Pondering and Planning for 2016

January 15

My inbox, Instagram account, and feed reader are awash in resolutions. No matter where I cast my gaze, my eye catches a goal or intention that someone has set for themselves in this fresh, new year. I find the urge to publicly declare an infectious one and so have spent the last week contemplating what my own hopes are for 2016 so that I can share them here.

Last year, I set some good goals for myself in relationship to this site. In looking back at the past 12 months through the lens of those intentions, I must confess that I feel like I didn’t do particularly well. In thinking about why, I realize that while I set the goals (and even taped them to my computer monitor), I never created time to invite them into being.

There are so many reasons why that is the case. I was writing a book. I said yes to more classes, demos, and events than I should have. My mother-in-law got sick. And most of all, I was simply tired (I’ve been doing the independent hustle for more than four years now, and it’s hard).

So for this year, I’m keeping my professional goals simple. If I am able to do more than this, great. If not, that’s okay too.

  • Keep blogging – I simply want to continue to show up here. There will be new recipes, ways to use up what you’ve preserved, and the occasional essay. This blog is my home base in this ever-changing virtual world and I want it continue to exist and thrive.
  • Do a good job promoting my new bookNaturally Sweet Food in Jars comes out on March 22 and I want to do it justice. I am going to travel and promote (though not as much as I did with Preserving by the Pint. I overdid it there and it was a big part of why I was so wiped out last year).
  • Keep making a podcast – Back in August, my friend Joy and I launched a podcast called Local Mouthful and we’ve released one episode a week ever since. Since we both live in Philadelphia, we do occasionally talk about things happening in our region, but I’d say that about 70% of each half hour episode is applicable to anyone who enjoys shopping for, preparing, and eating food (no matter where you live). Making this podcast has been incredibly fun and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.

And that’s it. I’d love to say that this was the year for me to launch an online video series, or a line of canning products, but here’s the truth. I am just one person. I do my best every day, but I can’t make it all happen. And I’m okay with that.

How about the rest of you? How are you feeling about the start of the year?

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15 Responses to Pondering and Planning for 2016

  1. 1
    Rebecca says:

    Good luck, Marisa! I just started preserving and canning this year and you have been my main inspiration.

    I’m so excited about Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, and it’s being released on my birthday!! Off to drop some hints! 🙂

  2. 2
    Barbara says:

    Your passion and ingenuity inspire a great deal of people, myself included. I hope you find more calmness in the next year ahead. Thank you for all that you share!

  3. 3
    Jules says:

    Marisa-your blog was what got me started canning and preserving. You do an incredible job making a task that seems a bit daunting at first-very manageable. I am looking forward to your next book. The first two have been wonderful!

  4. 4
    Sharon in Surrey says:

    Good Luck to you again. I think too many of us make too many Resolutions & then guilt ourselves out when we can’t keep them all all of the time. This year I decided NOT to make any Resolutions at all.
    I love the Blog. I love it even when I can’t participate in all the contests & promos here in Canada. I love it because of the small amount recipes that I CAN make even though I’m single & a Canadian. Keep up the good work. How about getting some of those purple canning jars marketed in B.C.??? I’d love a couple of dozen.

  5. 5

    You go girl! I love the fact that you are keeping things realistic for the coming year. To me, it makes so much more sense than loading ourselves up with unrealistic expectations and resolutions (ie. pressure & guilt) for the year ahead. As an independent entrepreneur, I can totally relate. This is a life of passion and purpose, but it also is a real life, and we need to give ourselves permission to live and breathe as well. My only resolution (which I wrote about on my blog) this year was to focus on one word: Relax.

    You have always inspired me with your work and your books. I’m an avid canner who didn’t have time to can anything this year because I was working too much! (what does that say?). I look forward to following along with you as you continue to find your way. I’m doing the same over here 🙂

  6. 6
    Sharon says:

    Marisa – your new book looks amazing! On pre-order status with Amazon….can’t wait to start 2016 canning season with some of these excellent recipes ….

  7. 7
    Val says:

    Marissa, I love this blog and it has inspired me to begin my own blog about preserving. So far I have secured a domain name, but I am fairly technologically-challenged, so hopefully this year I can get it up and going. Also, I intend to win as many blue ribbons and prizes at the State and County fairs as possible!

  8. 8
    Lisa says:

    Sounds practical and dreamy…a balance of which I think is important if we’re to stick to those changes! Your blog continues to be full of life and very interactive…while being absolutely pack full of useful information…which is why I continue coming back to it so regularly! Best wishes as you move forward into 2016!

  9. 9
    Traci says:

    I received Food in Jars for Christmas and have enjoyed every word. I have also made several recipes using all the fruit we shoved in the freezer last season. Plus stock and soups with leftover turkey and ham. I have been canning 20 plus years and can’t imagine feeding my family any other way. I have loved your blog for some time and look forward to following along this year too. Thank you for all your hard work.

  10. 10
    Cyn says:

    Yes! I think we’re all guilty of planning and goal-setting in the most hopeful ways. Realistic goals that encompass who you are and what your creative business is makes for a fulfilling year. Happy New Year, Marisa!

  11. 11

    Happy New Year Marissa! Love the blog and have been enjoying the podcast as well! Funny thing is, I’ve read your blog and books for a few years now, and have followed Joy’s work for a couple years in various magazines and such, AND even met Ben Wenk a few times at our local farmer’s market here in Silver Spring. Listening to the podcast was a way to sort of bring it all together, and makes me feel like I’m a small (but enthusiastic) part of a community that cares about many of the same values as I do. Wishing you good rest, good health and good work in 2016!

  12. 12
    Becky says:

    I don’t do resolutions as a general rule. I definitely said yes to too many things last year and finally just found some breathing space. Which of course means exciting new things have popped up. I’m definitely looking forward to perusing the new book – a canning friend gave me an earful about sugar recently that has me rethinking things.

  13. 13
    Jackie W. says:

    You do so much Marissa! I love it all but it is important to have some time for yourself. Please don’t get burned out. Happy 2016

  14. 14
    kelley says:

    hi marisa! I think you did a great job this past year. I am so thankful to have you as a resource for food/preserving/etc! you are so attentive and responsive to your readers. that makes a world of difference. I’m so excited for your upcoming book! if you’d like a friendly place to promote it, I’d recommend athens, OH (and would take columbus as a close second). 🙂 thanks so much for what you do! you inspire me to keep on cooking and preserving.

  15. 15
    Denise says:

    Thanks for the inspiration . The only thing is that I can’t stop canning now

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