2016 recap + 2017 goals

Posted on January 01, 2017 under Life

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Hello, everyone. It looks like we’ve come to the end of another year. I won’t lie: 2016 was a rough one for me. Four people I know died, three of them family members, including my beloved grandfather. And although I know my decision to defer grad school for a year was practical and prudent, I’ve missed being in school since I finished up my undergrad in April.

But I suppose 2016 wasn’t all bad. I graduated university, for one thing. I also finally got my G1, which is the first step towards being a fully-licensed driver in Ontario. I had some great times with friends and family and I have been doing well at work. Still, I won’t be sad to say goodbye to 2016. This was a rough one, and there are some cool things on the horizon for me in 2017.

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But first, I must tell you how I did with my 2016 goals, in order to humiliate myself publicly!

  • Continue to interact with more bloggers and make blog friends: I really kicked this up a notch in the last quarter of the year and enjoyed it a lot. Overall I didn’t do a great job of shedding my lurker tendencies, but I’m hoping I can continue on with this momentum in 2017.
  • Post at least once a week: There were a few months where I barely posted at all, but I did post 52 times in 2016, so… I guess I did it if we’re just going by averages? I’d like to be a little more consistent in 2017. Luckily my work schedule, which was hectic until September, has settled down and I have more a regular routine, which will really help when it comes to posting regularly.
  • Diversify content: I did okay with this, I think. I started posting about books here, with occasional life updates. I like the content balance I have pretty well, so I’ll probably continue on with the “primarily a beauty blog, but more than incidentally about other subjects” thing.
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  • Quality over quantity: I think I did a good job of this, overall. I bought some cheap shit, but I really cut down on what was coming into my possession. In 2016 I bought several things that were at the upper limit of my (small) budget, but I probably spent far less overall because I hardly ever succumbed to impulse buying habits. I am becoming more attuned to what I genuinely like and will get a lot of use out of, with minor slip-ups here and there, so I’d say this goal was a success. (Perfection doesn’t seem like an entirely reasonable goal!)
  • Get into and start grad school: I did get into grad school. I did not start. I still consider this a success, though. Actually, I’m really proud of myself for making the prudent but displeasing decision to defer for a year to save up for it. I really wanted to be in Scotland by now, but it was absolutely the right thing for me to do. And hey, there’s something to be said for getting into the only graduate programme you applied to three days after submitting your application!
  • Read 25 books, 75% by marginalized people: I hit my book target with 29 read in 2016. By around May I’d decided that trying to quantify diversity was silly. But, for the record, I only read 5 books by white men that were not required for school. I did naturally gravitate towards books written by women. This coming year I’d like to mindfully focus on adding more diversity in terms of non-white and LGBTQ voices. It’s very easy for me to read many books by women, but most of them ended up being white and straight and that’s not necessarily a trend I’m thrilled with! I won’t quantify it, though I’d be thrilled to read more marginalized voices than white men (and probably will). I’m also going to focus on (some) of the classics. My alternative high school skipped over a lot of the usual suspects in favour of Canadian and postcolonial lit, and I didn’t read many novels in university. I’m really quite anti-canon in a theoretical way, but in a practical sense it helps to speak a common language with others. So I guess this year I’m going both canon and deliberately anti-canon!
  • Learn to wake up earlier: Shift work, including working until midnight, rendered this goal pretty difficult. It’s something I still want to work on, but it’s off the table for now until I have a more regular schedule.

Not a rousing success, but my goals rarely are. Yet I’m still setting some for 2017!

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Blog at least five times a month

This time I want to make sure I’m actually blogging consistently, so if I have a month where I post less than five times I’ll fail this goal automatically.

Read 50 books

In 2012 I read 100 books and in the four years since then I have read a total of 87 books. 100 books is too ambitious this coming year for two reasons. First, I tend to read longer and denser books now than I did in 2012. (I read a lot of YA dystopian back then!) Second, I will start grad school in September, which I imagine will eat into both my free time and my desire to read for fun. 50 books is still a stretch goal, but one that I think is doable. I haven’t added a diversity quota, as outlined above. I’m pretty confident that I’ll manage to read widely without it.

Be tidier

I’m not naturally a tidy person. I’ll just blame it on being a Gemini, because that’s easier than admitting it’s a personal failing. In recent years I have become better at not letting my living space descend into utter chaos, but I’m still not as neat as I’d like to be. I’m going to start using the two-minute rule, because my biggest issue is not putting things back where they go immediately. (It genuinely did not occur to me that I could put away that day’s clothes as soon as they came off until I was 20.)

