly goals feels too business-y. I already have professional development quarterly goals, and that’s enough.

After workshopping my original theme (“get better”), I came up with a three part theme:

get healthy | get moving | get thinking

I think it pretty much sums up what I want to do in 2023. I need to get healthy in more than 1 way, I want to get moving because it’s only going to get harder in years to come, and my brain has been stagnating for years.

It’s a little bit of a cop out, though, because anything can be said to fit the theme. For instance – anything related to me doing something that makes me happy can be “get healthy” related because mental health is health. Not piling up my TBR list fits “get thinking” because I have to consider every single book I want to read and decide if I want to search it out, and camping goes right along with “get moving” since I’ll literally do a lot of moving while camping.

When I decided to do my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ this way while super sick on the couch, I was really avoiding making any concrete goals since I had very little brain power. As 2023 started so slowly – I’m a month in and I’ve only been functioning at 100% for 2ish weeks – it became very very clear that this was the best decision for this year. I like not feeling like I’m behind on my goals and also thinking “how does this fit the theme” when I decide to do something. Like mindlessly playing a game on my phone – it doesn’t really fit any of the theme. It makes me feel guilty I’m not doing something else, I’m completely still, and I have no thoughts when I’m playing.

So, as 2023 starts it’s second month, I’m pretty happy with where I am with my theme. Maybe this is my new default – no goals, just theme.


My 2023 Reading/Book Related Goals

My 2023 Reading/Book Related Goals

I missed the whole “new year, new me” posting bonanza in January since I was too busy coughing out my lungs, so I decided to post a few now. First is my little list of reading goals for 2023, which I’m sure was one of the Top Ten Tuesday prompts for January that I missed.

  1. Keep going to book club (maybe 2, but definitely the one).
    • This was a highlight of last fall, and I was able to go to January’s meeting, so I’d like to keep it up all year. I’m going to be trying another one as well – two whole evenings out of the house a month. What a social butterfly I’m turning into.
  2. No buying any new books. Ebook, paper book, or audiobook.
    • I already own too many books, I honestly don’t need a single new one.
    • There is an exception for this one, though. I don’t own many, if any, of the books I’ll be reading for book club(s). Obviously, if the library has a copy that I don’t have to wait too long for, I’ll get it from the library. If the wait is too long, or they just don’t have the book (which happens a lot), I’ll have to buy one.
  3. Challenge myself.
    • I’ve been playing it relatively safe the past few years, and while I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve gotten to a point where I’d like to read outside of my comfort zone. Which is not to say I won’t be reading a Regency romance or zombie apocalypse…or even mostly reading them…just that I’d like to fit in a few books that make me think or might not be something I’d normally read.
  4. Stop piling up the TBR pile.
    • I deleted every To Read book out of my Goodreads account. I made the decision that I would only keep TBR “lists” in my library apps and on Amazon if I really want to read it but the library doesn’t have it. I was having the Netflix problem – too many things to choose from so I only read whatever popped up without really consulting the list of things to read. So I want to keep it simple. Tag books I know I want to read in the library apps or put them on an Amazon wish list if I can’t find them there.
  5. Make the effort.
    • One of the fundamental pieces to who I am is being a reader. Even when I haven’t read a book in months, it’s the first thing I say when people ask me what I do for fun. This year I want to make the effort to rediscover the love of reading that I remember so well and make it a part of my daily (or daily-ish) life.

Normally, I try to make a list equal to 10 items, but honestly, these are going to be tough enough. The 2 hardest will definitely be no piling up the TBR pile and challenging myself, though. And the no buying new books. So 3 of the 5 will be the most difficult. The easiest will be book club, for sure.

Maybe I’ll follow up at the end of the year to discuss how I did, but I probably won’t. These certainly aren’t SMART goals, and I’ve learned from experience that goals can grow, morph, and be supplanted within a year. But for now, these are my bookish goals.


Creating a 5 Year Plan

Last week I thought I’d make a 5 year plan. I don’t really go in for “if you write/envision it, it will automatically happen”, but I do think that there’s something powerful in writing down the long-term vision of your life. After I did a ton of Googling and reading and thinking, I decided to write this post instead of creating one so I haven’t actually made my 5 year plan yet. I promise to post mine soon, though, and link it from here.

The Goal Setting

Make concrete, measurable goals for 5 years from now and then work backwards from there to make ‘stepping stone’ goals from when you start your plan to when it’s finished. A linear path to the finish line – like a race. Start your goals with a version of this sentence: “I want to (do/have/be/get)…”

Goal Setting

  1. Create a list of categories you would like to have goals in.
    • Ex: Love, Hobbies, Career, $$$, Travel, etc. You can have as few or as many as you’d like.
  2. Make a list of your goals & group them by your categories.
  3. Take your goals by categories and start breaking those goals down into smaller goals.
  4. Continue breaking those goals down into manageable chunks of actionable items.
    • Goal: I want to buy a house
      • Save $25,000 by the end of 5 years.
      • Save $5,000 each year
      • Only eat out once a month
      • Stop buying coffee
  5. Repeat for each goal.
  6. Make a game plan for how to do those actionable things.

Example Goals

  • I want to move to Big City and own my own apartment/house.
  • I want to get a new job.
  • I want to have enough money in the bank to jump on a plane to wherever I want to go.
  • I want to be the boss of my department.
  • I want to run the NYC Marathon.

The problem I have with this (for me, you do you) is that my life never looks the same from year to year or even month to month. What I want as a goal now may not be a goal I care about anymore in 5 years, or even in 6 months. I realize you can modify your goals as you go, but I would still prefer to start with a slightly different premise.

