December 2016 Goals

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or the most stressful depending on your point of view. I love Christmas time, not for gifts but just because it’s a time of year where people are actively trying to be a little less garbage. Oh and the parties, I love holiday parties. This is the first year since 2011 I am not hosting my annual holiday shindig! Between everything going on with my business and blog, the upcoming move and just plain body wear and tear (thank you Cedar allergy), it didn’t seem like something I needed to add on my plate.

So I had a crazy busy but pretty excellent month. I got to spend time with a lot of people I haven’t seen enough lately. I finally got back into my routine at the gym. So much work got done for the blog and the course. I’m also happy to tell you while I’m not doing income reports at this point, I had an amazing month. It was probably the best month, I’ve had for the blog, so I finally made the plunge and opened a separate bank account for the blog/business and am getting ready (also saving) for taxes :/. But enough random reporting, let’s look back at November.

November Goals

Personal Goals

  • Get ready for the move.

I have scheduled movers, taken the time off work, and updated my mailing information and subscriptions! Crushed it! 

  • Clean car out. I tend to keep it pretty clean but I really want to detail the inside.

No detail but I did take a Walmart bag to it and cleaned under the seats (not that it lasted long with the Fall leaves). I did find my favorite comb under the seat! 

  • I also want to find a body shop to fix the damage from the hail storms in the spring.

So I will be honest (like always), I thought about this once and decided not to because hail season is right around the corner and I would be so disgusted if I fixed it only to have it be ruined 2 months later. 

  • Start Christmas shopping/budgeting.

I haven’t made any of the purchases but I do have my list and budget. I wanted to make sure I took care of the needs associated with moving before the wants associated with Christmas. 

  • Try to purge and donate things before the move.

I donated a lot of trash to the garbage. The last thing for me to really clean out/finish packing is my closet. I am picking up more boxes tomorrow so when I start doing that hopefully I’ll find more to purge. 

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Work on Launch Your Signature Course! So excited the next lessons are coming out tomorrow!

I love this course! I have gotten a lot of work done and learned so much and still have so much more to learn! 

  • Finish working on DiaDarling.com

It is coming along nicely. I really hope to launch it by the end of the year! 

  • Get 20 members in my new Facebook Group

No. I am really trying to limit the major tasks I put on my plate at a time so this is actually something I’m putting on hold. I’m hoping to launch a Facebook group closer to March. 

  • Have 500 Facebook page likes

489.  I am seriously planning to end the year with 500 though. I have been doing a lot of research and it’s apparent that groups are more beneficial than pages. 

  • Have 2700 Twitter Followers

2790! I’ve kind of been absent from Twitter the past week or so with the holiday and not feeling great but I still hit my goal. 

1027! 

  • Have 850 Pinterest Followers

856! Thank you, BoardBooster!

  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library

Yes! You Can sign up to access my list of freebies here!

  • Post at least 7 times this month

6. I  feel pretty good about that. 

  • Publish 1 post on another site.

I had a blog swap scheduled but we had to reschedule. 

  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.

Did pretty good on this. 

  • Crush the webinars I have scheduled this month.

While one of my webinar partners had to cancel, I am happy to say that the other went pretty awesome. Every time I do a webinar I feel more confident and comfortable. I also think of new ways to express things and it’s just exciting.

Health and Fitness

  • Walk 7,000 steps a day

I have been doing so awesome. I didn’t do this every day but I did it most days.

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.

I did really good at this besides weekends. 

  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.

I have finally been back in the habit! I even tried a new class, hot hatha yoga. 

December Goals

Personal Goals

  • Move and unpack the new place. 
  • Get all my Christmas shopping done.
  • Start Christmas shopping/budgeting.
  • Have a great time at Christmas with the family. 

