Hey there, 2017

Happy 2017!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe new year! Andrew and I got together with an old group of friends and hung out together to celebrate. We hadn’t seem some of them in a couple years, so it was really fun to catch up and see everyone again.

We played a lot of Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros, and even a bit of Quidditch from the GameCube, which I totally killed at (Ravenclaw FTW!). Me and my girlfriends talked about our favorite books that we read this year and had suggestions for each other – I know, things got real crazy. ;)

We hadn’t even planned on staying up til midnight because Andrew had to work yesterday and also has to work today, but we just ended up staying and I’m glad that we did.

This year was the first year that I didn’t call my mom at midnight. She is a new year’s baby, so my family usually does a big celebration for both her birthday and the new year, but they kept things pretty low key this year and she told me not to call her at midnight because she would be sleeping. XD

I know that everyone makes resolutions at the start of the new year, and I used to really really hate them, so much so as I wouldn’t make goals. I’m still a big believer that if you want change, you should do it immediately and not wait for something silly like the new year to happen.

That being said, my heart has changed a little bit. I think the new year is a good time to stop, reflect, and give yourself some guidelines for the year. But I also believe that if the goal isn’t working or if circumstances change, throw that sucker out.

Review of Goals from 2016

Be more consistent in my blogging
I left this goal a bit open-ended as I didn’t want to set specific parameters that I had to meet, which I know is opposite of how you’re supposed to make goals, but in my head I was hoping to blog roughly once a week with exceptions here and there. I published 57 posts in 2016 so I feel like I really did well with this goal! I had a lot more posts in the first half of the year than the second half, but I’m pretty happy with how I did. Plus I had a lot of big life changes and I’m still learning how to work full-time and manage this blog. It’s been a lot of learning, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it!

Read 52 books
This goal with a close one this year! I really struggled towards the end of the year when I started working full-time. I could squeeze reading in between classes or listen to them when I was at my internship earlier in the year, but it’s hard for me to listen to audiobooks at my new job when I’m constantly learning new things and needing to focus.

That being said, I completed my goal with a couple of days to spare! If you want, you can look at all the books I’ve read this year, or read about my favorites!

Be bold
Another open-ended goal, but a necessary one. I’m very introverted and quiet, and as a result, I feel that I sometimes won’t speak for myself or pass up opportunities because I’m scared of what people might think or the outcome of it. But I realized that that’s not really a way to live life, so in 2016 my goal was just to be more bold. To push myself out of my comfort zone when it’s easier to just stay quiet. To just speak.

And I did. Not in a big and brash kind of way, but in the little things here and there. I went out of my way to meet new people. In job interviews, I wasn’t timid; I boldly proclaimed my accomplishments, achievements, and future goals. I applied for jobs that I wasn’t sure I would be qualified for, but I thought why miss out on an opportunity because I’m scared?

In groups with new people or people that I don’t know very well, I worked on being talkative and speaking up to get to know people. Andrew and I have been together almost seven years, so in that time I inadvertently started using him as a crutch. That boy is a natural talker, and half-the time we can’t get him to shut up (I kid)! So I would rely on him to get conversations going and to do all the talking, but no longer.

I initiated conversations last year. I asked questions. I went out of my way to talk to people. It was so refreshing to let that fear go of what people might think of me when I open my mouth. It may be small to a lot of people, but that is so big for me. I worked on this so much this year that I’m now much more comfortable doing it and I’m not so anxious in social settings.

For example, last night at our little party with our old friends we hadn’t seen in a while, I was so comfortable and laid back with them because I wasn’t so nervous just to talk. I didn’t know some of them very well and there were some new people I hadn’t met before, but I was so much more comfortable just talking with them and asking about their life. A year or so ago, I wouldn’t have talked much at all, but this year I wasn’t even the quietest person in the room.

I’m by no means an outspoken extrovert now, but I’ve come a long way and I’m really proud of that.

Goals for 2017

Read 52 books
I know, a no-brainer since I’ve been making this goal since 2013, but a goal all the same. I don’t read as much as I want to with working full-time and maintaining a blog and other everyday duties, so this is to encourage me to read more. Even if I don’t hit this goal of 52 books, I will still be proud of how much I did manage to read. Follow my progress on Goodreads!

(Just a fun fact: my mother-in-law’s goal is to read 100 books this year. Like, what even? How do I even compete with that??)

Get organized and get rid of the clutter
I am naturally a very clean and organized person. I don’t like messes, and I actually find enjoyment taking a big pile of stuff and organizing it all out. But I’ve realized that you can organize and sort out in all these neat piles and put all this stuff in these creative storage devices all I want, but it’s messy and unorganized a day later because I have too much stuff!

My desire to get rid of some stuff is partly inspired by a book I read called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Simmered down, she basically says that if a belonging doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. Why surround yourself with stuff that doesn’t make you happy and just stresses you out?

