The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Thursday, January 16, 2020

21 Things I Want To Do Before 2021

Photo courtesy of Jen P. on Unsplash

With New Year's Day being one of my favorite holidays and the weeks following January 1st being my favorite time of the year, it goes without saying that I absolutely love setting goals and resolutions for myself every year. For the most part, my New Year's resolutions have always been long-term lifestyle changes that I intend to work on all throughout the year and beyond. Either that or they were targetted at more specific long-term goals that I had. This year is no exception to that, I was thinking about these things, and how I was going to start working towards my 2020 New Year's resolutions, as early as November last year. But one thing that I've never done was make a bucket list for the year. As a matter of fact, I've never given much thought to bucket lists in general, which is something I really want to change this year. Especially given the fact that one of my resolutions is to LIVE a little more and have more appreciation for the little things.

I think the biggest thing that's kept me from making bucket lists in the past was the notion that the items on my bucket list had to be super grand, like traveling to another country or to another state. Or going skydiving or something big that would require a lot of time, planning, and/or money. But who says that the items on your bucket list have to be grand, and they can't be small and easily doable? I'm sure no one has ever actually said that everything on your bucket list has to be big and grand. Especially for a yearly or seasonal bucket list. As great as it is to dream big and have something big to work towards, the little things matter too. Even if they may seem small, or may only seem to matter to you. Seriously, you can put anything that makes you happy and that you want to do on your bucket list. Whether it's big or small, or whether it's goal-oriented or totally random.

21 Things To Do Before 2021

1 - Wake up before 7:00 AM

Alarm clock
Photo courtesy of Amanda Jones on Unsplash

This is more of a goal I want to work towards than a "bucket list" item, as I want this to become a consistent lifestyle change. I am a night owl by nature, and I have a hard time sleeping if I go to bed any earlier than midnight. As of right now, I have no intention of moving my bedtime earlier than midnight to accommodate to this goal, as my body actually tends to wake me up between 6:00 and 7:00 AM with my midnight bedtime. Oftentimes, I'll even feel well-rested when my body wakes me up at that hour! But I'll often close my eyes and fall back asleep because "it's too early" for me, especially during the winter when the sun hasn't risen yet. But one thing that I know about myself is, the earlier I wake up, the better I feel. I'm also way more productive when I get up at 8:00 versus at 10:00. So what if I'm both a night owl and a morning person? My goal is to be getting out of bed before 7:00 AM, as I've never done so willingly before, aside from on Christmas morning. But I'd love to try it, just to see how it makes me feel, and how it impacts my day. 

2 - Declutter my makeup

Photo courtesy of Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Last year I embarked on something that I never thought I'd ever do, decluttering. In the past, I was almost afraid to get rid of anything, even if it didn't really spark joy. Because at some point, it did spark joy for me. And how much would I be left with after I decluttered? But I was starting to find myself in a wrestling match with my closet every time I wanted something out of it, and I was starting to worry about potentially ripping something while trying to get things in and out. Everything was so tightly packed, it was actually a possibility. So I decided it was past time to declutter my closet. And let me tell you, I was amazed by how much I was actually able to let go of, and how much space I had in my closet after I was done. I can actually move things around freely in there now when I want to get something out. I also have more room for new pieces that suit my style better. Not only that, but I can actually find stuff. What?!

Anyway, after decluttering my closet, I decided to move on to my desk and other areas of my room. And although it was hard at first to either put things into donation boxes or even into trash bags, it got easier as the process went along. But there's one area in my room that's still gone completely untouched, and that's my makeup. I'll be honest too, my makeup needs to be decluttered more than my closet did! Not because I have too much of it, but because a lot of it is way past its prime at this point, and hasn't even been touched in years. I could go as far as to say that I have some stuff in there that's been in there for over a decade, and most of it wasn't even expensive or special enough to justify keeping.

A lot of it is actually from those bulk packages that Walmart sells around the holidays that you could buy for less than $10 the day after Christmas. I also still have a lot of Claire's makeup that I used in high school. Yikes. I also used to buy the cheapest things that I could find on the shelf, thinking it would work. Sometimes it did work for me, but not always. I think I might document this when I do it, but it's actually a little embarrassing! 