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Continue working on Launch Your Signature Course! 
  • Finish working on DiaDarling.com
  • Finish the articles for my feature in All Things Trend Magazine! 
  • Have 500 Facebook page likes
  • Have 2850 Twitter Followers
  • Have 1040 Instagram Followers
  • Have 900 Pinterest Followers
  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library
  • Post at least 5 times this month
  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.
  • Crush the webinar I have scheduled this month. December 17th! Save the date!

Health and Fitness

  • Walk 7,000 steps a day
  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.

My main goal for December is to just finish it with a bang. I have a lot going on and don’t want to lose momentum. I hope all of you have a great end of the year as well.

So jump in the comments and let me know what your goals are for December. 

9 Gift Ideas She Won’t Ask For But Will Love

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I recieved payment to write this post but all opinions are my own. 

Do you have that special lady in your life who does so much for everyone else but never asks for anything in return?
Are you that special lady? I am all about balance, and I know that as go-getters and hard workers often women slip through the cracks and don’t ask for what they want.
I experienced it, “Dia what do you want for Christmas?”
The truth is my most honest answer to this question would probably be, “Sleep” or “Someone to pay some of my bills.” But since I haven’t become friends with Oprah yet I know those are probably off the table. The holidays are a great time to give back, and if you want to tell everyone just to donate to charity in your name, more power to you, but I know a lot of people who would make the donation and still want to get you something tangible.
Or maybe you are just a regular person who knows your kids will get you a spatula or a homemade card and you like the idea of treating yourself to something fun…
Or maybe you aren’t that lovely lady, but you know someone who is, and you want to give her a small show of gratitude. This woman might be your mother (my mom was impossible to shop for growing up, one year she asked for a spatula. This year she upgraded and asked for a kitchen aid mixer…still stuff you use to make things for your family.), it might be your wife, girlfriend, sister, boss, best friend or just the person’s name you drew for the office Secret Santa pool, whoever that lady is I’ve rounded up some great gift ideas from Uncommon Goods to choose from.

Tea To GoTea to Go Infuser Mug
I am a huge tea fan! This infuser travel mug makes it easy to brew coffee on the go. You can add fresh fruit, use tea bags or loose leaf tea. It’s also super cute!

Gift for men this holiday season

Flavor Fusion Water Bottle

Flavor Fusion Water Bottle
So as I mentioned above I am a huge tea fan, part of the reason I got into tea was that I try to avoid drinking soda. To avoid soda I’ve been opened up to trying all kinds of beverages like kombucha, sparkling waters, teas and you guessed it, infused water. I always find it amazing how much of a difference fruit can make to water. I have always been the type of person who drinks a lot of water, but I always feel like infused water is next level, even if it’s just cucumber or lemons. One thing I like about Uncommon Goods is you get to know a little bit about the product’s creators on some of the products. A teenager created this bottle because he wanted to create an alternative to sugary drinks for satisfying his sweet tooth.
This bottle was designed in a way that promotes long-term use and lowers the risk of second-hand flavor or staining.

Wine Cork Candles

Wine Cork Candles

I will admit I am that single girl with three flower vases full of wine corks, so this is right up my decorating alley. I also think that the candle wax droplets has this sexy dark old-timey Dorian Gray feel to them.
Crimson Heart Umbrella

Crimson Heart Umbrella

This umbrella just too adorable! I feel like it’s something Audrey Hepburn would have used in a movie. It’s flirty and fun. Can’t lie with this I’d probably want to burst into a musical number if I had this umbrella.

Holiday gift ideas for women

Warm or Cool Face Mugs

Warm or Cool Face Mugs
These are so freaking cute, I don’t care how old you are. They remind me of Stonehenge but with snacks lol and in fun colors. I can’t be the only person who has to do a juggling act to trying to get their phone, tea, snacks and whatever else to their couch in one trip. This consolidates two of those things.

