Happy New Year everyone!! It’s surreal to think that it was a whole year ago when I wrote my last post looking back at 2015, yet here we are again. I am so excited to leave the stink that called itself 2016 way behind! I’m beyond thrilled for the fresh start that comes along with a new year and I thought I’d share some of my goals and plans for the next twelve months – maybe this will hold me accountable so that I can work extra hard toward making them a reality.
2016 Highlights: In 2016 I managed to redesign my entire blog all by myself. I taught myself how to code by taking part in a few online courses, I watched hours upon hours of YouTube videos and the rest I figured out with trial and error. It was a long and gruelling process but the results were so worth it!
I’ve also made some incredible blogging friends online who have been so supportive and inspiring all through the year. It has been such an uplifting experience!
I’m quite proud of the blog posts I wrote this year! These are a few of my favourites:
I was also fortunate to work with Pan MacMillan South Africa this year which has been a wonderful experience in itself.
Reader’s Warehouse has also been quite involved with our book blog community this year, and I was lucky enough to work with them on a few blog posts as well.
— Reader’s Warehouse (@readerwarehouse) September 20, 2016
I got to take part in J.R. Knight’s debut book release this year and it has been such a pleasure working with him. I have no doubt that the world will be hearing a lot more of him in the near future!
Sometime last year my “South African guide to bargain book buying” post was selected to be featured on Women 24’s website.
A South African Guide to Bargain Book Buying [www.w24.co.za]
2017 Goals: The past year has made me realize once again how much I enjoy writing, and how passionate I am about spreading the joy that comes with reading a good book. I had such a blast collaborating with publishers as well as authors; so this year I would like to do more work of this kind. It was also such fun reviewing bookish products, so maybe I’ll explore the idea of working with small businesses too! The possibilities are endless!
I also want to get to know more book bloggers out there and I plan to start a feature up on this space where I get to share them with you. If you would like to know more about this feature as a book blogger then please send me an email so that we can chat! Apart from these specific goals I would love to make the most of the opportunities available and really take chances no matter if it scares me.
2016 Reflection: I’ve made more of an effort this year to improve my social media profiles and so far the work has been incredibly rewarding and enjoyable too! I reached a total of 2630 followers on Instagram and 400 followers on Twitter! I feel like I’ve stepped up my game on both of these platforms so it’s good to see results for the work I’ve put in. But setting the numbers aside, it has been so much fun engaging with people from all around the world who share my passion for books! It has also been a wonderful space to vent and fangirl about books that broke my heart and left me feeling giddy all through the year. Without these spaces I’d probably be a bottled up mess of nerves! So I’m grateful beyond words, for everyone who has been there to indulge with me.
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*REPOST* 💞 Here's my #2016bestnine 😊 I feel so unbelievably happy right now – thank you for all the likes, comments and support that's been sent my way this year. Even though 2016 kicked me (and I'm sure everyone else out there as well) right in the lady balls a time or two, it's been such an incredible year of self discovery, opportunities and growth. And as for the next run: Let's not become cynical with all that has happened; don't let your heart be turned to stone by anything that may have caused you pain this year. Keep smiling, keep being optimistic, keep searching for the goodness in every bad situation. Be thankful and kind and sincere. Be ridiculous and hopeful and sensitive when the time calls for you to show a little understanding. And most importantly, ENJOY 🙋💞😘
2017 Goals: I’d like to be more present on Twitter this year because I’ve actually been enjoying it these last few months. I was never a big fan of Twitter, mostly because I just didn’t know how to use it, but I’ve found some incredible book lovers through this platform and also managed to engage with some of my favourite authors! This year I would like to get more involved in group discussions and make an effort to find more book bloggers who are active online.
I’d like to keep going with my current Bookstagram theme because I feel it is an accurate extension of my personality which is really important to me. I’d love to take part in challenges and complete all the tags that people have been kind enough to include me in! I would also be happy if I could organize my posts better and engage with fellow bookstagrammers.
2016 Reflection: My original reading goal for 2016 was to read 150 books. That was a total bust because I cut down my goal to 70 books… On the plus side, I did manage to complete that goal and even went so far to read an extra book! Setting my completed challenge to 71/70 books.
The past year has seen quite a shift in my reading patterns and preferences which has been exciting. After I challenged myself to read more genres out of my comfort zone, I started reading more fantasy books and even picked up a few autobiographies which were quite good (surprisingly!). I also managed to complete a few book series that has been on my TBR for a very long time, which included Harry Potter and Throne of Glass.
2017 Goals: I just set my Goodreads Reading Challenge Goal to 100 books, which I’m confident I will be able to complete if I read the right books. I would like to explore more high fantasy books along with nonfiction and classical literature; but above all this I would like to read more diverse books. There are some incredible titles coming out this year too so I am positive it’s going to be a great year of reading for us all!
2016 Reflection: I realize that this is a random topic to focus on, but since I spoke about it briefly anyway, I thought I’d create a heading for it as well. At the end of November I was hospitalized for four days after it was discovered that my left lung collapsed due to a puncture. It was completely unexpected and to be honest, I am still a little baffled as to what caused it because I literally just got out of bed and then felt something was wrong. But I’ve accepted it all and if anything, I feel like it only inspired me to live healthier and to enjoy everything that life has to offer. I’ve learnt to let go of things that are out of my control and to be grateful for everything that I have. I was fortunate enough to bounce back quickly and I’m using that wake up call to push me to do all the things I’ve wanted to do but never did.
On a lighter note, this year was quite an adventurous one too. The husband and I went on a road trip, we took a boat ride, went croc cage diving and there were so many more incredible experiences that we got to share with each other. It’s lovely to have these fond memories to look back on after such a hectic year.
2017 Goals: I would like to focus on living a healthier lifestyle by drinking more water, being more active and eating better. I started yoga before hospital so I would like to really get back into it and work on my posture. I would love to tick a few things off of my bucket list too, and just live for the now, making memories and enjoying every moment that I am given.