3 - Reach 1000 followers on one of my social media platforms

Taking a seflie
Photo courtesy of on Pexels

This may seem silly, superficial, or maybe even stupid to a lot of people, at least to older people like my parents, but as a blogger, this is something I really want to achieve. One thing I really want to focus on in 2020 is creating more content and growing my blog. And social media plays a huge role in that. Although it isn't all about the numbers to me, and it's more about the content itself, I'm not going to lie, it would be nice to see "1000 followers" when I go to my profile. My goal, however, isn't just to reach 1000 followers but to have an engaged audience as well.

Right now, I'll admit that I feel like getting to 1000 followers on any social media platform by the end of the year is a bit of a reach. Right now, I'm at a little over 100 followers on Twitter and Pinterest. And I barely even use Instagram, so I'm not even close to 100 on there yet. It's definitely going to take some work to get to 1000 followers on any of the platforms I use by the end of the year, but I believe I can get there if I put the work in. I actually had about 6300 followers on Tumblr back in 2018. So if I put the same effort as I did into my Tumblr, I think I can do this.

4 - Build up my Instagram

Smartphone with Instagram app
Photo courtesy of Oleg Magni on Pexels

My Instagram has been neglected ever since I created it. As of writing this post, I only have four posts on it. I realize that Instagram isn't life and it's not even essential for blogging, but as a blogger, I do want to start building it up and using it to supplement my blog. Plus, it'll force me to be more creative too. I don't have a specific follower goal for Instagram or a certain number of likes I want to get per post. I just want to start using it. I'm thinking I want to have at least fifty posts by the end of the year. This may seem a little far-fetched considering I only have four posts on it right now, and I'm not even sure I want to keep them. But I have a lot of ideas for Instagram posts. I just need to take the time to create them.

5 - Create at least one post using only photos that I took

Polaroid photos
Photo courtesy of Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash

I love using photos in my posts to add a little bit of visual interest. I primarily use free stock photos, as there are some amazing free stock photos out there, but I'd like to start integrating some of my own photography into my blog this year. As of right now, I don't want to move away from stock photos entirely, I just want to get a little more creative and take some photos for my blog myself as well. As a little challenge to myself, I would like to publish at least one blog post this year using only photos that I took myself. Especially as I'm not always saving time by using stock photos. Sometimes I spend hours looking for the perfect photo! So perhaps I'd actually be saving time by taking some of the photos myself, rather than searching all of my go-to stock photo websites for hours at a time. Sometimes, I'll be completely unable to find a photo I love, so I'll settle for something I feel kind of works for my post. Even if I could have taken the photo myself instead and got exactly what I wanted.

6 - Do a daily posting series

Planning for a blog post
Photo courtesy of Jaqueline Kelly on Unsplash

This is definitely going to be a challenge, as it often takes me days to write a blog post because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but at some point this year, I do want to do a series where I'd be posting every day for a certain number of days. I'm thinking maybe Blogmas in December? I already have ideas for Blogmas this year! But I'm thinking that I'd like to do something else before then as well. Even if it's only a one-week series or even just a few days so that I can push myself to write more.

7 - Start a design and resource blog

Content creation
Photo courtesy of Brooke Lark on Unsplash

I have always found design and resource blogs to be helpful, especially as someone who loves to design things myself when I can. I'm still working out the specifics of what I want to include on my design and resource blog, but I do know that I want it to include helpful resources for bloggers and content creators, or anyone who may be looking for them. I also know that I want to include HTML/CSS and other coding tutorials, as well as themes and goodies for Blogger/Blogspot themes. I also want the blog to have content that can help give creators a little bit of inspiration.

8 - Experiment with different posts and post formats

Typing on a keyboard
Photo courtesy of Jaqueline Kelly on Unsplash

I'm not sure if this is even something people really notice or not, but I am a little bit picky in the way that I format my blog posts. I tend to lay out my posts in one of four main ways, changing them up only very slightly from time to time. Personally, I do feel that formatting my posts in a specific way is best for consistency, but I'd like to play around with different formats as well. I'll share a little more on my post formats, and how I choose the post format, another day. Maybe on my upcoming resource blog. That being said, this year I'd like to experiment with implementing some new post formats and structures on my blog, which will make way for a lot of new content that I've been wanting to write. A lot of post ideas that I have don't even get written down because I know they won't fit any of the current formats that I use, or because I fear they'd be "too short" or "too different" to post.

I have this very odd fear of posting something that I feel is "too short" or "not enough" to bother posting. But honestly, as much as I love long-reads, I like short content too.

