It’s that time once again! For… GOALS & REFLECTION!
Salutations Chapterlings! How has the new year been treating you far? Are you remembering to stay hydrated and to take breaks? I hope so, you’re worthy and deserve some self-love! Today friends, we’re talking about a post that I’ve recently started doing on my blog more recently. Yes, I’m talking about those past year reflections and the new year goals! This year I’m going to keep things more related to books because I’ve actually been doing a lot better with my more personal goals and don’t feel the need to have them listed this year. So if you enjoy reflecting and goal setting, pull up a chair with me, get cozy with a cup of hot cider, and lets get into it!
Please note: If you’d like to skip the 2022 Reflections, scroll on down to the 2023 Book/Reading Goals!
2022 Book/Reading Reflections
At the beginning of 2022, I set so many goals, book wise and content creation wise. Out of all five of those goals, I have actually completed at two of them! Those two being tbr related and arc related. Despite the chaos of 2022, throwing me for loops, I was able to still make tbrs. Though I didn’t always post about my tbrs, here on my blog or on Insta, I was still making sticky note tbr lists. These tbr lists were kept short (all of them except my November 2022 tbr which did make it onto the blog & Insta). I love making tbrs and that was something I really focused on because I really love making a tbr, deciding on the books to read, planning buddy reads, etc… And in 2022, I was really trying to surround myself with things that I love, enjoy, and what bring me happiness. So tbrs was a big success!
The other goal I managed to accomplish was choosing arcs more carefully! Honestly, I was surprised I was able to manage this. Out of all the goals I had set in 2022, this was the one I thought I’d never be able to succeed. I always get so excited about books and the opportunity to read new books, the possibility of discovering new authors, etc… However, I somehow managed it! I have only been requesting arcs for books that I’m really excited about like anticipated releases, books I was planning to buddy read with friends, or books that really spoke to my current reading preferences. This is excluding Native/Indigenous literature I was being reached out to for reviewing. I exclude this for two reasons: One, a lot of those books were final copies and final copies don’t fall in the ‘arc’ category & Two, I am automatically accepting anything that is Native/Indigenous literature or by Native/Indigenous authors. So those are the reasons why Native/Indigenous literature is excluded from being factored into accomplishing this goal. That aside, I managed to only requests about ten to fifteen arcs this year, in total. Now realistically, I probably requested closer to twenty books, but some of my requests were rejected. So those books aren’t counted due to not actually landing in my e-arc library. So I’m really proud of myself! Before I usually requested anything the intrigued me and now I’m more selective and picky about what I’m requesting.
Even though I only managed to achieve two out of my five goals, I’m really proud being able to achieve them. 2022 had a lot of stuff going on which I feel like ever since 2020, that’s just my new normal. But in 2022 I really tried to prioritize my book stuff and I really tried to focused on those goals of mine. For 2023, I really really want to focus those goals and hopefully this time in 2024, I’ll be able to say I did even better!
2023 Book/Reading Goals
We made it! Yes, we made it to the most exciting part of this post, goal setting! This section is going to be a slight combination with some content creation stuff sprinkled in with the reading goals. I want to make these goals realistic and achievable for 2023 and I want to be a little gentler with myself, not add so much pressure to the things I want to do. Granted, this is easier said than done, but either way, I’m really excited about these goals!
➸ If It Doesn’t Make You Feel Good, DNF It!
I have a terrible, terrible habit of forcing myself to finish books for the review, even if it throws me into a reading slump, gives me severe burnout, or physically makes me sick or upset. I did this with Ninth House, Mexican Gothic, and most recently, A Taste of Gold and Iron and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. While these are great examples for books that fall on the middle line for me (two/three star ratings, loved some things & disliked some things), these are all books I should have dnf’d, moved onto something else, and instead of doing that I did what I typically do when in this situation… forcing myself to push through it. *insert cricket noises here* Yeah, yeah… If you’re making a face or saying ‘I have so many questions’ then yes, this is not good or healthy behavior. Reading is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, not something you force yourself to do or push yourself with. So going into 2023, I want to be better about books that I’m reading. While I don’t mind having books that are three stars or lower (it happens, not every read can be five stars), I want to do better and stop reading the book if I’m not having fun or start feeling exhausted with that book. 2023 is the year of DNFing is in charge, TBRS BEWARE!
➸ Smaller TBRs
If my November 2022 TBR taught me anything, it’s that I still go too hard with my tbrs. If you’re like me who gets excited about books or the books you’re going to read each month, one of two things will happen to you. One, you get so excited about all the books, new releases and books from the previous year, you want to pile all the titles your most excited for on that monthly tbr. And Two, you get so excited by all of the books in your library, on your tbr cart, in your e-arc library that you get overwhelmed, then put a bunch of titles on your tbrs without seeing if they’re titles you really want to get to, and then you don’t read any of them because you’re overwhelmed, and you wanted to read another title instead. I know the feeling all too well. So this year I want to make my tbrs smaller so they’re more manageable, more achievable, and more enjoyable. More enjoyable, less pressure to read EVERYTHING!
➸ TBR Jar/Wheel Time!
With prepping to move, I want to work through as many of the books in my library I haven’t had the chance to get to in 2022. While I was hitting a nice chunk, I want to continue to keep this up going into the new year. This will allow me to work through my library, it’ll help with weeding out books to keep or potentially get rid of to make room for the future. Originally, I did have a tbr mug at one point, but that mug ended up shattering and since then I haven’t replaced it. I haven’t decided if I’ll get a tbr jar or use a new mug, or maybe this time I’ll try to find a wheel/randomizer, but whatever decide, it’ll be dedicated to helping me work through physical books.
➸ Bullet Journaling
This is all new territory for me. While I’ve been someone who has journaled throughout my life, the only time I use a notebook or notepad is when taking reading notes for current reads. However, this year I want to try my hand at bullet journaling for reading. I think this will be a fun, creative way to track tbrs, reading progress, and even be good for aiding with mental health. I am excited that at the time of typing this, I have a journal and new markers (House of Earth and Blood notes wrecked three of my markers) are on their way. I’ve even started looking into washi tape and already been thinking about layouts for January. Either way, this is something I really want to give a chance to and see how it goes!
And those are all my goals for 2023! I know it wasn’t a lot of goals. I think this year’s goals might be slightly shorter than last year’s, but either way I’m excited for them. One of the things I’m trying to do better in 2023 is to not overwhelm myself or make things feel unachievable. So going with goals that cater towards that goal feel really good. Have you set any goals for the new year or tried any of these above? Let’s chat about it in the comments below! Until next time, I’m wishing you all a lovely day! 💚