Ten Goals for 2016


Top Ten TuesdayBack in elementary school, my teachers made a habit of creating a list of rules for the classroom; they were, as you can imagine, similar as I moved through each grade: be respectful toward one another, take care of supplies, use your “indoor voice.” When I reached fifth grade, I had an amazing teacher who referred to them not as rules, but expectations, for she believed the title set the tone for the year. Times have changed – I’m not drafting a list for the classroom, but for myself, it’s not the start of a school year, but a new year – but I think the same philosophy applies: why call these resolutions when I can just as easily name them something with a more positive connotation? With that said, I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish to share my ten goals for blogging, reading, and 2016 as a whole, no pressure attached. What are your goals for the year?

Blogging ResolutionsComment on a more frequent basis. My favorite part of the blogging here on Ciao Bella is, by far, the community I’ve found through it. I feel lucky to have met so many wonderful people through my little site, but I’m equally aware that to be a member of the blogging community, one has to partake in it! My commenting habits have greatly declined since I began junior year, but I’m hoping the first month of 2016 will be the jumpstart I need to get back at it. Tweets and mentions are lovely, no doubt, but if you’re anything like me, nothing can beat a thoughtful comment on a post you worked hard on.

Utilize my blog Instagram. I created a Ciao Bella Instagram account over the summer with little thought to how I’d actually use it, and so, I’ve let it fallen to the wayside since then. I already enjoy photography, so I would love to explore that social media account a bit more in 2016. I’ve already signed up for a challenge that may help: Joséphine and Georgie’s Bookish Scene: Project 52, a weekly photo prompt for the book blogging community. I’m excited to see how it goes!

Write outside of Ciao Bella. Since I began blogging, I’ve used Ciao Bella as my primary creative outlet, allowing me to share my love of books, baking, and design in one spot. Lately, however, I’ve had an itch to write not just my typical posts, but essays, short stories, poems, and the like. Whether this means more discussion posts, a separate, more sporadic blog devoted to my writing, or that I push myself to submit a piece to another website, I’m not sure, but I’m anxious to see where this goal takes me.

Reading ResolutionsFinally read each and every book I own. The holidays are lovely for a variety of reasons, but one of my favorite things to do post-Christmas is to reorganize my bookshelf with my new reads. This year’s round gave me a startling realization: I own ten novels that I haven’t yet read! These range from a stack of ARC’s from giveaways to books I grabbed on a whim from Barnes and Noble, but regardless of the source, I hope to have them all read by next December.

Read twelve classics. In the excitement of new releases and backlist novels I’ve longed to read, I tend to forget my TBR list of excellent classics! This works out nicely to one classic a month, but I know myself as a reader well enough to recognize that this may not always happen, so I’ve kept the goal less specific to fit my reading needs. A few I’ve had my eye on? Frannie and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll, and Room with a View by E.M. Forster, but I’m open to any and all recommendations.

Finish the Harry Potter series. Well, I think this goal is obvious :) I was on a roll with Books One and Two over the summer, but Book Three is still in my stack of novels, unread. I simply need to fit them into my reading schedule, which should be a breeze now that I have the goal in writing. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have not been forgotten by me, I promise!

Life ResolutionsComplete a cover project. I love all things graphic design, particularly in the realm of book covers and hand lettering, but when it comes times for me to create something outside of the classroom, I’m often at a loss of what to make. I’ve long admired book redesign projects, where an artist will produce multiple cover examples for a certain book or series, so I would like to give it my own go in 2016. I think the hardest part will not be designing the covers, but choosing which novel I’ll do it for!

Acquire new skills. With all that I’m fascinated or curious in, I think I could be a life-long learner and always be happy. It’s an incredible privilege to pick and choose what I want to learn outside of school, but nevertheless, here are the skills I hope to acquire this year: calligraphy {it’s the coolest}, Latin {I have the strangest obsession with it}, and how to bake a pie {I think any good home baker should know how to make one}. Since I wanted to stick to ten bullets, we’ll sneak this goal in too: challenge myself with new experiences.

