2016 New Year’s Resolutions :: Health, Blogging, & More

Currently, I am on flight six of eight our trip. The bittersweet news is that this is the last one before our long connection this weekend back home. I’ve mentioned here, here, & here that a large part of this vacation is truly disconnecting and enjoying so much quality time with my partner.

I’m addicted, so I obviously missed being connected, but I truly enjoyed my time with him even more. Dinners have been a lot less about capturing whatever it is we are eating to Instagram or answering e-mails on our blackberries, and way more about each other and our conversations which I truly treasure.

We had our first dinner in Fiji to the two of us on our second night there. More on our first dinner there in a later post, because it is a LONG story {which you already know the jist of if you follow me on Instagram} but it was really special, since there was absolutely zero reception/wifi in the restaurant, only the rooms.  SO, sans iPhones / Blackberries / Samsungs, we reflected on our 2015 together, and made plans, goals, and New Year’s resolutions as we talked 2016 We have some joint ones together, but were able to really talk through our personal ones. Not only does talking to him really help me strategize my goals, but I know I have a partner in it to keep me accountable and cheer me on.

I have a variety of resolutions which I would like to share. I would also love some input on advice on how to accomplish, what your resolutions are, and any thing that might help.

Now, without further ado…

{ Shannon Silver talks her 2016 New Year's Resolutions // Champagne at Shannon's }

My New Year’s resolutions for 2016 ::

⚜ Practice Yoga Weekly.

My partner goes to yoga every weekend. I don’t join him out of pure laziness even though he asks me every week if I want to. I’ve also mentioned that my stress & anxiety can really, really, really get the best of me {i.e. a mild panic attack in Sydney on NYE because of the crowd}. In my post about planning for success, a key point mentioned by Business Insider was keeping those emotions at bay, and I truly think this will be a good first step for me. Not only will I get the health & flexibility benefits, but I think it will work wonders on my mind.

⚜ Stretch every night & every morning.

I used to be really good about this, especially when I first moved to California in 2013, but it is something I left to the back burner lately. I’ve also noticed my posture is completely out of whack, and I am constantly slouched or hunched over, so hopefully this can help straighten things out – literally. I eventually want to take things one step further and start meditating each morning, but this & yoga will be the right first steps before I can get to that.

⚜ Special events aside, cook dinner every night Sunday – Thursday, at least.

There really is no reason not to, except my own laziness, even including late nights in the office. When I was cooking for myself before Australia, I felt my best, and my work was on point. I also love the sense of control in knowing exactly what I am putting, and testing myself in the kitchen. It is also beneficial to the blog, so I can share my recipes, tips, tricks, and ratios for cooking for 1 or 2 – a huge focus of mine. It also helps me tremendously to keep my portions in check.

⚜ Meal prep every Sunday and Wednesday.

Having healthy foods prepared to grab, go, and bring into the office makes life so much easier, and keeps my wallet happy. I also love taking out the uncertainty during the day on what to even get for lunch. It can become a huge distraction at my FTJ for literally no reason. In fact, I just bought these {love that they are oven proof} so they are waiting for me when I get back. I bought some nicer ones, because I found I was always throwing out or losing the cheap plastic ones.

⚜ Replace TV with reading.

I’ve mentioned that I started reading The Food Lab before bed every night instead of TV. This is a habit I want to keep up when I get back to the states. Whether it be cookbooks, books on food/beverage science, business books, or a great fiction book such as Rules of Civility {a must read!}, this is a habit I want to keep. I am thinking about taking the plunge and purchasing a Kindle to keep everything in one place, or so I can read in bed with the lights off. Any recommended books?

Okay, now let’s talk blogging…

This is where I need a lot of help.

⚜ MAKE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR!!!!

This is, hands down, my biggest one. Pretty much, everything else follows this. Not only will this help me to stay organized, but I can get my posts done in advance, schedule everything accordingly – including photoshoots/videos {more on that below}, recipes, collaborations, social media, SEO, editing, newsletters, etc. Not only will it allow me to work more as a professional and on a schedule, but then there will be no lags between posts, even with frequent travel. This will also, hopefully, eradicate my 4 AM nights before my FTJ and lack of posts when I am not near the internet i.e. 2 weeks ago in Byron Bay and last week in Fiji.

⚜ Schedule quarterly professional shoots.

I am very fortunate to have found a photographer that I work very well with & who creates killer prints which are right along my style. I also plan on taking things to the next level with him with videos and other things to bring to the blog. However, this is a huge investment, and just not feasible to do as often as I would like. With the help from my handy Editorial Calendar – when I meet with him for a shoot, I will know exactly what to shoot, what outfits to wear, what I will be cooking/spiking, and how many + exactly what posts to shoot in a day.

⚜ Learn how to really use my DLSR & Photoshop.

I am sure the people who know me personally are rolling their eyes at this, because I’ve said I’d learn how to use my camera for almost a year now. My goal was to use it in Fiji, and guess what I didn’t do? I need to understand that camera, understand lighting, and start taking my blog photos to the next level. With that, I also need to better understand photoshop. I only know the bare bones basics, but I am terrible at it. I will have this mastered by the end of the year. I will also invest in various equipment – think ring lights, a photo stage, VSCO filters for photoshop, lenses, and a few other things. Any thing else I should add or any favourites of the above?

⚜ SEO. SEO. SEO.

I currently use a plug-in which simplifies this for me { Yoast, which I absolutely recommend to other bloggers }, but I need to understand exactly what I am doing with and without the plug-in. I want to better understand focus keywords, how to make a good one, how to tag things, and really up my SEO game. This will take lots or reading and studying, but it interests me completely. Interestingly enough, when we left our resort in Fiji, on the questionnaire, it asked us what Keywords we entered in our Search Engine to find them, which they will absolutely utilize as they analyze their SEO & traffic.

⚜ Nichefy.

Ah, last but certainly not least. For the most part, I have been a Lifestyle blog as I got comfortable with the blogging world. Which I love! Do not get me wrong! However, I have a dear niche that I’ve touched on here that I will be taking a huge focus on. I will still keep things lifestyle, because personally, I love reading lifestyle blogs to learn about different drinks, fashions, products, travel – the list goes on – but all of my favourite lifestyle blogs have a certain niche they focus on. I will not beat around the bush here: I have two niches – alcohol infused desserts & entertaining for two. With 2016, get ready to see this in full force. I am stoked to share my boozy recipes & techniques, and ideas on how to make date night a little more special at home. I truly hope you are as excited about this as me – this spark of an idea is what was the seed of Champagne at Shannon’s so I am stoked to finally see it bloom.

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So there we have it, my resolutions for 2016! Pretty much, the main common theme to them all is stop being so lazy & get proactive!

Now, I want to hear from you, especially bloggers – what are your resolutions and goal for the new year? How do you plan to take your blog or business to the next level? Any tips for me? Would LOVE to hear them.

As much as I loved my holiday with bae, I am kind of ready to get back to San Francisco and hit the ground running & make things happen!

xx
Shannon

{ photo by Ryan Johnson }

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