Saturday, 7 January 2017

Reading Resolutions for 2017

I wasn't going to do any reading resolutions this year. When I did my blog stats and saw what I'd read, it didn't seem like my resolutions were helping. I've also been inundated with negative 'resolution' videos lately, about how they always fail.

Then I saw this post by Tobias Buckell about bullet journaling and suddenly I wanted to make resolutions again. But I didn't want to make sweeping resolutions that I couldn't achieve or that wouldn't survive contact with the real world. I wanted to make small, defined resolutions that would effect my life in concrete ways so that at the end of the year I would see actual results. I wanted little check boxes I could tick off every day to show accomplishment (I'm an 'achiever'. To me, lists and check boxes are really important and I feel somehow a failure if I don't get to tick things off in those boxes).

So my resolutions look different this year.

I started out by making a chart:

It's not all filled out here, but I did fill it all out in my notebook. 

I then made a concrete list - with check boxes - for the specific books and types of books I want to have read by the end of the year. My goal is to read 40 books, which is clearly doable. Of those, 5 will be history books (and I've picked out which ones I'm going to read). I've got spaces for 10 books published in 2017, several of which have already been filled in (these are books I desperately want to read, and some books I've requested from publishers. I may not get those books, so this list may change, but my intent here is to give myself a physical representation of what I have the physical time for. Once that column is full, I cannot accept new reading requests without bumping another book off my list (at the end of the year if my list is done, I can add a few extra titles. But I have a habit of taking on too many requests and so not getting through the books I otherwise plan to).

As with previous years, my biggest concern is clearing some backlog books. I have 10 older titles from my shelves. I'm starting with books I've bought that I haven't had time to read but really really want to. These books have been bumped off my reading pile for years. That stops this year. I've also got 5 'older titles' listed. These are from my husband's shelves and tend more towards classic SF. I've filled that list so I don't need to think about which book to pick - which can get daunting, and is part of why there are so many I haven't read (that and time - never enough time).

One of my categories is to read 5 diverse books. I'm hoping to get more than that, so it's a fluid list in terms of number. I already have two in other lists. I was having a bit of trouble coming up with possible diverse books so I went on Goodreads and looked through a few of those lists. I came up with the following:  
I'd forgotten how many great books I still want to read (many of which I own) fall under the 'diverse' umbrella. I'm trying for more 'own voices' books here. I don't think reading 5 will be a problem. Deciding which one to read first though...

I'm also planning to read 10 graphic novels and 5 magazines. I keep getting magazines and story collections in kickstarter campaigns and ebook bundles. This year I plan on reading a few of them. I'm hoping to read more than 5, but we'll see. Stories take longer to review, so I don't do as many of them.

The following pages have my yearly goals written concisely, followed by what I have to do each month and each day in order to meet my goals.

I've got more medieval posts planned. I wasn't able to do many last year, and I'm planning to do one plant and one saint post a month this year. 

I also think the key to making resolutions/goals stick is to check in once a month and see if you're on track. It's something I haven't really done before, so I want to keep myself focused this year. I also want to be flexible with my time. If I don't have time for a book, I'll throw in a graphic novel or movie for review. 

So, what resolutions have you made this year? 


ediFanoB said...

It is not a real reading resolution but it should have a similar effect.
I described the story and the idea behind in detail on my blog
Edi's Book Lighthouse.
The short form:
I took a bag, went through my book shelves, picked books I wanted to read for a long time and put the into the bag. The result: 24 books with a weight of 11,7 KG.
And I'm pretty sure I will read them all.

Jessica Strider said...

@ ediFanoB - I LOVE that idea! And you'll see real progress as you take books from the bag. :D