It’s January and that means everyone is still running around trying to solidify goals for themselves to achieve this new year. One of the biggest goals of the new year is to read more. Everyone always wants to read more and who could blame ’em? Reading is great! Not only do you seem smarter, but you can also actually become smarter. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate reading goals into your life.
Just the thought that you’re going to “read more in 2016” isn’t going to make it happen. You need to create actual and concrete reading goals to achieve your goal of being more well-read in the new year. Here’s how to create a reading goal:
- Choose a realistic goal. Don’t decide that you’re going to read 100 books if you haven’t managed to do that in the past three years combined. Keep it reasonable. My goal for this year is 30 (increased from last year’s 24 because I was able to read 27).
- Find a way to track that goal. Might I suggest using Goodreads’ reading challenge? It’s a great way to keep track. Just remember to make sure you are adding the “date finished” for all your reviews to make sure they count towards your goal.
- Have a list of books. Remember to have a lengthy wishlist of books – way more than your goal requires you to read. I utilize the public library’s ebooks and not everything I want to read is always available. I have a huge wishlist on there so I can pick and choose what I’m feeling.
Need book ideas? If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can receive a Kindle First – you have access to books before they officially come out. For free! It’s a great way to check out new books. I’ve read a few of them and there have been a few winners.
Or, add me on Goodreads to see my reviews and what I’m reading.
In the comments, let me know what you’re reading right now. And good luck with your 2016 reading goal!
I’m still recovering this week. I’ve had such a low energy level. I’ve been coming home from work and just zoning out with some Star Trek. It’s been terrible. I can’t wait until I feel better.
- 10 Tips to Grow Your Savings – this is such a great read right now – especially if you didn’t win the Powerball this week!
- I am always in a rush in the morning, so I’m always on the prowl to find tips and tricks to make my mornings easier – this recipe for easy breakfast muffins caught my attention.
- Worst Ex Stories – I couldn’t break away after I found this thread.
- Adele rapping Nicki Minaj’s verse in Monster is everything.
- I need this sweater.
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It’s been almost a month of engagement bliss, but I figure it’s time to let the cat out of the bag and share Mike & my engagement story. Also, I secretly really love reading about other people’s engagements so I wanna join in on the fun.
When Mike had his surgery last year, he told me that if he made it out alright, he would put a ring on it by the end of the year. With the caveat that he had a job, of course. So, with the end of 2015 rapidly approaching, I feared that I wouldn’t get engaged.
It’s not that it was so important to be to be engaged because I knew that we would end up married. I didn’t need a ring – just a promise that we would get married in the new year. I’m a simple girl. I just want to start my life as his wife as soon as possible so we can enjoy marriage for the longest amount of time. But Mike is a really traditional guy and it was important for him to propose.
We looked at rings at the mall and it was not a good experience. Mike felt like the salespeople were lying and hiding the terrible quality of the diamonds. I felt pressured to get a ring that moment. They weren’t interested in our story. They just saw some money. So, we left. Mike promised we would look elsewhere together since we have very different ideas of what I wanted in a ring.
We went to Robbins Brothers on day one of our mini-vacation from work and I already knew the exact ring. I did my research online before we went in. The saleswoman was incredible and Mike got what he wanted – a GIA certification of the diamond.
We left with the ring in his custody to finish the rest of our errands for the day. He asked my mom for permission while I was at a work event. And then, when we picked up Gabby from his mom’s, he showed her the ring. We grabbed a bottle of champagne on our way home and he asked me in the privacy of our living room.
It was exactly what I pictured. I am so happy that I was able to be apart of the choosing of the ring – that we did it together. I’m so happy it was just the two of us for the actual engagement. And I am so happy to start throwing around the word “fiance” all the time now.
Even though it’s a brand new year, it’s still important to look back. Today, I’m looking back to my past blog posts to see which ones were the most popular.
It’s important to see what resonated with my readers as I prep my new posts for the year. So, without further ado, here are Somehow Chaotic’s Top 5 Posts:
- Top Ten Ways to Be the Worst Blogger – This one was a lot of fun to write because so frequently, I feel like I am a terrible blogger. I got a lot of comments and I really felt like I was writing in my voice. What can I learn from this? Lists are great. And when I get to be cheeky and sarcastic, I’m at my prime.
- Porn Review (From a Lady): Bob’s Boners – To be honest, I did not think this one would be anywhere near the top. This is a surprise. What can I learn from this? Apparently my feelings, as a lady, on porn are important.
- The Great Insta-Purge of 2014 – This post was a thinly veiled attempt to get more Instagram followers (by the way – I’m on Instagram). What can I learn from this? This was a pretty big event that I didn’t see a lot of coverage on, so I jumped on it. Maybe more current event posts would be beneficial.
- 5 Things to Ask Yourself Before Hitting Publish – Another post about how-to blogging. What can I learn from this? My little graph, as sad as it is, is a super helpful way. I think a lot of my hits from this post came from Pinterest – something I need to use more often.
- 5 Ways to Save Money in Your Coffee Cup – Another list to round out this list. I think I might have a problem. As a former barista, this post was incredibly easy for me to write. What can I learn from this? Lists are important in blogging. And popular.
There is a lot to take away from this – lists are great, graphics are important, and my voice seems to be more popular than I once thought.
Your Assignment …
Check out your most popular posts and see why they’re so popular. What did you do? Let’s examine our past successes to make sure 2016 is a success too!
Tell me in the comments what your post popular post was – I’d love to check it out!