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Declutter

I will be moving to Scotland in September, by air. (I mean, obviously.) I’ll probably fly Icelandair because they have very generous baggage policies, but, still: my worldly possessions in my new home will be limited to what I can fit within two checked bags and two carry-ons. So I will need to whittle down my possessions considerably. The last time I lived in Scotland, for the 2014-2015 school year, I left quite a lot of my clothes behind. This time, anything that I don’t pack is getting donated. If it’s not good enough to accompany me overseas for at least a year, it’s not important. This doesn’t go for all my possessions: I’m going to be keeping my books, as they are dear to me, but not transporting them overseas at this point. That said, I will still be getting rid of a lot of stuff, because I don’t want to have a massive pile of things to leave in Canada. (It’ll probably be mostly the books.)

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Be mindful about new purchases

I’m not going to go on a no-buy because that’s unrealistic for me, but I’m going to try to continue with my shift towards mindful purchasing. I was pretty good at this in 2016, but I did make some impulse buys and, unsurprisingly, regretted most of them! So this year for clothes and makeup I really want to focus on upgrading what I already have and not on adding too much that’s truly new. I’m not going to institute a strict “one in, one out” policy, but I’ll be trying to go more that route than “one in, one in, one in…” I’ll also be keeping track of all my makeup purchases this year because I’ve never done that and truly have no idea how much I spend on makeup on a yearly basis!

These pictures are all from my Instagram, and and are in chronological order. As you can see, my year was not the most exciting, but I managed to squeeze out a few nice photos.

Happy 2017, everyone!

There are 9 responses to “2016 recap + 2017 goals”

  • Mindful spending is such a good goal! Graduating college (though recent for me) has definitely made me think about the quality of the things I’m spending my money on and I want to be better at investing in quality pieces. So excited for you to get to start your time in Scotland!

    • Thanks, Katie! There’s definitely something about being a graduate that kicks off a round of being a bit more responsible, haha. It’s nice that you get a bit of time off before you start grad school, too – I won’t say that I don’t wish I were in school (and Scotland) right now, but having a bit of time out of school to decompress is nice. Enjoy your freedom! :)

  • You know, I think you did pretty darn well with your resolutions considering some pretty crappy incidences. Going to Scotland in September will be amazing (super jealous!) I was thinking about going to get my Graduate degree but I’m really just too lazy and kind of glad that school is over with (though I do miss not working 40+ hours a week.)

    Being mindful about new purchases is a great goal, I’d like to make that one of mine too :)
    Hope you have a wonderful 2017!

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

    • Happy 2017 to you too! Haha, I am definitely looking forward to not working a 40-hour week when I’m back in school. Schoolwork will probably take up more time than that, but I love school so I’m ready for it!

  • Happy 2017!

    I was never a really tidy person growing up, but I realized some time after I went to university that I was tidier than a lot of other people out of necessity – I grew up with a bathroom to people ratio of 1:5. But it really is so much easier to tidy as you go. I only have to deep clean/tidy twice a year at most because I keep my living space neat.

    I’m trying to learn to love reading again in 2017. I mean, I love it, but I really don’t feel like doing it after I read so much at work. It took me till grad school to figure out how to balance reading for pleasure and reading for class, so I expect this will take some more time, but I want to be on that path again. I have so many unread books!

    • I aspire to your level of tidiness! It’s an ongoing thing with me and I’m slowly (very slowly) getting better. Hopefully by the end of this year I’ll have made significant progress with regards to my cleaning habits.

      I’ve experienced a lot of reading burnout due to school, which is one of the nice things about taking this year off between my undergrad and grad school. I work full time so it’s not like I just have endless hours to read, but my job doesn’t involve any sort of reading whatsoever so it’s purely a hobby. That may change come September, so I’ll have to pack in as much reading for pleasure as possible before then!

  • I hear you on being mindful about new purchases! I did a much better job with that in the second half of 2016, and I’m hoping to carry (and continue to form) those good habits in 2017. If only money grew on trees…

    And yes to decluttering. I don’t acquire new stuff nearly as much as I used to, but I still like to do a good apartment declutter every six months or so. I always feel so refreshed afterwards, haha.

  • I’m really happy that I got to know you over the past year! I’m not always great at reaching out to people (on the internet or IRL), so I’m glad you did. :)

    You’re right that grad school will probably cut into your pleasure-reading time and inclinations. It’s happened to me and to almost every grad student I know. For me, the biggest change was that my literary tastes became more lowbrow. In college, I’d read Henry James for fun, and suddenly I was all about the Hunger Games. These days I mainly read literary-ish science fiction for pleasure, which I think is a good compromise.

    • Aww, me too! I’m usually a huge lurker but your blog was awesome enough to tempt me to show myself, haha.

      Reading lowbrow books definitely makes sense to me. I owned The Goldfinch for nine months before I read it, and I only had the inclination to pick it up because I was finally out of school. I imagine grad school will zap my will to read thick literary books even further.

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