Aromatherapy Shower Kit

Aromatherapy Shower Kit
I know a lot of people go to a warm bath for relaxation but can I be honest? Sometimes taking a nice relaxing bath requires work, I have to clean my tub deep prior to taking a bath, make sure my bath pillow is inflated and that the water temperature is hot enough that it will stay warm for a while but not so hot it’s like I’m boiling myself for a big tub sized pot of Dia broth. I have back issues as the result of a bad car accident and a bath never relaxes that upper back the way steaming hot water from the shower head does. This kit allows you to enjoy the calming effect of aromatherapy without the work of a bubble bath.

Hand of Buddha Jewelry Stand

Hand of Buddha Jewelry
This beautiful handcrafted stand is the perfect place to house your favorite jewelry when you’re not wearing it. This piece is part of Uncommon Good’s Handmade Designs Partnership; the partnership works with locals in India to not only provide a constant source of income for crafters but provide benefits for the communities as well. You can learn more about that here.

Luxury Herbal Booties 

Luxury Herbal Booties

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like your feet might fall off? Maybe you were showing a visiting friend around all the tourist attractions in your town, perhaps you were visiting every bridal store in the city while your best friend looked for the perfect dress, or maybe you work retail (much love your way), wouldn’t it be great to end that day by treating your feet to some luxury? These Herbal booties are filled with natural herbs that are meant to promote relaxation. They can be heated in the microwave or chilled in the freezer depending on your need. It’s like a mini spa day for your feet!

Which one of these do you think you’d like? What would be a lovely gift for someone to get you, that you wouldn’t get yourself this season? Tell me in the comments.

 

5 Tips For Being a More Confident Blogger Offline

Meera Kothand sent out an amazing email the other day; it got me to thinking about confidence and vulnerability in blogging. (If you aren’t on her email list, check it out she is the queen of email!)  Her email was all about the importance of having your elevator pitch. She started the email with a scenario that was all too common for me, having someone ask you “What do you blog about?”

It has happened to me before… The thing is, in an online forum I could tell you in a second what my blog was about, what my goal was, who my target audience was…but the second I’m in real life, it’s like, “I write the words on the page about the things and the stuff. I like it,” haha seriously I have been that awkward.

I was having a photo shoot at a beautiful local shopping center when my amazing photographer insisted he gets some shots inside of a restaurant. After what felt like the most awkward ten minutes, of my life he finished. Two older ladies stopped me and asked, “Are you going to be on T.V.?

I laughed, “No it’s a photoshoot for my website. I’m a blogger.”

Oh, my daughter in law is a blogger in Dallas. She blogs about food. What do you blog about?

Then something happened that doesn’t happen to me very often I was at a loss for word. I seriously do something for my blog every day, and I just stumbled on my words, “My blog is about blogging.”

She looked at me like I had stopped speaking English. I excused myself and pushed the awkwardness out of my mind.

But after reading Meera’s email I got to thinking, it was very true, you need to be able to talk about what you do with ease. Then I realized that anytime I’ve been at a conference I had my elevator pitch down packed. I was in my element I was with my people; there was no need to worry that other bloggers would judge me or not get it. So why did I seem to lose that ability when talking to people not apart of the online community. Even when my friends ask me about it I respond short and get embarrassed when they tell other people I’m a blogger.

So I started thinking why?

Why am I ashamed of such a big part of my life?

Blogging probably takes up more of my mind space than anything else in my life. Hell, I’m writing this post at 11 p.m. because I was inspired by the email. One thing I’ve gotten really well at over the past few years is understanding the vulnerability that comes with blogging. Then I realized that as important as the vulnerability is for making connections as a blogger, confidence was as significant for being successful as a blogger.   

That’s when it hit me; it wasn’t about shame. It was about confidence. I have seen a lot of people create careers online and not just the big six-figure bloggers but people who have created an amazing online business based on services and products, digital and otherwise. I have no doubt that it is a viable business model. The reason I was shying away probably had more to do with the fact that I didn’t feel like I had the right to be a badass online business owner.  I work hard, and I know I do. So I need to own it and be proud of it!