That really resonated with me, and while I think some of her methods might be a bit extreme for me (like no, I’m not going to get rid of the four paper towel rolls I have because I bought them in bulk because I don’t need them right now), I took away a lot from the book. I have a lot of things that I’ve held onto and kept for a long time that I don’t use, don’t make me happy, and have no real reason to keep.

I know this aligns quite a bit with the minimalism lifestyle that a lot of people have (hi Georgie!), but I don’t think I’ll go quite so far with it. There are some things that do bring my joy even if I don’t necessarily have a practical use for it. Like I realize that I really don’t need all 150+ books that I own (I don’t even know if that number is even remotely correct), so I’m going to keep almost all of them. But I will take a step back and say, okay which of these books did I buy, read, and didn’t even like? And maybe I’ll get rid of 20 or so.

So call this what you will: a bit of minimalism, a bit of KonMari, and a bit of I just want my house to have less stuff.

Be debt-free
We are so close to being debt-free! Andrew and I have saved up quite a bit towards the end of last year and I’m planning on paying off my student loans this month and my car next month!! I am so excited to not have those two loans hanging over our heads and to put more of our money into actual savings for future things (like a house!).

So this goal is a bit of a mix between paying off all my loans and then staying debt-free. We are considering buying Andrew a new car later this year, so this goal may go out the window if we go that route, but it would give us a good foundation that if we do decide to buy a new car, we will have a good down payment and our loan will be pretty small.

Make our home feel more like home
I love open-ended goals, so here is mine for the year. We have been in our house for seven months now, and I still haven’t even come close to finish decorating. I have decorated the living room and kitchen some, but our bedrooms have no decorations whatsoever.

I don’t consider myself a very good decorator because I am so indecisive. I know when I like a finished product, but I really struggle with figuring out how to get there. My goal is to suck it up and somehow get there this year. We’re busy, and I’m very frugal with my money, but I want our house to feel like our home. I want to walk in our bedroom and to feel relaxed and not have those big empty walls looming before me.

Andrew may not care as much, but I want to have a house that looks nice for him and that he can relax in as well. I have so many framed pictures just sitting against walls in various rooms because I’ve been too lazy to hang them.

So this year I’m rolling up my sleeves, scrolling through Pinterest for some inspiration, and getting to work. My house doesn’t need to be perfect, but with some homey touches, it will feel like ours.

(I’ve started a bit on this already, actually! Yesterday I did a little DIY project so my mirror wouldn’t just be sitting against the wall. I really liked the outcome and it only took an hour or two!)

Welcoming 2017

I have so much to be grateful and thankful for, and I’m so excited for what this year will bring. Goals and all that I side, I know that I have everything that I will need in my family, friends, and husband. :heart:

Wishing all the best for you and yours in 2017. xx

15 thoughts on “Hey there, 2017”

  1. I’m the first to comment again, haha. I don’t know how you read 52 books a year. I guess I’m picky about books and it has to be a really good book for me to read it all the way through. I don’t know why I’m like that. Whenever I do finish a book, they’re with me for a long time. :)
    Your mother in law is probably a fast reader and not picky like me. Haha!

    I used to be really shy in high school. But once I got to college, I noticed myself finding it easier to converse with friends and strangers. I’m a talkative person now but I consider myself an introvert because I get tired easily when I socialize.

    Do you cook for Andrew every night? I’m just curious, it’s just so much easier for me to cook for one person! Did you get a new car? My main goal is to save up money for my own studio apartment. I’m not even thinking about a house yet especially since I’m single. LOL.

    1. Once I start a book, I almost always finish it. There are only a handful that I’ve started in my whole life that I’ve not finished. Even if I don’t particularly care for a book, I always want to know how it ends. I’m actually pretty picky with books I like though!

      I cook most nights, but some nights are leftovers or whatever we can scrounge up. It’s hard in a sense of making things that we both will like, but I think it’s so much easier to cook for a quantity of two. And I almost always make extra so that we have leftovers for lunches or the next night for dinner.

      I’ve had my car for about three and a half years, so it’s newer but not new. Andrew has had his about the same amount of time, but his is older and it’s really small so if we ever go anywhere we take mine. He just uses his for work and could probably use an upgrade soon.

      We still have a couple years before we start looking for a house, but we are starting to save now for one!

      1. Yeah leftovers are a great thing. :) I’m really loving Trader Joes frozen food options now. They’re really good and so easy!

        Is the car you have now your second car? I still have my car I used in high school. It’s a Toyota and Japanese cars are really reliable. :)

        Do you like modern or traditional style homes? I’m more of a traditional style. I love looking at Pinterest for decor inspiration!