Use my phone less. I think this is a worthy goal for anyone, but I hate my habit of grabbing my phone when I bored or pulling it out as I work on homework. I hope to be more cognizant of my use this year – Instagram and Twitter will be waiting regardless of when I look at them! I believe this will help with my mantra of “living in the moment” as well.

Word of the YearListen Finally, for several years now, I’ve chosen a word in January to define my next twelve months. It may seem silly to some, but it’s what is most effective for me! I bounced around several ideas throughout December, but I finally landed on “listen,” as in listen to myself, listen to others, and, most importantly, listen to the world around me. I’m truly looking forward to the coming year, and I hope this word does me well, serving as a reminder when I need it most.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Psst. I’m looking ahead, but if want to take a peek back, you can find my 2015 Reading Survey here.


24 thoughts on “Ten Goals for 2016

  1. I’m also going to try to use my phone less in 2016. Since going to college I’ve felt WAY too attached to my phone, and that needs to change! These are great goals– Happy New Year! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Salve, Bella!

    These are wonderful goals. :) I must note, one stood out in particular: Your interest in Latin! Oh, Latin. It’s one of those things that always stays in the back of your mind when you’re not translating it, and you catch all the Classical allusions in art and literature. (And you most likely know this, but it is great for vocab on the SAT.) I took Latin I out of curiosity and ended up in Latin IV by the end of my senior year of high school…and I just completed my language requirement this past semester, my first in college. (I tested out of the first two gen. ed. courses.)
    Lots of information, though I hope it’s helpful. :)
    If you’d ever like to talk about Latin, or other interests (like Florence + the Machine!), my blog is dymphnaandpsyche.WordPress.com.
    Bonam fortunam!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carey, this makes me so happy to hear; thank you for sharing your experience! I’m still looking into the best way I can learn it, as my school only offers French and Spanish, but I’m excited nonetheless.

      Anyhoo, Latin AND Florence and the Machine – you clearly have excellent taste! :) Thank you for stopping by!


  3. These are all such fantastic goals! I would LOVE to read essays, short stories, and poems from you, whether you post them on Ciao Bella! or create another site entirely. I also can’t wait to see the cover you design, as I’m sure it will be lovely. And your word for the year is perfect; it’s so, so important to listen to yourself, to others, and to the world, and I wish you the best of luck in doing just that. Happy 2016! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily, you are so kind – thank you for the lovely comment! We’ll see what happens with my writing; I hope to devote some time to figuring out how I approach it this weekend. :) A happy 2016 to you too!


    • Thank you! I think – or, at least, I hope – it’s an excellent word to define anyone’s year :) And you definitely have to carve out time for commenting, but you’re right, these Top Ten Tuesdays make it a bit easier. Thank you for stopping by and following!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Why thank you, I’m excited about that goal too! There are so many excellent classics I’ve been meaning to read, so here’s hoping we both get to a few this year. {And thank you for sharing your book list – I’ll Drink to That and Tales from a Back Row both sound so interesting!}


  4. I have the issue of not commenting on other posts as much as I should, especially as I’m battling homework, 6 hours of swimming a week {not including meets on weekends}, and just life in general.
    For your cover design, I would recommend the book Wonder, by R. J. Palacio. It is fantastically done, and if you haven’t read it yet you most definitely should.
    Also, going hand in hand with your living in the moment, when you are using your phone, there is a great app called Beme, that is specifically designed to let people live in the moment. It is pretty cool.
    I also wanted to say that you have a great blog, and I’m excited to check out your Instagram, as I just got one recently!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Commenting is tough, I totally agree! I hope to carve out more time for it, but I’m not going to kill myself to get it done if I have a packed week. {Also: a swimmer? How cool! I don’t swim myself, but I have a few friends who are on the competitive team at my high school and they love it :)}.

      Wonder has been recommended to me time and time again, but I just haven’t gotten to it yet! My sister owns it, so perhaps I’ll snag it on a snow day.

      I will have to check out that app – thank you so much for the recommendation AND your lovely comment!


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