Loosening It Up

Instead of, or in addition to, creating goals to meet at the end of five years, you can also add more general statements about the future and the person you want to be to your plan. They can be anything, really. Maybe “I want to be someone who is active in my community” to “I want to be active in a martial art” or “I want to be a person who is trusted by my coworkers.” Whatever floats your boat.

Not-Goal Setting (Exactly Like Goal Setting)

  1. Create a list of categories you would like to make changes in.
    • You can definitely use the one you made earlier, and modify it if you want to.
  2. Think about those categories in a different way from above – think about how you want to be instead of what you want to achieve.
    • I want to be a person who regularly has people over and throws parties.
  3. Start to think about what steps might be helpful for this, and then think about things you can do today to help make that a reality.
    • Statement: I want to be a person who regularly has people over and throws parties.
      • Extend an invitation to at least one person every X weeks.
      • Plan parties for various holidays – Christmas, etc.
      • Create a regular game night or supper club.
      • Become involved in local activities.
  4. Repeat that process for each statement.

Example Statements

  • I want to help others reach their goals and support them in their ambitions.
  • I want to be the kind of person that others know they can rely on.
  • I want to enjoy my personal life while also excelling in my career.
  • I want to be comfortable, content, and confident in the life I lead.
  • I want to live a fulfilled life.

Combining It All Together

If you do both of these exercises, you will end up with a fairly comprehensive idea of how you want your life to look in the next five years. There’s a concrete path, as well, since both parts of your plan have baby steps to take to get there. So at the end of the process, you put your goals, statements, and baby steps together in one list/document/plan. Trim if needed – you don’t want to overbook yourself for the next 5 years. Next, decide where to start and move forward from there.

The planning is really that easy – the execution is much harder since 5 years is a long time to work towards things, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

I can’t believe I just wrote almost 800 words on 5 year plans. 🙂 Enjoy your planning!


2019 Blogging Plans

My 2018/2019 are *almost* done I promise, there’s just one more after this. It’s mostly because I ran short on ideas – I was going to review some books, both of which I wasn’t into and decided to skip reviewing them.

I’m planning on moving off of here and on my own server/other hosted site. With Gutenberg coming out, I want to play with all the new custom blocks plugins and doesn’t really give me the level of freedom I want at a price point I’m willing to pay. I do WordPress development as my day job and was originally just interested in blogging without doing any development. Now, though, I think I’d like to create a theme and maybe some custom blocks. I’m looking at using my personal AWS account to do it, but I might just go with a regular hosting site. Decisions, decisions.

I still want to do book reviews, but I’m not going to force one if there’s not a book I want to review. Or if I just haven’t finished a book since the last review. I want to read a lot more sci-fi and fantasy books that are a lot longer than most of the books I read last year.

I’m not worried about visits, or views, or followers at the moment. I’m just really enjoying blogging. This will never make money or be my career or whatnot, so I don’t have to try to hit goals like that. Obviously, I love seeing that people are reading my posts and I hope people like reading them, but I don’t want to lose that enjoyment because I’m chasing a number. I admire bloggers who do, though. They put in work. This might change – I reserve the right to decide I care about numbers at some point in the future.

Anyway, I’m off. I have a cat to snuggle with.


2019 Goals

I’m doing “19 in 2019” this year. It is *exactly* what it sounds like – I have 19 goals to complete by the end of 2019. I know I already made a post on my 2019 reading resolutions, but to be honest, those are secondary goals. Completing the PopSugar Reading Challenge will not further my plan for world domination, now will it?

Goals and explanations below:

  1. Go minimal.
    • Am I a minimalist at heart? Almost certainly not. Does it seem like a good thing to explore? Sure. I need a good & thorough investigation of all my stuff anyway, despite moving every year for the past 5 years, I own too much stuff.
  2. Reorganize the apartment.
    • This one goes with number 1 up there. There needs to be a better way to organize the stuff we have.
  3. No buying books in 2019. I own 110+ books that I haven’t read. I have so many books {that I have read} that I have to store them in bins in the garage.
    • There are 3 books I *do* want to buy next year, so they don’t count.
    • This is probably the goal I’m most likely to not meet.
  4. Respond to my pen-pal letters within a week {two if there are extenuating circumstances – like a hurricane}.
  5. Lose the 20 pounds I gained in 2018. Preferably I’ll lose more, but those 20 need to get out of town for sure.
  6. Keep the blog up all year.
    • I’ve been enjoying it for the past little while and while I think I’ll be making changes, I don’t particularly want to stop.
  7. Read the entire Bible.
    • I’m a Christian and have never read the Bible front to back so that’s probably something I should remedy.
  8. Complete Couch to 5K….finally.
  9. Revamp my wardrobe.
    • This one has been hanging out on my ‘ get to it eventually’ list & I’d like to cross it off.
  10. Make at least 24 new recipes.
    • We’re going Paleo in January, so I’m pretty sure this one will be doable.
  11. Track our spending all year & develop a budget.
  12. Make real progress on my novel.
    • I’m not sure what this looks like yet, so it’ll most likely be updated along the way.
  13. Go tech-free for a weekend every quarter. From Friday after work through Sunday at bed. No phone, no tv, no internet.
    • Phone calls to moms don’t count.
  14. Make a list of things to do in Myrtle Beach and do them.
  15. Be more deliberate in the things that I decide to do.
    • I think most people could handle working on this from time to time.
  16. Pay off my credit card. Obviously.
  17. This one isn’t for sharing.
  18. Neither is this one, don’t be nosy.
  19. Nerp.