Operation GMST (Get My Sh*t Together) – January update & February Challenge

At the beginning of this year, I was determined. Operation GMST was officially afoot. I created our family’s “bucket” or “life list,” and began the #happinessis weekly feature, focusing on all the happiness in our lives each week (which I love so sooo very much). This year is going to be the year of getting my sh*t together, in every way possible, and I want to keep as accountable as possible by writing my way through everything I’m doing and working on to accomplish that.

For January, I had aimed to do a lot more cooking and baking, which I’m sure you’ve noticed a time or two (or three). Ahem.

I had also aimed to do more crafting, (which I have), and I aimed to take a picture a day with the photo a day challenge, but that I failed. But I’m honestly okay with failing at that one, sometimes I found the prompts didn’t fit what we were up to that day, and sort-of unnatural. If I decide to go forward with taking a picture a day, I think I might do it on my own instead.

I also have aimed to learn something new every month. January’s was how to knit this owl cozy. I’m already planning on learning something new for February, also involving knitting and crocheting among other things.

I also aimed (even if I didn’t jot it down) to get this house more reorganized. I purchased new bookcases and began reorganizing the downstairs. I am THRILLED with how it’s coming along so far, and excited about what more is to come.

I am also very happy to report that I have crossed off my first “Bucket List” item for 2013 already! And this weekend we should be crossing off another one, with another to follow by month’s end. Yippee! In January, I my nutella crepes recipe was featured on Foodgawker and Tastespotting (yesss!), and this weekend we are purchasing a ten-seater dining table and china cabinet for our home (edit DONE!). Hooray! And, by the end of this month, our minivan will be paid off, leaving only hubby’s car, to be paid off by the end of the year. Woot woot!

This month, I’m also going to be overhauling this blog in a major way. I plan to rake over all my old posts, optimizing them, fixing links, images, and sprucing things up around here. Expect to see a cleaner design by the end of the month, too. {super excited!}

To help me overhaul and reorganize this blog, I’m joining Katy in her 28-Day Blog Challenge. I’d love for you to join me, too! Here’s my list of organizational tasks for every day in February, in no particular order. I plan to come back here to cross off what I have accomplished as I go.

28 Ways to Spruce Up Your Blog in February


  1. Add/update categories, updating menus and navigation bars, if needed
  2. Update my About page, to include a new headshot, adding it to the sidebar
  3. Go through plug-ins, update if needed, remove unused ones.
  4. Go through old posts, replace broken links and images, update meta, resubmit to Google
  5. Test out, update, and/or enhance sharing options on posts, ensuring all work appropriately
  6. Fix blog post footer, so that categories and tags display, add breadcrumbs
  7. Find a featured posts plug-in for my sidebar, to help me free up more sidebar space.

Social Media

  1. Update profile photo/avatar on all platforms when new headshot is taken
  2. Review and refresh bios, including URLS on all platforms if needed
  3. Review and refresh follows/friends
  4. Create/edit lists
  5. Add/edit your Gravatar
  6. Ask friends/followers for new recommendations of folks to follow each week.
  7. Search hashtags/likes/interests to find new folks to follow


  1. Update email signature, and add one to my iPhone
  2. Look into adding a canned response (or more than one!) to address common questions received
  3. Edit Google Reader folders, updating feeds (if changed), and creating new lists for better organization
  4. Update your media kit for January’s stats
  5. Set up an email filter so all relevant emails go to a new inbox/group/folder
  6. Set up a new form or spreadsheet to take questions/feedback on your website (reader survey can be found here)
  7. Design and print new business cards with your current information (a must!)


  1. Comment on five blog posts a day
  2. Write a post at least twice a month that includes links to five other posts that I found interesting
  3. Offer five #FF (Follow Friday) suggestions on Twitter every Friday (old school, baby)
  4. Link to five of my favorite Facebook pages on FB throughout the month
  5. Find three related, relevant hashtags for my blog/interests and add them to follow.
  6. Select one my favorite blogs and email the owner, proclaiming my love for them, what I admire most and offer some unsolicited POSITIVE comments (I might do this once a week!)
  7. Continue replying to every comment left, and visiting the sites of folks who comment.

Because some of these items are super quick and easy, instead of doing maybe one item a day, I can tackle more than one in a day, to allow me to focus on some of the harder, more time-intensive ones over the span of a couple days.

What about you? Does your blog need sprucing up, too? What things would you like to see change?

(P.S. If you could take the time to fill out this reader survey for me, too, I’d appreciate it!)


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