This week has been pretty shitty. I woke up on Monday morning without a voice and missed four days of work as a consequence. I’m not a huge fan of the doctor, so I knew I was sick when I actually went to the doctor on Tuesday. He sent me off with cough syrup and antibiotics and I’ve been on the couch the rest of the week. I also know I’m really sick because I’ve watched 7 movies — Inside Out, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Swingers, Horns, Chronic-Con Episode 420, Galaxy Quest, and Lovelace.
Enough about this sick week, here’s my Fave Friday Five:
- Tips on taking a better selfie – now that I have a working selfie stick and these tips for better selfies, I am prepared to flood instagram with pictures of my lovely mug.
- I love everything about Kallie’s post about periods. I relate to every single item.
- Not having a niche blog is not the end of the world.
- My plan for 2016 is to read 30 books so I love to check out the most anticipated books for 2016.
- Making a Murderer – who else watched it? We knocked it out in a few days because we were so obsessed!
Planning is important. I am a huge proponent of planners. I don’t think I could live my life without my planner, so why would I be able to blog without a blog calendar?
To my bloggers that don’t use a blog calendar, how do you do it? How do you keep track of all of your ideas? How do you know what the hell you’re doing week to week? I commend you, but I can’t wrap my head around you.
Here’s why you should utilize a blog calendar:
- Set Goals: I love having a goal section for each month – that way I can write what I want to attain for the upcoming month. And, I can flip back to it at the end of the month to see if I reached my goal.
- Prep Posts: Never again do you need to panic at night because you have no idea what you’re going to post on your blog. Utilize a blog calendar and you can plan out exactly what posts you’ll have for the entire year. Even better, you can see what you’ve been posting at a quick glance instead of scroll through pages and pages on your computer screen.
- Brainstorm: I always come up with blog post ideas when I can’t write out the actual post. By jotting down these ideas on my blog calendar, I’m able to come back and write a great post (like this one!) when I have the time.
My blog calendar recommendation?
Right now, I’m taking advantage of the free 2016 blog planner/calendar over at Journal Wild. Sign up for the awesome newsletter and you get access to not only a great blog planner, but tons of other stuff!
How I Utilize a Blog Calendar:
I printed off a month’s worth of pages of a calendar and I have a binder that I keep all my blog stuff in. I break down each section into the following:
- Current Month: Pretty obvious – this is where I keep my calendar and all my information for the current month. It’s right at the front so I never have to go searching.
- Stats: I keep track of where I’m at in terms of followers, page views, etc. so I can easily see where I’m at and where I’m trying to go.
- Goals: Just like with my stats, I keep track of my monthly and yearly goals.
- Promotions: Whenever I participate in any kind of giveaway, I want to be able to track the results and see the success (or failures).
- Previous: I keep previous months in here – why throw it away when it can make a great reference later on?
If you weren’t using a blog calendar before this post, I hope you’re currently downloading one by now. To utilize a blog calendar is to be a successful blogger.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been here. And, I make the same promises at the beginning of every new year – “I will blog more!” But, I actually really want to do it this year and I’m prepared to make more of this little space in the coming year.
Instead of looking back at all the failings of 2015 and the drama and the stress, I want to take the time to look forward to 2016. Mike and I are engaged and plan to wed this year. We are thinking about buying a house. There are a lot of really great things that are going to happen. And, I plan to share all of that here – at Somehow Chaotic. Because it’s going to be chaotic and it’s going to be worth it.
Expect more posts. Expect more content. Expect big things this year.
I am super excited to be involved with this Paypal cash giveaway with these lovely ladies. The giveaway will run until November 16th at midnight – be sure to get involved!
Angie from My So-Called Chaos // Angie from Health NOT to NUT // Angie & Beth from Chaotic Goddess Swaps // Angie, Beth, and /kenzie from Page à Vu // Mistle from Sweet Tea & Hydrangeas // Jennifer from The Champagne Supernova // Heather from 4-Hour BODY Girl // Ashley from Simply Ashley Nicole // Julie from Jewels Wandering // Jennie from A Lady in France // Sabra from Becoming Sabra Gilbert // Autumn from It’s Autumn // Tript & Prabh from Footnotes and Finds // Lindsey from Peace Love Sequins // Amanda from Anchored to Sunshine // Mary from Eat Drink & Be Mary // Kaileigh from Somehow Chaotic // Christina from Cali Darling
a Rafflecopter giveaway
It’s fall and that means everything is pumpkin flavored. Check out my post on the best pumpkin beers.
Three years later and I still stand by all my pumpkin beer related opinions. What is your favorite pumpkin flavored treat?
This is the beginning to my busiest weekend of the month. Tonight I am seeing The Book of Mormon, tomorrow is Garth Brooks, and then Sunday I have a 5K to “run” (in all reality, I’ll be walking since it has been so long since I’ve ran). And, instead of enjoying my day off before the chaos, I opted to spend the day with my handsome nephew at the Railroad park. Priorities, man.
- I am not a morning person, so I love these tips on how to get more out of your mornings by Jen.
- Kristin combines my two favorite things – sangria & cider.
- A great post & idea from Nicole – a depression tracker.
- I’ve been following Kelly’s blog Adulting for a long time now and I just started reading her book – Adulting. I highly suggest it! It gives great suggestions without making you feel like a total failure at life.
- Just let me be the crazy aunt that I am and show you my awesome little Peanut:
Hope you all have a great weekend!