  2. I’ve come to write a comment, in the middle of reading… I’ll go back and finish and write more in this comment but I just had to say the following:

    Way to go on being more outgoing this year! That is a HUGE feat! I am introvert too. I am always worried about what people think of me behind my back and because of that, I am normally the quiet one who just sits back and says nothing at all while at parties or gatherings because … well, who knows what they’ll say about me later! I am currently working on changing this. Working has helped with this slightly so I’m not as bad. I’m really proud of you overcoming this. Sure we don’t know each other but I’ve been there. I am you one year ago. You’ve given me the motivation to work towards being more outgoing and gave me hope that it is possible to do! Just push aside the feeling of “What are they going to think of me?” and just enjoy yourself and your time, right? My other problem is, I often say things that I don’t mean to say or they come out wrong because I get nervous and then for the rest of the night I proceed to beat myself up over that phrase or comment, relentlessly. Do you do this too? Or did you in the past? If so, how did you overcome this? Thanks in advance for your answer. (OK, I’m going to finish reading now.)

    Awesome goals for 2017! Read 52 books! WOW! I don’t think I could read a portion of that. Then again, I will be having a new job which will include sitting behind a desk with nothing but time and a kindle in my hands ready to get some reading done, so maybe! I have the hardest time finding books that I like. I never know what to read. My favorite genre of book is romance and I did have a favorite author until the books were ruined by a harsh review I read. Who knows, maybe 2017 will be the year I get some reading done too! Good luck with your journey of reading 52 books! You’ve seemed to have done it before, so I bet you can do it again. It’s all about balancing your time.

    I’d love to decorate my house too. We have lived in our home for a year and half now and it’s an actual home. We have nothing on the walls. I have boxes of pictures that need to be put up that still haven’t gone up. So, I’m right there with ya. Decluttering is another one that is big for me. I want to get rid of so much that we have. We have an entire basement worth of stuff that has been living in boxes for years and honestly, what do we need that stuff for?! I’ll be blogging about my journey through decluttering and getting the house in order once life has settled down so I’ll check in here too to see how you’re doing and maybe we can motivate each other!

    Ok. I think I wrote enough. Can’t wait to see your 2017 unfold. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you so so much for this sweet comment, Nikki!

      I know it’s hard for a lot of people to understand how difficult it can be for introverts to talk to other people and to just be social, so thank you for that encouragement! It feels silly to write it out so I’m glad that you can relate to that!

      I say things ALL THE TIME that just sound weird or don’t come out how I intended to say it. So you are not alone on that one! I guess my advice for that is just to not worry too much about it. If it came out weird, I try to further explain what I meant to say, and usually I can just laugh about it with whoever I’m talking to. Sometimes I get weird looks, but it really goes hand in hand with not worrying what other people are thinking. I’ve learned that I’m probably thinking and worrying about what I said way more than the person I am talking to is. (I hope that made sense? See, trying to get words out how I mean them is difficult!)

      Also, if they’re going to be rude or make fun of you for something weird you said, they aren’t worth talking to.

      I look forward to your posts about decluttering! I could definitely use the motivation haha, so hopefully I can motivate and encourage you too.

      Wishing the best for you in 2017, dear!

  3. Sounds like a great way to ring in the new year — video games and talks about books :D Much better than being out somewhere loud and noisy! :)

    Good luck with all your goals! 52 books is totally doable. And huzzah for almost being debt-free! Now you can focus on saving money for other things. I should also follow your (and many others) examples on de-cluttering. I, too, want to have less stuff, but I’m too attached to my hobbies, so hrm. At the last I did get rid of some things last year — clothes and books — so that’s a step :)

    Do share with us what you do to your home to make it more homey. I do love seeing how people decorate and design their homes, so I look forward to seeing what you do ^^

  4. Hi Becca!!!! :) Haha. I’m glad you liked Marie Kondo’s book. I’ve only read it in parts because I chose to watch heaps of videos with her instead, seeing all the stuff she does in actual demonstrations. She definitely does get extreme, as do The Minimalists (they suggested scanning old photos and keeping them digital instead of keeping the hard copies, but you can’t really do that with some old photos! gosh!). But it’s great to take inspiration from some of the people out there. Also, rather than thinking about the “not gonna use this right now”, maybe think about what you are keeping “just in case” because “just in case” items are usually dangerous. My parents keep furniture just in case, and it takes up space. Geez!

    A hundred books in a year is a lot to compete with – your 52 sounds fine and that goal works for *you*. ? Had you mentioned this when I was in high school I would have laughed and said to go for the 100. I used to read a book every couple of days back then. Now I am embarrassed to say that I have not read a fiction novel in about three years. It’s only been non-fiction and blogs and articles online since then. ? I guess we all change.

    But that does take me back to your funny story at the beginning of your post and how you talked about books with some of your friends. I recently caught up with some of my friends from school – I haven’t seen them in seven or more years! – and it was just funny that we ended up talking about books. Like school all over again. We clearly have nothing else going on in our lives that are worth talking about. ?

