New Year’s Resolutions. How Well Did I Follow Through?

First of week of the semester finally over! I feel that I started strong and am going to try to maintain that level of focus. I wanted to put this post out before school started, but the preparation I was doing for some of my more intense classes this semester was more of a priority so… that didn’t happen.So here it is.

Scientists say that the reason people don’t follow through on their New Year’s resolutions is simple. Most people pick big actions like “Eat healthier” or “Exercise more”. According to Susan Weinschenk Ph.D., the reason most people fail is because we have to start changing habits with small actions. Instead of “Exercise more”, we should instead say “Walk a 1/3 more than usual”. Not only do they have to be small, but they should also attach onto an existing action for easier acclimatization and be easy to follow through for the first week minimum. I’ll be going into 2017 with these in mind. Here’s the article for anyone interested. I highly recommend giving it a read and incorporating the lessons into your resolutions for this year.

I made a couple of resolutions at the beginning of 2016 with the goal of looking back and seeing that I accomplished them. While I’m pretty confident I didn’t exactly manage to do all of them, I honestly feel that I definitely did make somewhat of an improvement. I’ll link the whole post down below, but I’ll be going through only the main list. So let’s get started.

Start becoming more active on social media

My social media posting for the year of 2016 was much better than 2015. I was able to finally get a bit more involved on Instagram and am slowly building a larger follower base. Still a long way to go, but for someone as uninterested in social media as I am, it was a huge leap. This year I will be looking to improve even more and start showcasing more of my calligraphy practice as I notice that those were some of the things people were responding to. It’ll definitely be tough, but I’ll use the excuse of posting it on social media to focus on keeping a clear schedule of practice and for a more useful practice instead of mindlessly doing drills and not focusing on the foundations. This year I will be using online resources more often to practice smart and will eventually be writing in calligraphy on Instagram for any holidays and the like. Look forward to it! 🙂

One review a week without fail, no excuses

In the 52 weeks of the year of 2016, I posted 32 reviews. Honestly, this one was a little bit of a stretch for me to accomplish and I’m surprised I got as far as I did given how tough the quarters leading up to my transfer were. There were many times I found myself simply releasing 2 or even 3 on a given weekend simply to catch up. In short, it was an ambitious goal that I couldn’t follow through on because I underestimated the effort and motivation I had to constantly put out reviews every single week. For this year, since my schedule and academic rigor has increased substantially, I simply can’t make one review a week happen. However, I feel that one every two weeks should be very possible given how many I put out last year. By decreasing my schedule, you guys have more to look forward to also. I’ll be posting only on weekends as that’s when I’ll have the most free time. I feel that I can definitely make this happen, so I’m gonna go for it.

Improve my photography which I feature in my reviews.

Now this one was something that I’m not really sure how well I accomplished. For me personally, when I compare my January photos to my December photos, I see a stark difference in quality. The December shots are better composed make better use of negative space and are more in focus because I invested in a decent tabletop tripod to avoid shaking and blurriness present in some of my January shots. That being said, I feel that the creativity behind the shots were lacking. Lot of them are the standard in focus nib and body and a couple of round angle shots that are pretty standard. I didn’t exactly do a good job in varying my backgrounds and it became a little stale even for me. When I moved to IU, I no longer had my standard black desk but instead a wooden grain one that really looked nice in some of the latest reviews. I want to try to capture some pen in nature shots this year. Something like that should be easy due to having so many seasonal backgrounds here in Indiana. I’ve been a little uneasy about going outside due to how cold it is, but I feel that a morning photo walk is something that will help me not only improve my composition further, but challenge me to try out different methods and utilize different perspectives.

Work on getting some kind of sponsorship

Well this is a little embarrassing. O.O Now this was a resolution that honestly fell by the wayside after January. For some reason, it completely slipped my mind after the year started up and it wasn’t until I wanted to write this post that I saw this and remembered. It hit me how much trouble could be saved when wondering about what new pens I could get that I haven’t reviewed. This is something that I would definitely like to work on as it would not only guarantee my readers fresh reviews on new pens, it would also allow me to stop stressing on how I’m going to put out new content every week. I will be contacting some of my favorite pen bloggers for advice on how I can make this happen and encourage anyone with experience in this field to get in contact with me via the Contact Form and I’d love to chat..

That was all of my resolutions for 2016 and a few minor adjustments notwithstanding, they will stay the same for this year. Resolutions cannot be thrown away if you don’t accomplish them. The biggest problem I faced last year was overreaching. I set goals that didn’t take into account how my life was going to change near the end of the year. I set goals that were a bit too ambitious given the limited amount of time I had to make them happen. Lastly, I set goals blindly, without thinking about how I was going to follow through. Ultimately, while I didn’t complete any of them, at least there was improvement. Until the day comes that I’m completely sure that I followed through these are going to be my blog resolutions for every year. Consistency is key and perseverance is mandatory for success. I also have some personal goals that I’ve set for myself and I’ll be working on those too alongside these. I’m getting a feeling that this year is going to be a good one. Keep on going, my friends. Never stop trying to better yourself and never settle for anything less than what you want. Let’s work hard together and make 2017 a year to remember.

I really want to know what you guys are thinking so please leave a comment telling me how I’m doing. Comments are getting more frequent, but it’s just not enough to gauge how well my reviews are being received, so let me know what you think hitting that like button and leaving a comment. Thank you all so much for your support. I’ll see you in 2 weeks with 2 reviews to make up for missing these first couple weeks. So until then, write on, my friends. 🙂

Link to 2016 New Year’s Resolutions blog post