06 Jan 2016

Hello, 2016! |Goals and Recaps


Happy New Year! I haven’t said it on this blog yet, but I hope everyone has had a great start to 2016. This year, I had the pleasure of seeing Lauryn Hill LIVE in concert and she was just as amazing as you’d think she would be! Us South Carolinians have had a rough year in 2015 (Flood, Charleston, Confederate Flag, and Spring Valley High School) and I think bringing someone as influential and inspiring as Lauryn really helped with the morale and togetherness of the state.

Lauryn Hill! The best picture I could get, I was singing LOUDLY the rest of the night!

2015 was an interesting year for me. Although I had a few highlights (seeing Ariana Grande in concert, hosting a beauty event, meeting Chrisette Michelle, and appearing in Southern Weddings magazine) and ups and downs just like any other year, nothing really stood out. I had some part in this, because I didn’t take risks or do the things I needed to do to really have an outstanding year. I’d call it a “transitional year”, because I really found out some things about myself and wrote two manuscripts (!!!) and I’m super excited about working on them, and tons of other things, in 2016.

I wrote my goals in my Lara Casey Powersheets this year, and it was so helpful to me. I’ve already talked about why I love them so much, but I can’t reiterate enough how much it helps you figure out your goals by asking questions like “How will this goal get me to where I want to be when I’m 80?” and “What will I regret if I don’t achieve this goal?” She also breaks them down into yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals, and helps you create action steps to achieve them.

Although the Powersheets are so helpful, I want to post my goals here monthly so someone can keep me accountable. If no one knows my goals, it will be easier for me to give up quietly, and I don’t want that!

Okay, onto the goals! This post is a long one, so grab a snack 🙂


2016 Goals

Reading Goals:

I talk in depth about my readings goals on my book related YouTube channel here! In short, they are:

  • Read something out of my normal genre (I tend to read fantasy and contemporary more than anything)
  • Get my family/boyfriend to read more
  • Read a classic
  • Dive to my OWN book collection and stop buying as many books
  • Provide more original content for my bookish YouTube channel

Writing Goals: 

Polish Manuscript(s) and Send to Literary Agents: I’m serious about this, espeicially the NaNoWriMo manuscript. The mistake I made last year was not getting my manuscript as polished as it should be before I sent it to agents. The novel is now on the back burner (although I love it so!) while I thoroughly edit my NaNoWriMo novel. I just love it so much and can’t wait to get to the point where I can start querying agents about it.

Apply to Writers’ Residencies: Uninterrupted writing time in a beautiful location, while maybe even getting paid to do it? Yes, please! A writer always makes time to write, but it would help to be in an inspiring environment (like a cabin, or a big city) without daily stresses to distract me. I’m going to be applying for a few this year.

Drive more traffic to my blog: This blog is very new, and I want to drive more traffic to it this year. I plan to do this by writing guest posts for other bloggers and doing a giveaway soon.

Make Waves in Freelance Writing: I want to continue freelancing while making some huger strides doing it this year.

Create Bloggging/Vlogging Schedule: I want to create a schedule that works for me as far as blogging goes and stick to it. Right now, I’m going Vlogs on Sundays and Blog Posts on Wednesdays, so we’ll see how this goes.

Personal Goals:

Lose weight, get fit, become healthier: I know this is very cliche’ but its’ so true. I’ve gained a lot of weight in 2015 to the point where I don’t even feel comfortable wearing certain things anymore. My healthy eating habits have also plummeted– I’m just out of shape, to put it bluntly. I’m already preparing a meal plan and I may start to share it on the blog once I officially start it this month!

Listen to God MORE: I can be very impulsive on certain things (in 2013, I quit my full-time job to pursue writing full-time) and I need to make sure before I make a big decision that I consult with God and counsel before acting. I want to make sure I’m acting according to His will, and the only way I can do that is by listening to Him. Let me know if you have any advice on this!

Become financially responsible: I’ll be honest here. A big reason that I wasn’t able to have an ‘outstanding’ year on some fronts is because I was not as responsible with my money as I should have been. I really want to change that this year and do more with saving, budgeting, and not impulsively spending money.

Become a better friend: I know A LOT of my friends are side-eyeing me right now. I’ll admit it, I haven’t been that good of a friend this year! I suck at texting back, and I haven’t been available for a lot of coffee dates or just lazy days at friends houses’. Part of this is because I’ve been sooo focused on the writers’ end, but I realize that isn’t necessarily the life the want to cultivate for myself, all work and no play! So I definitely want to change that.

Establish Independence: I’m 24 years old, and although I try to deny it, I’m pretty much in my mid-twenties and I’m not “straight outta undergrad” anymore. There are some things I need to accomplish in my life pretty soon, independence-wise. Seeing as though being 10 years old again isn’t really an option.