9 - Try something new with my workout

Heading to the gym
Photo courtesy of Brandless on Unsplash

I started working out consistently, or at least somewhat consistently, in 2017. And for the last three years, I've pretty much been doing the same types of workouts. Which let's be honest, is what keeps causing me to fall off the wagon, because I'm bored of doing the same thing day and day. So I just don't want to do my workouts anymore. As much as I love yoga and POP Pilates, I really need to switch it up more often! I'm thinking I should try a new workout or something I wouldn't normally do at least once a week. Perhaps I can switch out arm day every week for the workout that's not in my normal routine. Please, can I actually do that? Either way, there are so many workouts that I've been wanting to try, but I've never gotten around to trying. Who knows? I might just find my new favorite workout!

10 - Go for a walk in all four seasons

Going for a walk in the winter
Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

I love going for walks when the weather is nice. Not only is it an easy way to get some movement in when you're not feeling up to an intense workout, but it's also a great form of meditation. But oftentimes, I only go for a walk in the warmer months, generally between April and September. I haven't exactly kept it a secret that I don't like the cold, and that I despise Winter. But despite how brutal Winter can get in Ohio, there are still some occasional nice days during the Winter here. Some days the temperature will actually get into the 40s or 50s, which is quite warm considering temperatures in the teens or single digits aren't uncommon during the wintertime. Sometimes the sun will even be shining on these days! Living in Ohio, you sometimes forget what sunshine looks like during the Winter. So you'd think, as much as I complain about winter weather, that I'd want to take full advantage of the nicer days and not let them go to waste.

But in previous years, I'd still stay in my room on these beautiful spring-like days, instead of making the most of the nice weather. Then I'd whine when the Winter weather came back. Seriously, why am I whining when I don't go outside very much anyway? Although, snow does force me to me outside to shovel the driveway. Which is complete and utter hell for me, LMAO.  But I digress. Point is, I should try to make the most of the nice days in the winter and get outside. Even if just for a short walk. I actually already went for a few "Winter" walks this month. It was a little chilly each time, as it was typically around 35ºF or 40ºF each time. But it was really nice out those days, and the walks were really energizing. So I definitely want to do it whenever I can! I can always make a nice cup of hot cocoa to warm myself back up when I get home if I'm feeling cold.

11 - Eat a meal outside

Eating outside
Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

I am not at all an outdoorsy person, but this isn't to say that I don't enjoy spending a little bit of time outside. I enjoy going for walks and taking my workout outdoors when the weather permits. Sometimes I'll even sit on the back porch for a few extra minutes when I'm taking my dog out on nice days. But for the most part, I don't spend a whole lot of time outside, and I know I should at least try to get a little more sunshine and fresh air. There is no reason I need to be spending the whole day in my room in front of a screen. Speaking of screens, another thing that I rarely do is enjoy a meal away from some type of screen. If I'm not working or gaming while I'm eating, I'm either scrolling or watching something. It's rare that I actually focus on my meal, and I'm not giving my attention to something else at mealtime.

So as a small way to spend a little extra time outside and to get away from the screens at mealtime, I'd like to have a meal outside at least once this year. I'm not going to commit to making this a regular thing, as the main reason I never really eat outside is the bugs, and how uncomfortable I would be if I were getting swarmed by flies, mosquitos, or (even worse) bees. Regardless, I would still like to try to eat outside and see how it goes for me. Maybe it will become a regular thing, who knows! 

12 - Try something new food-wise

Photo courtesy of Brooke Larke on Unsplash

I tend to play it a little bit safe when it comes to food. A little too safe. Especially on the rare occasions that I eat out, although there is a major reason for this. My social anxiety often causes me to feel a little nauseous when I eat out, and I don't want to push it even further by eating something I'm not familiar with. Honestly, the foods I order when I eat out are so safe, I might as well have just stayed home and made it myself. If I'm being honest, I tend to just order a salad when I'm at a restaurant. No, really, I'm almost always the person ordering a salad because it's the easiest on my digestive system. I also love salad, not going to lie. I've always loved healthy food, even as a child. You didn't have to tell me twice to eat my vegetables.
But anyway, I really would like to start being a little more adventurous with food, or at least try something a little bit different from what I'm used to. Even if it's something as simple as trying a different salad dressing or changing up what I'm putting into my salad. Or perhaps I could try a different dipping sauce with my chicken or do something different with my fries, aside from just dipping them in ketchup. Or maybe I could go as far as to try a new recipe from Pinterest and cook something myself! The options are endless, and I can easily do this from home without upsetting my stomach. 

