Happy 2017, everyone! How did the holidays treat you? Did you get all the books and treats you wanted? Have you made any resolutions for the year?
I realize most January 1 resolutions are dropped by February, but for the past two years I’ve actually made monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. I’ve found this is a much more effective way for me to stick to any new habits or long-term achievements! I used to fill out Laura Casey’s Make It Happen Powersheets every month, which I think are a great tool for those who need a lot of structure to get their goal-setting started. Now that I’ve kind of established my own goal system, however, I only use my planner – designed by Ink and Volt, it caters to goal-setting types like me!
Over the New Years weekend, I made several goals for this year, both reading, travel, and personal. First, here are the reading goals and challenges I’ve decided to commit to:
- Read 75 books this year (!) Last year I read 58, so this will be fairly challenging for me and my full-time work schedule. Fingers crossed I figure out the time management required for this goal! I’m thinking audiobooks for my commute will be my saving grace for this goal.
- Read Harder Book Riot Challenge – I really like the variety of categories that Book Riot! always selects. I’m not going to plan my reading for this list quite yet; I’d rather pick a few books of my own accord and see which would fit into the slots.
- Read My Own Damn Books Challenge – to encourage myself to stop buying so many books every month!! (or week…or day…).
- Classic Club – increase number of classics books I read in my TBR! I hope to read at least one classic book a month.
I hope this will increase the variety in my reading as well as help me tone down my rather intense TBR pile!!
As far as non-book related goals go…
- Write every day. I’m starting with a quick five minute journal entry about one thing I’m grateful for every day for the month of January. Over the next few months, I hope to increase this time so that I’m writing a half hour to hour every day.
- Increase my weekly exercise activity. Last year I did a really fantastic job of increasing my activity level, but I would like to really challenge myself this year with the intensity of my work outs. I think sometimes I’m a little too comfortable with my current activity level, so it’s time to up the ante a bit! I want to run a 1/2 marathon before I turn 30 in September (quelle nightmare!!!), so I think this goal will be easy to accomplish with the intense training program required for the race!
- Decrease sugar intake. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to commit to a true diet like Whole30 or Keto, but I am trying to reduce my sugar intake after reading about the processed food industry in Sugar, Salt, Fat (review coming up later this month!). I think this will be challenging to stay consistent, as I’m discovering sugar is added in nearly EVERY product in the grocery store. After reading this book, I’ve suddenly had the desire to make my own mayo, ketchup, peanut butter…everything! Now I get why so many people have been on the whole, all-natural food kick! I thought I was eating relatively healthy already…but now I’m not so sure.
- Spend more time traveling in America. Last year was a major international phase of travel for me, and I’m so thankful for all the new countries and regions I got to add to my list! However, now I think it’s time to appreciate the country I live in a little more, so my husband and I are planning several smaller jaunts to cities we’ve never explored together before, like Louisville, Kentucky, Nashville, TN, Seattle, Washington, and the Grand Canyon!
- Get involved in my community. Now that I’ve gotten settled in our new Southern home, I’m ready to find a cause that’s dear to my heart that I can help volunteer with in a deep, meaningful way. I’m thinking either something that helps with access to health care, based on my career, or an organization that encourages female empowerment and education. Or perhaps to combat hunger. Or even a charity that supports the arts community! So many options.
Those are my major goals for this quarter and year! How about all of you? I would love to hear how you stay motivated and focused throughout the year!