I enjoy setting goals because it keeps me focused – I can be all over the place with so many things to do, and sometimes when you get like that it can feel hard to know where to start. Occasionally that will lead me to doing nothing, or doing something inconsequential. I’m a person who really benefits from writing things down, so even though things are super busy right now I am making it a priority to set some goals for this year!
Looking back at 2021, I don’t think I could imagine a year more different than 2020 in terms of my blog and business. 2020 was slow, and difficult, and a lost a ton of money, travel agent work, and pageviews. 2021 comes along, people are getting vaccinated and ready to go to Disney again, and things kind of exploded around May. I’ve never had so much travel agent work in my life, to the extent where I am putting in so many hours it’s almost like I’m working two full time jobs (for those who don’t know, I’m a librarian full-time in addition to the travel agent stuff and the blog writing). I thought it would slow down but it didn’t… and while that’s great, it’s overwhelming.
Every year I try to pick a word to focus on. In 2021 I chose the word “control.” I wanted to focus on what I can control and let go of what I can’t. I think I actually did a pretty good job with this. There are still times I will get very frustrated with things I can’t control, but overall I feel like I’m in a better place. In fact, I took this word so much to heart in 2021 that I even got it tattooed on me.
I also said in 2021 that “I have a lot of things I’d like to do for the blog, and if they don’t work out because of something outside of my control I’m going to try to accept that and not get upset.” Well, I didn’t get to many of those things because I had to shift my focus to travel agent work and planning trips for people. Which is great, but I truly love my blog and want to bring more focus back to that. I’m accepting it but also trying to figure out how to deal with all of that.
Which leads me to my word for 2022: Balance. I’m at a point in many areas of my life where I feel insanely overwhelmed or stressed, and I have to figure out the best way to balance everything.
That might mean a lot of things. In many ways it will be about using my resources more and not trying to take on everything myself. I have a tendency to do this sometimes, especially at work. But I have amazing co-workers at the library and I know many of them can help me with lots of projects so I don’t have to do it all myself. We will also be hiring another part-time person for my department, and that should help bring a lot more balance to my work life there.
I will also need to balance my travel agent work and the blog. Jason has been helping me a bit with the travel agent stuff, but I may need to turn away clients if I don’t have the time. It’s hard for me to do that because I want to help everyone. I don’t say this to brag, but I’m really good at what I do (planning Disney trips and explaining all of the crazy details of going to Disney!). And I want to use that knowledge to help people. But I can’t drive myself insane at the same time. So this may look like setting a limit on the number of hours I answer emails per day, only taking on a certain number of clients, and potentially hiring someone to help me with some of my blog stuff.
And I need to balance my personal life. I barely talk to many of my friends anymore because I’m so busy. I hear that voice from Princess and the Frog in my head, of Tiana’s friend saying to her, “Girl, all you ever do is work!” I need to give all of the relationships in my life the attention that they deserve – especially because they make me happy and I want those people in my life more!
I’m feeling like Luisa from Encanto with a million donkeys on my back and constant pressure on me like a ticking time bomb.
Pressure like a grip, grip, grip and it won’t let go, whoa
Pressure like a tick, tick, tick ’til it’s ready to blow, whoa
Give it to your sister, your sister’s stronger
See if she can hang on a little longer
Who am I if I can’t carry it all?
If I falter
So we’ve got to balance! And I find I’m better at that when I’m organized. So keeping in mind that goals are not concrete but more a good “focus point”, let’s take a look back at 2021 and what I’m going to aim for in 2022!
2021 blog goals:
- Find ways to grow blog traffic (yeah this happened in a major way. A lot of it was due to focusing on my SEO, which I learned a ton from the Stupid Simple SEO course that I took)
- Use my new blogging coach to come up with better ways grow the blog (I had some really fantastic sessions with Ana from The She Approach and I highly recommend her – for now I’ve been too busy to schedule regular sessions with her but if I get back to that point I will definitely reach out to her again!)
- Update 2-3 old blog posts per month (I really want to update things and was not consistent on this)
- Spend more time on SEO (Yes, and the results were good)
- Read e-book about Pinterest marketing (didn’t get to this)
- Use the blogging binder I’ve created and my planner daily (I would say I was using it maybe 60% of the time. So aiming higher this year!)
- Create at least one new printable a month to share on Etsy (I did a lot of printables this past year and they’ve done quite well)
- Finish the photography course (done)
- Better organize all of my old but still relevant posts (I started this process but then it fell on the backburner)
- Transition all of my email stuff to Flodesk (done!)
- Read more blogging related books (nope)
- Get into a good skincare routine (I’m kinda bad at this – I’m doing it maybe 40% of the time)
- Run 1000 miles for the year (I altered this goal in July to just run consistently instead of aiming for a number of miles. I hit 801 miles in 2021!)
- Develop a good strength training routine (I did this and I am really happy with how I’ve done. I definitely feel a difference in my body and my running)
- Read 55 books (I hit 48 for the year – I’ll take it!)
- Come up with a plan to market my travel agent business for 2021 (umm yeah my marketing paid off more than I expected!)
- Make more craft projects (a couple of things here and there but not as much as I’d like)
- Try home brewing again (nope, didn’t get to this)
- Work more on my mental health (I’ve read some good books but I think there’s still a lot more I can do)
2022 blog goals:
- Post 3 times a week
- Update 2-3 old blog posts per month
- Use my blogging checklists and planner at least 5 days a week
- Create a new set of printables for my shop on Genie+
- Launch a special project I’ve been working on
- Create more pages to organize my content on the blog
- Send 2 emails per month
- Optimize all of my images and improve the speed of my site overall
- Hire someone to do a few hours of week per week on blog related things
- Figure out how to get my facebook page back or create a new one (FB unpublished it and despite appealing that in October I’ve heard nothing)
- Set aside dedicated blogging hours
- Create a social media calendar
- Update itinerary printables
2022 personal goals:
- Set up “office hours” and a more regular schedule for my travel agent work
- Decide how much time I have to work and pass along some requests to other agents in my agency
- Create more training videos for Jason to be able to help with more travel agent work
- Stick to a run training plan to stay injury-free
- Strength train two times a week
- Stretch, do my PT, and foam roll more
- Get better at meal prepping and planning for the week on Sundays
- Get to bed earlier
- Stick to my skincare routine at least 4 days a week
- Dedicate some time for me and “fun” stuff and relaxing
- Read 50 books for the year
Do you have any goals for 2022?