13 - Attend a local festival

Ferris wheel
Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

Not only do I spend most of my time inside, but I also spend most of it in my room, even when the local festivals come to town. And although the festivals in my hometown aren't exactly spectacular, it's still nice to go to them just to walk around and get away from the house for a bit. But most years, I end up not going. Even though I'll want to go when I hear the parade going on or the music coming from downtown, I'll still stay home because I either can't be bothered. Or because I'm caught up in something else. This year, however, I'd really like to go to at least one fair or festival. Hopefully, the weather will permit when either the summer or fall festival rolls around! If not, I could always go to a festival in a neighboring community. 

14 - Visit my local apple orchard

Basket of apples
Photo courtesy of Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I live so close to an apple orchard that it's rather embarrassing that I've only been there maybe four or five times in my life, despite having lived near it for most of my life. Seriously, I could walk there within minutes. I often pass it when I'm going for walks or runs, but I never stop in. So I'd like to stop in and maybe pick some fresh apples at some point this year. I believe they also have some kind of Autumnal festival there as well every year, so that would tie into my previous bucket list item for this year of going to a festival!

15 -  Binge-watch a show on Netflix

Cat staring at computer
Photo courtesy of Catherine Heath on Unsplash

Okay, I know what you're probably thinking. Why would binge-watching a show be something I'm wanting to do by the end of the year? That's way too easy, most people do that without even planning on it or thinking about it regularly. But the thing is? I actually don't. Most days, I don't take the time to sit down and watch anything longer than a 15-30 minute YouTube video, let alone spend hours binge-watching something. Even when I'm feeling unproductive, or I don't have to be productive. I don't know the exact reason why I'm not much of a binge-watcher, aside from the fact that I've never been a big movie person, and my interests have gravitated more towards YouTube content over the years. But I still like my shows, and I'm sure that taking the time to relax and binge-watch something that I know I'd like would be a much better use of my downtime than either scrolling through whatever is trending on Twitter or staring off into space not knowing what to do.

16 - Take a relaxing bath

Bath supplies
Photo courtesy of Burst on Pexels

A hot shower can be super relaxing. So can a cold shower in a different way. But nothing can quite compare to taking a long relaxing bubble bath or a fizzy bath. Yet, I seldom take the time to take a long relaxing bath. I actually don't even remember the last time I took a bath. I just couldn't be bothered to take out the time to take a bath instead of just hopping in the shower real quick. Especially given the fact that I shower late at night as I'm getting ready for bed, so I almost have to make it quick. So at some point in 2020, I'd like to take the time out during the day for this amazing form of self-care.

17 - Dress up without a reason

Leather jacket over pink top
Photo courtesy of THE 5TH on Pexels

I have an abundance of nice clothes in my closet, but I seldom get around to wearing any of the stuff that I have, exclusively because I rarely have "a reason" to dress up. I spend the vast majority of my time at home, so I spend the majority of my time in workout clothes or pajamas. I do have some super cute workout clothes and pajamas, but I'd still like to get some use out of my dresses, blouses, and jeans as well! I do wear these things when I go to the mall or to a small get together, but I can't say that either of those is a regular occurrence, so most of my wardrobe goes unworn. But going through the stuff still in my closet after decluttering, all of it sparks joy, so I can't bring myself to get rid of any of it. I'm also guilty of purchasing pieces that I fall in love with at the store because I would wear them if I could, and they're on sale. But who's saying I can't wear my nice clothes, just because I'm not going anywhere? No one!

I'm actually curious to see how dressing nicer may affect my mood and productivity, which is another reason why I want to do this. Along with dressing up, I also want to start doing my makeup regardless of whether I'm going out or not. If anything, it would make for some great Instagram photos.

18 - Own my first set of washi tapes

Washi tape
Photo courtesy of Stil on Unsplash

Okay, so this may seem really weird, especially as most people propose not to spend money on "wants" like washi tape or other stationery as a New Year's resolution. But I plan to get into bullet journaling this year, and I really want some washi tape! I've been fascinated by cute washi tapes for years, but I have yet to purchase any. So with wanting to get into bullet journaling in 2020, I'd say this is the year to finally buy some. Seriously though, if you really and truly want something, and it's relatively inexpensive, why not buy it?

