Project Jessica: An Update

Project Jessica: An Update

This year has been a whirlwind. As I try to remember everything that happened, it’s really just a blur. There has been a lot of hard times, a lot of stretching and growing, and a lot of fun and big moments. As I reflect back on the year and plan for 2017, I wanted to share my insights:

When I started 2016, I did not want to do the resolution thing, because those are really meant to be broken as soon as February hits. So instead, I decided to do projects. Let's review those, shall we:

#read24 project

Goal: 24 books
How far I got: 19 books

I set a goal of reading 24 books this year for the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I still have 14ish days left in the year, so I may be able to knock another one off the list. Maybe? Even though I didn’t meet my goal, I feel very good about the books that I have read this year – a mix of suspense, fairytale series, business and personal development. Here are three that I think you’ll also enjoy:

Ego is the Enemy

This book was recommended to me by my friend Shenee, and is in a word: life-changing.  I have to refer back to it from time to time to remind myself of some lessons. It’s really about how we often get so caught up in our own egos that we forget what’s really important. What we are working for. And it makes us be more aware of times where our egos might be doing us more harm than good.

One of my fave quotes:

“But you’re not able to change the system until after you’ve made it. In the meantime, you’ll have to find some way to make it suit your purposes—even if those purposes are just extra time to develop properly, to learn from others on their dime, to build your base and establish yourself.”

Year of Yes

So I heart Shonda Rhimes and I love her shows, (helloooo TGIT), so to finally read her book was amazing. It was like chatting with her over coffee. The book is based on a time in her life when she decided to say yes to everything, especially things that scared her.

One of my fave quotes:

“It is time to stop standing at the edges of rooms. Hugging the walls. Living in my head. Wishing I had something to say. If there’s one thing I have learned from all of Chris’s Sisyphean pushing and all of this saying Yes it’s that if I don’t poke my head out of my shell and show people who I am, all anyone will ever think I am is my shell. It is time to take my place on the list.”

The Cinder Series

So I included this 4-book series because it was awesome. The first book was a little hard to get into, but if you love fairytales and you can stick with it, you will love these retellings of Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel.

One of my fave quotes (from Cress):

“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them.”

If you want to see what else I read this year, come and join me on Goodreads.

#blog24 project

Goal: 24 blog posts
How far I got: 5ish (this makes 6!)

Similar to my reading goal, I planned to write two blog posts a month for a total of 24 for the year. I started off strong in January and February and then…life happened. I fell behind and wasn’t able to get back on track. Which made me feel really bad, but sometimes when you get off track, it’s hard to start again.

BUT something cool happened along the way. I received an email for this lifetime deal on this service called Revue, a newsletter that makes it super easy to curate content.  Which was something I had thought about trying for awhile.  I saw this deal as a sign to move forward and figured it was something that I could keep up with on a weekly basis.  I created #jesspicks, a curated newsletter with top posts I’ve read around productivity, tech, business and side hustling (along with life and biz updates) that I produce every Saturday. I started doing this in July and I haven’t missed a Saturday yet. 21 issues so far!

So what does this mean for 2017?

More #jesspicks!

The newsletter is doing great. And it’s so much fun to put together so it’s definitely here to stay for 2017. Want to join in on the #jesspicks fun?  Get on the list. It’s awesome!

Get Comfy with the Monkey 2.0

I love my Mailchimp course and had fun putting it together as an optin gift. My plan for 2017 is to take it down, re-do it, go bigger and sell it as a digital course.

Passive income

Because I’m side hustling, I have to get super duper honest with myself about ways to make money for the business, that I can realistically do with my day job. So next year, my goal is to really dive deep into passive income: creating digital products and signing up for affiliate marketing opportunities for products I use and love.

#womenintech for the win!

With my participation in CompTIA's #MakeTechHerStory campaign to inspire girls to pursue careers in technology, I was featured as one of four role models to watch for girls interested in tech.  And also I was featured on Black Enterprise!   Being able to be highlighted as a role model especially as a black woman in tech means a lot to me and I hope to be able to represent this even more in 2017!

More speaking / More video

I set a silent goal of 10 speaking gigs for 2016 and I met my goal!! I hope to be able to do that again in 2017 by speaking on topics like list-building, side hustles, and my experience of being a woman in tech. Along with that, I also want to do more video. Not sure what that looks like yet, but definitely in the plans.

Better self-care

Not sure if it has been turning 35 this year or what, but I’ve been sick more than ever before (lots of sore throats, lots of coughing), so for 2017, I really want to make self-care a priority. This is what that looks like:

  • Hard boiled eggs for breakfast before my coffee
  • Multivitamins
  • More fruit and veggies
  • Drinking more water and tea (less soda)
  • Some version of consistent exercise
  • More coloring
  • More reading (#Read24 the sequel will happen. 😃 )

What did you accomplish in 2016?  Any lessons learned?  What does your 2017 look like?

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