    I’m very proud of you that you came out of your shell. I am introverted, and I don’t like big groups of people, so I come across as quiet. When people get to know me, I am very chatty and loud. I think you really challenged yourself in speaking up and talking more. Some people just have an aura when they walk in the room and they are super energetic, but you don’t need to really compete with them – you just need to speak up and let yourself be heard, and people who are willing to listen will listen. :)

    I wish I could be debt free but my masters degree was so expensive! ? (Good thing the government gives loans, though, so I only have to pay back a little bit each month so long as I have a job.)

    Happy new year!! ? ?

  5. Happy new year, Becca! It looks like you had a pretty nice celebration :). Happy belated birthday to your mom!

    I’m glad to see that you came back to blogging! 57 posts definitely keep you up in the active range. Congratulations on finishing your 52-books goal! It’s pretty cool to see the progress you’ve made over the months. You’ve grown a lot over the past year- especially with initiating conversations more and trying to be more comfortable in social settings. Go you!

    Good luck with your goals this year! I want to declutter my belongings too. I have too much junk and spend too much money accumulating them. @___@… This is a good way to avoid going on the Hoarders TV show XD.

    Ooohooo congratulations on being close to paying off your student loans and car! I haven’t even touched mine yet (interest doesn’t accumulate for another year). Though, I should stop hogging all of my money and actually start paying it off XD. I’m looking forward to seeing what Andrew ends up getting! Decorating your house sounds like a fun project!

    Have a great year ^__^~

  6. Yay! I went bowling with friends but regardless, I am blessed to spend any day smiling and being happy and that’s why 2017 will be way different from 2016 in regards to attitude~ Mario Kart is love <3

  7. I used to have the same attitude to goals, so I never made any, and now I make loads. I find they really help motivate me to do something, and it’s great to have something to work towards. I can understand why people don’t make them though. Everything in life changes so fast that it’s hard to know what goals will even be possible, or if you’ll even care about them later.

    Congratulations on reading 52 books! I challenged myself to read 50 last year and I only made half of them. I’ve not bothered setting a goal this year, because it mostly panicked me when I was a few books behind, and I hate rushing books. I’m hoping it doesn’t mean I stop reading as much though!

    Happy that your ‘be bold’ goal has gone well. I rely on Andy in a lot of social situations, because, like you two, he’s ridiculously sociable while I’m quiet and shy. I find it really difficult to chat to people I don’t know, but he’ll chat to anyone even if he doesn’t need to. It’s great that you’ve improved with it!

    Good luck with all your goals for this year. Like you, I’m trying to de-clutter, but I also can’t part with most of my books/graphic novels. I re-read a lot of them, plus the graphics novels are so pretty that I could never get rid. I am going to try and get rid of jewellery, clothes and DVDs though, but books are my main love!

    Happy New Year!

  8. That sounds like a fun and relaxing way to celebrate the new year! I also think you did good job on your 2016 goals! That’s great that you’ve pushed out of your comfort zone and speak out a bit more :) I don’t think everyone has to be an extrovert, but being able to speak up is a good skill to have!

    I also like your 2017 goals. I’m trying to de-clutter as well, and I’m trying to put that as my focus this year. Good luck on being debt-free too! That’s great that you’re already close!

    My husband is similar to yours in that he has never really cared about the decor in our house. It’s mainly me that wants to do it, haha. I’ve been sooo slow on it, and after 5 years, I’m still getting things done here and there. Every little bit helps though, and homey, personal touches are nice!

    Good luck on all of your goals! Happy new year!

  9. Happy new year! Good luck on your goals. ?

    Georgie’s minimalist lifestyle has rubbed off on me, too. ? (And just everyone else continuously talking about it.) I think it’s the idea of having to clean less and not having as much mess that has drawn me in—the lack of clutter. ?

  10. I hope you do have an amazing 2017 and are able to do many of the things that you want to do. :) 57 posts in a year is awesome. :D

  11. Happy New Year, Becca!

    Glad to hear you had fun start the New Year with some old friends. I always ring in the New Year with my friends from high school, so that’s always fun. Your night sounds like my perfect night, tbh! I would love to just sit around and game and talk about books. (Slytherin FTW!!)

    Happy Belated Birthday to your mum! Hope she had a great birthday. Yeah, I don’t make resolutions either because I feel like they’re easily broken. Goals, however, seem different as they’re something you can achieve/work towards.

    Congratulations on achieving your goals in 2016! I really struggled my reading challenge and didn’t even complete it, but I definitely want to be on the ball, this year! So proud to hear you stepped out of your comfort zone. It can be such a big thing, but it looks like it was worth it :D

    Wishing you luck in all your goals for 2017! I know you got this, <3

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