5 Tips For Being a More Confident Blogger Offline

Set Goals

One of the most important ways to be more confident in what you’re doing is to know your end goal. Why are you blogging? What is it that you hope to get out of it? In your ideal world, what does your blog/online business look like? Setting clear and attainable goals is a great way see your blog as more than a hobby.

I love to paint. I don’t do it often, and most of the time I paint quotes or songs lyrics as a therapeutic practice. I don’t too much share my paintings with others or post them on social media. It’s just a nice hobby that’s for me. I don’t have an interest in selling my art or even taking professional classes. On the opposite side, my blog and freelancing is a source of income, a passion project and potentially one day my primary source of income. I set goals for each month and plan how to reach them.

It's important to be able to talk about your blog offline. Here are tips to stay confident when you… Click To Tweet

Create a Game Plan

Anyone will tell you that goals are great, but actions are better. If you have a goal, you need to develop a strategy to get that goal accomplished. Having a plan and system in place to reach your goals will keep you on track.

When I paint, I don’t say, “Okay, I want to have this done by next Tuesday and am going to work on it this Wednesday and Saturday.” No, I’ll find that I am feeling, sad or happy or inspired and I have some free time. I might say, “I think I might get some painting done while I watch Jane the Virgin.

When I have a guest post or sponsored post due I say, “Okay that post needs to be done by Tuesday so I’m going to finish up the draft Saturday and work on the graphics afterward.

See the difference? When you make a serious plan for how you plan to get goals accomplished, you can track your progress and feel more confident on your path.

Be Vocal About It

Stop being shy about your goals. I won’t lie to you and say that everyone will hear the words, “I’m a blogger,” or “I’m an online business owner,” rave and totally understand it. In fact talking to anyone who doesn’t blog or doesn’t know any other bloggers will probably ask you, “What exactly does that mean?” So you raise your head high and tell them what it means.

Most people won’t know what you’re talking about and will have questions just out of sheer curiosity, don’t think that it’s because they don’t take you seriously but remember that they probably genuinely don’t know about it. Enlighten them.

Also remember that you never know who you’re talking to, they might be your next dream client.

Oh, you do social media management? I have wanted to start a page on The Facebook for my store. How much would something like that be?”

I seriously recommend practicing answering this question out loud in front of the mirror at least once a day to get in the habit of saying it naturally and confidently.

“I have a finance blog. I teach college students how to balance their budgets and save for the future.” 

Find Your Support Systems

You need people in your inbox telling you how much your post meant to them just as much as you need a friend to sit on your couch when you get down because of a negative comment or rejection for a submission and tell you to close the laptop and have some fun.

You need to find your online tribe but also your offline support system. It’s important to have people in your life to vent to and bounce ideas off of that get what you’re trying to do. It’s important to have people in the real world who can see things from the outside in and offer you love and support when you have so much going on.

Find Your Mentors and Keep Learning.

So imagine if someone asked you 15 years ago if you could create a MySpace page for them you could probably have hopped online and created it in a few minutes but if someone asked you how to create one today you might not be too confident since you probably haven’t used MySpace since 2007.

Think of blogging and business like that; things are always evolving and changing. What was popular yesterday might be irrelevant tomorrow. Large companies roll out system wide changes overnight on consumers all the time.

Always be willing to listen and learn. Find trustful sources to look to for advice and to learn from.

When you know that you are staying up to date on the industry, then you can feel more confident talking about it.

Note: On the opposite side of this don’t try to consume and learn EVERYTHING. You will just burn out. I wasn’t able to start new projects in my blog and business because I was trying to follow the advice of every different professional I could find. I was in information overload and spinning my tail.

Confidence isn’t something you wake up with overnight. Confidence is something you develop over time as you grow your skills and abilities.

How do you handle the, “What do you blog about,” question? How do you stay confident when blogging? Do you have your elevator pitch? Tell me in the comments.