Okay. How is January over already?! The first month of the year is already under our belts, but I hope it’s been a good one for you so far. A new year brings so many new opportunities and experiences, and so does each month! January brought many challenges, but it also brought many new opportunities, and I’m excited to crush my goals again in February! As far as a mini life update, I’ll share that towards the end. Fair warning, it’s real talk. I’m sharing my heart and I’m opening up to a lot of things I’ve kept hidden from my blog life. January Goals Revisited // Personal Goals One // Clear out the spare closet Check! I actually just packed up all of the clothes that I’ll be getting rid of in a huge bin and it’s all ready to get out the door! Two // Read one book Okay, I am actually the worst with reading. I didn’t even pick up a book last month. Definitely gotta try harder in February. Blogging Goals One // Pre-write blog posts YAS! I’ve been doing this and it’s helped so much. Whenever I feel inspired to write, I write as many as I can and have posts written weeks in advance! I have my posts planned out all the way through the end of February already and a few into March! Two // Stop focusing on numbers THIS! No joke this has changed the game for me. Of course I’m still going to look into my analytics, I am running a business after all, but I’m not obsessing over them and driving myself crazy. I’m using my numbers to help me grow versus getting discouraged over them. Three // Plan out photoshoot sessions This has helped so much this past month. I met up with Summer to shoot and planned out weekends strategically to have time set aside for shoots with Christopher. Planning out a shot list is definitely a time saver! All in all, January was a really great month for me. I learned a lot, I tried many new strategies, and my blog is growing like crazy. I’m just gonna go ahead and pat myself on the back now. šŸ˜‚ But in all seriousness, January was a great start to the new year! Now it’s time to kick it into high gear during February. Pin Me For Later! February Goals // Personal Goals One // Pay down $1,000 in debt We still have a few thousand left to pay off from our wedding and of course we have crippling student loans. I’d love to focus $1,000 of this month’s income on paying down some debt. I know it will help us in the long run–especially since we *fingers crossed* will be moving in a few months. Two // Secure a place to live So we have to move out of the apartment we are in now. It’s gotten horrible over the past few months. They’ve let many people move in that should not have been accepted to live here, and it’s just turned our “luxury” neighborhood into garbage. I’m talking screaming at 2:00 AM, playing drums under our bedroom at 2:30 AM…the list goes on and on, but I can’t take it anymore! My goal is to secure a place to live, whether it be a home or another apartment. Blogging Goals One // Grow my New Facebook Group In January, I started a group called Cultivating Instagram Engagement for Bloggers. If you’re looking to grow your Instagram following, engage with new people, and be part of of genuine community, I’d love for you to join! Join here >>> Cultivating Instagram Engagement for Bloggers Two // Continue organically growing on Instagram During January, I tried something new. I interacted more with accounts I was following and made a ton of new blogging friends by interacting and following those I wasn’t following. I stopped caring about a follower to following ratio, and if I genuinely liked someone’s account, I followed them with no questions asked. I may or may not have a post in the works about my organic strategy, because I gained a record amount of followers in just 30 days! šŸ˜‰ Follow along with me on Instagram here! Three // Focus on increasing Pinterest engagement & monthly viewers As a blogger, Pinterest is super important. Pinterest alone drives over 30k+ new viewers to my blog each month and they’re sticking around too, because they read 2+ blog posts each time they visit! I want to continue to dive in and focus on growing my Pinterest monthly viewers, because I am so close to hitting the pageview goal I’ve set for myself! Mini Life Update // As you can tell from my goals, my blog life has been going really well! I am so happy with where I am in the blogging world, since I’ve only been blogging full-time since last February. But unfortunately, the income isn’t where it needs to be right now, and I know a lot of other bloggers are feeling the same. Okay fair warning, prep for word vomit and tons of vulnerability, it’s time for #realtalk. Related Reading: Why I Quit My Job Without Having Another I’ve been feeling all kinds of emotions the past few months from sadness, anger, and I’ve been feeling useless. I’m sad because I put so much time (50+ hours a week!), effort, and passion behind what I do, and I feel like it’s not paying out. I’m angry at myself, because I gave up a steady income, yes to pursue my dreams, but gosh, it’s scary! Essentially, we’d be in a house already, student loans would be paid way down, and maybe we actually would have had enough money to go on a freaking honeymoon. Was it all worth it? I hope so. Now sadly, I feel useless and I hate to even admit this, but I do–I’m just being real with you (obviously). Sometimes I feel useless in the blog world, because do people even care about what I’m writing about?! Honestly, how many people are going to read this last paragraph? If you are, you’re the real MVP, but gosh, I hate this feeling. I also feel useless, because my income means nothing to lenders since I am self-employed. Chris and I really need a new place to live (due to the reasons I explained above & more so in my personal goals), and we were hoping to buy a house within the next 1-2 months, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, and so I’m preparing for the worst. Pin Me For Later! I feel at fault here for a lot of the personal opportunities that Chris and I have had to give up the past year, and I don’t want to feel that way anymore. If you’ve been following along on the blog for the past year, you know that I’ve been looking for a part-time job for a while now–something to fill in the gap and to have an income that counts to the world. It’s been an entire year of looking with no luck and I feel so defeated. Within the past month, I’ve applied to several places and I’m mentally preparing myself to re-enter the workforce, but nothing ever seems right. I have a really great opportunity on the horizon, and I pray that a) it works out or b) something good comes from it. To answer a question that might be at the back of your mind, no I won’t be giving up blogging. I’ve worked far too hard to get to where I am today. I’m just accepting the fact that I need to take more responsibility, because my actions and decisions affect more than just me now. Chris has been more than supportive every step of the way, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful, but I want to work harder to show him that I appreciate all of his support and encouragement this past year. So, in saying all of that, if you could keep me in your prayers, especially in the next few weeks as they are crucial to this entire process. I know God has an amazing plan and that everything will work itself out, but man is He cutting it close this time! I love you all & thanks for hearing my heart.

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