Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 Reading Goals/Challenges/Resolutions

Pick your poison!  Everywhere I look in the book world these days the buzz is about reading goals/challenges/resolutions.  I don't want to be left out of this trend, naturally, so here is my approach.

I'm not making a bleubird books challenge.  If you're into that sort of thing then check this one out.  I've done the Modern Mrs. Darcy challenge for a few years and have enjoyed it.  I haven't always completed them but they do make me stretch my genres a bit each year.  

Really, in all of this, that's the point right?  To stretch yourself as a reader and maybe read more books.  

As far as goal setting goes...I'm a tracker.  I love goodreads for this.  I set an annual goal on goodreads and these goals have progressively gotten higher as I've crushed them.  This works for me.  I don't have a very strong competitive streak, but I guess, when it comes to books, I want to win.  Even if that means winning against the lazier version of myself.  

I don't mess with resolutions anymore.  The idea has proven a reverse self-fulfilling prophecy in my life.  Without exception, if I make a resolution, it's broken by January 10th at the very latest.  

I don't go about by challenges and goals without a little help, though.  

Here's I make myself read more:

I'm in a book club.  This really helps.  It forces me to read something I might not want to read and then that forces me to read another book that I do want to read to make up for it.  This means two extra books every month.  

because I actually read all the books, every time.  

I use paper tracking tools.  I have a planner that I love which allows me check off three goals for the day.  My goals are: read, walk/exercise, and write.  This added bit of tracking spurs me on to greater dedication to my goals after I go through a busy season where they got put on the back burners.  

I also have a book bullet journal.  I love adding to my reading list and seeing the books pile up (har har).  I keep notes and questions and quotes in it.  I transcribed my reading challenge into the journal so I can keep it with me when I'm not at a screen.

I have a tote bag.  Sounds ridiculous but it's my secret weapon.  I've tried to keep my reading and writing stuff in my purse and that just doesn't work for me.  I got a lovely little tote from The Strand bookstore and I keep a couple books, a highlighter and pens, my journal and planner in there and carry it around with me.   I carry the bag with me all over my house and toss it in my car every time I run errands.  It has helped me so much.  I may look like a nerd, but that's because I am one.  And, I'm a happier nerd if I have my book with me.  #selfaware

someday I will write a love letter to that bag

Studies keep showing us that we could be reading more, if only we'd step away from social media and TV.  Maybe with the right alchemy of goals/challenges/resolutions it will be possible to overcome the siren song of the smartphone.  

How do you navigate all this renewed energy to bettering your reading life?  What tools help you?