Happy New Year, bookworms! It’s a new calendar year and although I never make personal New Year’s resolutions, I always try to make a few bookish and blogging ones. Each year I learn more about myself as a reader, a blogger, and really just as an individual and I try to think of how I can make this hobby even more fun for myself in the upcoming year.
This year, I’m really looking back at scaling down commitments… again. For a lot of people, scaling back means not pressuring themselves to write as much and blog but (thankfully) that’s not usually something I have issues with and when I do find that I don’t have the time to write, I’ve slowly made my peace with not posting something new all the time.
In 2016, I’m trying even harder to think “less is more” with commitments like challenges, read alongs, books for review, etc. I spend a lot of time getting so excited for all the NEW and can’t resist jumping on an idea/book/project because it sounds like fun. This year, I’m really going to try to reel myself in on the requests and post commitments and stop to think about the kind of time I really have to do them. I can always pick up new things but it’s terribly hard to back out of a commitment (and I always try to avoid backing out of anything unless I absolutely have to)!
I always like to take a step back and see what I wanted to work on in 2015 and see if I accomplished my goals, what I could improve on, and what totally didn’t work. Here’s what I wanted to try in 2015:
- LAST YEAR: “I’m okay with taking on a couple challenge this year… Mostly because they’re ones I know I can accomplish easily and I’m not going overboard. In 2015, I will be taking part in my own challenge (of course) — the Book Blogger Organization Challenge — along with Flights of Fantasy, the Re-Read Challenge, and the Debut Author Challenge!”
- HOW’D I DO? I totally dropped out of every single challenge. You think I’d learn because I did this same thing in 2014 where I swore off challenges and then thought I could do them in 2015 and that was so silly. The Book Blogger Organization Challenge was my own and it really did help me clean up my blog (sorry, though, not hosting it again this year) but other than that, I almost immediately dropped out of everything because it just added on more work/stress!
- THIS YEAR: NO CHALLENGES! They’re lovely but I just don’t want to add any more stress onto my day/week/month/year. I always do a Goodreads goal which is my only challenge this year.
Instead of reading challenges, I’m taking on different things like photo challenges! I’m still hosting #weeklybookstagram this year and it’s a fun and stress-free way to keep things interesting.
- LAST YEAR: “I’m sticking to the same thing. Happy to read books with my friends but with how busy things have gotten, I’m less likely to do read alongs.“
- HOW’D I DO? I’ve really only done the usual On the Same Page read alongs and then I did host the Lunar Chronicles (Re)Read Along. The TLC read along was fun but I should have learned from past experiences was also very long and people tended to lost interest or forget about it or not want to commit. I probably will not host another read along.
- THIS YEAR: Just OTSP! I have no other plans for read alongs.
- LAST YEAR: “Oh, brother, who knows. I really do want to try to catch up on ARCs this year but I also say that every year. Maybe I will actually find the time… but those new books are always coming out!!!!”
- HOW’D I DO: I caught up on some things but it was more backlist than ARCs.
- THIS YEAR: I just really, really want to try to request less. It’s so very hard because SHINY but I really am trying to not just download things that I’m autoapproved for (I am SO bad at that) and I’m really trying to only request ARCs from publishers if it’s something I really plan on reading right away. Although ALA and BEA may be hard to resist with galley drops. I think it may be easier this year than it was last year.
READ WHAT’S ON MY SHELVES
- LAST YEAR: “I should try to do this again! Maybe reading more ARCs and reading more books from my shelves count as one thing this year? Haha!”
- HOW’D I DO? I have been finishing more series! I’m not doing AS well with backlist books but I’m trying to keep a good balance. I think I still read a ton of 2015 books this year though. It’s so hard to maintain!
- THIS YEAR: I really want to work on finishing a few more series this year. I know I’ll have to read a lot of ARCs to catch up but I can also read ones I already have.
- LAST YEAR: “I actually think I’m going to aim LOWER. Sounds weird, right? I usually try to beat myself from last year. But I’m doing things differently in 2015. I really want to keep up with my reading challenge and not always feel so far behind. I think I’ll start my goal off at maybe 100 or 110.”
- HOW’D I DO: I must have started at 110 and changed to 100 because that stupid stats page looks like I didn’t finish it. I really did though! My goal was 100 and I read 102.
- THIS YEAR: I think I’ll try 100 again! It was a really nice pace to keep up with and I think I can do it again!
- LAST YEAR: I didn’t actually set any blogging goals for myself last year.
- THIS YEAR: I really want to keep trying to stay creative and come up with fun new posts. I’ve never had an issue with reviews (though I do have some I need to catch up on) but it’s the fun and extra posts that I really need to stay creative with! I also want to try to do some more video reviews or BookTubing. I did exactly one video this year and then I never had time to film another one. I’d really like to start doing that every once in a while!
I also really want to try to do less THINGS. I’m going to try to say yes to fewer blog tours, take on fewer projects, etc. I tend to commit to a lot of fun things because it’s too hard to say no and then I put stress on myself!