19 - "Splurge" a little on something (or add something extra to my cart)

Shoe shopping
Photo courtesy of Alexandria Maria on Pexels

This is another thing that may seem weird to add. Like I said, many people resolve not to spend money or to save money. Not to intentionally splurge. But as someone who always makes a B-line for the sales rack at every store that I go to, and doesn't look very far beyond the clearance section, I would like to splurge just a little bit on something this year. By the way, there's nothing wrong with shopping at the clearance rack. You can get some amazing deals there! Last year I got four dresses that I absolutely loved for about $25 in total at Forever 21 during the 80% off sale. But sometimes, even at the sales rack, I find myself still putting items back even if I really wanted them because of the price. And sometimes the price isn't even that high. I often find myself putting things back if they cost over $10 or $15. I know, I'm cheap AF. But when you look hard enough, you can actually find some really great stuff for under $10. Still, I often find myself kicking myself a little bit for putting something I really wanted back on the rack. It's like the opposite of buyers remorse!

As you may be able to guess, splurging on myself means something a little different to me than it does to others. So when I say I want to splurge, what I mean is, spending more than I normally would on something that I know for a fact that I want. This also means allowing myself to look beyond the sales rack. I'm not shooting for a particular price point, but I am thinking I want to spend around $20 or more, depending on the item I choose to "splurge" on. I know that $20 may seem like nothing to a lot of people, but I've always been the type that liked to stretch my dollar as far as possible. Although, perhaps instead of splurging on one item, maybe I could just add one more item to my cart than I normally would, and just spend a little more in one go than I'm used to. By the way, I don't think that "penny-pinching" is a bad thing, I think it's great to get the most for your money. But this often leads me to actually regret not buying something! 

20 - Start bullet journaling

Bullet journaling
Photo courtesy of The Journal Garden on Unsplash

I've been wanting to start a bullet journal since I learned what bullet journaling was in 2016, but I never got around to doing it, so I want to actually start my bullet journal this year. Not only would it be a great creative outlet for me that could help me to stay organized, but it can also be a great way for me to get to know myself and my habits better. As well as how certain habits affect my mood. There is a lot I intend to use my bullet journal for, and I can't wait to get started with bullet journaling. I missed the mark to have it ready for January 1st due to how busy I was after Christmas, but it's never too late to start one. I'm hoping to have it all set up so I can start bullet journaling in February!

21 - Focus more on "bucket lists" and things I want to do

Photo courtesy of Weronika Karczewka on Unsplash

Although making this list, and keeping it realistic, has certainly been a challenge, I actually really enjoyed taking the time to sit down and think about some of the stuff that I wanted to do this year. Most of these things are in line with my New Year's resolutions and other goals that I have, but there are a few things on this list that I feel are going to be very fun. Even if I have to go outside of my comfort zone a little bit for some of them. Then again, one of my resolutions is to step outside my comfort zone. So almost all of these are inline with my 2020 New Year's resolutions and goals. 

Anyway, because I enjoyed making this list so much, I want to do this a little more often. I'm thinking I want to try to make a seasonal bucket list for every season since I did have to take a few of the more seasonal ideas that I had out to narrow this list down. I also want to make a full-on bucket list for the things that weren't realistic for this year but I still want to do in the future!

Okay, so one more thing, but I want to try to actually do all of these things before 2021, rather than just think about them. So I'm thinking I want to do a follow up to this post at the end of the year, so I can see just how many of these things I actually got done. I may also blog about some of these things throughout the year as I do them! I know for a fact that I want to turn my seasonal bucket lists into blog posts and that I want bullet journaling to be a part of my blog once I get started with it. 

Anyway, although I do feel that it is a little late to be posting "New Year" type content, I still really wanted to post this. It's not too late to still make this year your year. I mean it's still only January. Maybe late-January, but there are still eleven full months left. We even get an extra day this year because it's a leap year! But seriously, even if your 2020 isn't off to the best start, don't give up on it. That being said, what are some things you'd like to do this year? I know that nothing on my list is super grand, but I did want to keep it realistic to what I can do this year with the resources that I currently have. I can work toward the more grand things in the future. Do you have anything excited planned for this year? I'd love to know! 
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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