January Goals:

Begin my meal prep: Going along with my weight loss/healthier eating goals, I need to start prepping meals if this is going to be effective. If I’m supposedly on a diet and caught without any food at any given time and I’m closer to a Bojangles than a Whole Foods… well, what would you choose? Prepping meals will help me buying unhealthy food impulsively.

Go to church/Livestream when I can’t: I know nothing beats actually sitting in church, but on the days I can’t go, I need to make sure I’m continuing to Livestream a church service. I’m doing good with this so far, but I need to be active in GOING. TO. CHURCH. this year.

Pay more on Student Loans Debt per month: Ugh. This is self-explanatory and not fun. But like I said, I’m trying to be more financially responsible.

Hang out with a friend or Line Sister: I have so many people I need to catch up with this month! I want to try to hang out with at least 1-2 of my friends or sorority sisters this month. Texting is fine but nothing is better than in person conversation!!

Finish 1st round of novel edits: Right now I’m just in the stages where I’m figuring out if the pacing and overall story line makes sense before I get into the “nitty gritty”. I’ll keep you posted!

Make Waves In Freelance Writing: I’m working on something right now that might pertain to this goal already. Very exciting, and I’ll will be sure to post more about this when I can!

This post was a doozy! I would love to know about your 2016 goals and January goals in every aspect! Let me know in the comments and we can chat about them!



  1. Our goals are so similar! It’s great to see a fellow gal out there doing the same stuff. 🙂 My health and fitness goals are very important to me this year but even within this first week it’s been so HARD to make good choices when it’s cold out, I hate grocery shopping and Chipotle is RIGHT THERE! I need to make those small baby steps slowly but surely. I’m eager to see your meal plans.

    Are you in the Powersheets Facebook group?

    Posted on 1.6.16 · Reply to comment
    • India wrote:

      Yay! I remember reading your blog and thinking “her goals are soo similar to mine” lol! Mine are very important to me this year too, I’m going grocery shopping this week (I hate doing it too) and hopefully I won’t buy anything that’s not in my meal plan! I’m not in the Powersheets Facebook group, but I’d like to be! Don’t I have to email someone in the Lara Casey shop?

      Posted on 1.6.16 · Reply to comment
  2. Torrie wrote:

    Love all of your goals India!!!!! Girl the editing process stresses me out and I’m not even there yet!!!! Lol good luck!!!!! You are such an inspiration!

    Posted on 1.6.16 · Reply to comment
    • India wrote:

      Thank you! Editing is definitely a stress, ugh, but I’m just looking forward to the finished product!! Thank you so much, and so are you!!!!

      Posted on 1.6.16 · Reply to comment
  3. Rhiannon wrote:

    You sure made some great goals, girlfriend! I have some similar ones brewing in my heart (I just need to have this baby finally!) and I look forward to seeing where life takes us both in 365 days. Wishing you lots of light and love this year! Xoxo

    Posted on 1.8.16 · Reply to comment
    • India wrote:

      Thank you so much, Rhiannon! I wish the same to you! xo!

      Posted on 1.11.16 · Reply to comment

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  • I read this amazing anthology back in February — @wellreadblackgirl: a collection of essays edited by @guidetoglo, written by Black women, on the first time they saw themselves in the pages of a book they’ve loved. I’ve read and loved so many books as a child and have related to many characters, but I don’t think I really saw myself reflected racially in a book until my teenage years (except maybe Jesse from the Babysitters Club books?) For me, I always wanted to feel happy when reading, and the books presented to me about Black girls where always sad and/or dealing with slavery. I knew we were worth having more stories with happy endings too, and that thought fuels my writing to this day. ✨ Do you remember the first time you saw yourself in a book?
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  • I’ve partnered up with @letstalkYA and @freeform books to share a REALLY BIG book haul on my channel that includes this beauty, #TheEverlastingRose. 🌹 The link is in my bio! I can't wait to curl up with this book! Y'all know I am a huge fan of The Belles. Have you started this series yet?
  • These are the books I read in January (I’ll be sharing the books I read in February on my channel soon!) I didn’t plan on only reading books with blue covers. 💙 I really enjoyed all three of these books and two of them became 5 star reads for me. Have you read any of them?
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  • “One can't stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?” 💗 I finished Anne of Green Gables in January and it became an instant favorite. It put me in a reading slump bc I wanted to read something exactly like it when I was done! Anne is such a lovable character and I feel like we have the same view on life. This is a classic, character driven story with beautiful descriptions that makes you feel like you’re going through Anne’s life with her. Have you read it? What other books give you the same feelings as this one? #AnneOfGreenGables
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  • Very cheesy selfie to tell you that I have a new video on my channel featuring the books I read in January and what I’m reading this month! Also this @olay sweatshirt is one of my favorite work-from-home shirts, ever. 📚