Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I hope everyone had an awesome time over Christmas/New Year. Things have been a little quite around here the past few weeks – right after my birthday, I made a decision to draw a line under 2015, and start blogging fresh in the New Year. (I’ll talk about why I made that decision in a couple of minutes.) This time last year, I was in the middle of creating a new blog design, and it’s CRAZY to think that was an entire year ago! It really doesn’t seem that long at all. I don’t have as lofty aspirations this year, and I have a feeling my plans and goals will be more mutable rather than set in stone!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks the topic is Top Ten Resolutions We Have For 2015.
2015 wasn’t exactly the greatest year for me on a personal level, and it definitely showed up in my blogging. I made a promise to myself two years ago when I started this blog that once it stopped being fun, I would quit. The day after my birthday, I sat down to write up my last few posts of the year, and that dreaded realisation dawned on me: I wasn’t having fun. And I honestly wasn’t. For quite a while I’ve felt a bit robotic and completely passionless about books and blogging. While I churned out content, I wasn’t taking part in the community. Comments went unanswered, I wasn’t visiting other blogs, and I was going through the motions without really putting my heart into things. I think I’d just reached the point where something had to give… yet, I didn’t like the idea of walking away from this little corner of the internet. It took me a day or so to get my mind sorted out, but I decided to scrap all my blogging plans for the rest of 2015, take a break, and start fresh in the New Year. I know what bothered me about my blogging habits in 2015, so for 2016 I know what I can change and improve on. I want to let my passion for books and reading resurface, and let that dictate what appears on my blog for the future. Also, I don’t want to feel restricted to just talking about books – I love lots of things, not just books! – and I might branch out and post about those other things occasionally.
My goals and resolutions for 2016
Read for me
I feel so fortunate and blessed each time I receive a review request, be it from an author or publisher, or when a request of mine is approved and I can read a soon-to-be-published book early. But, there is a downside, and for me, it’s tons of self-imposed pressure. For 2016, I want to minimise ARC pressure as much as possible, and truly read only the books *I* really want to read. I want to avoid feeling like I HAVE to read every day. Honestly… I just want to love reading again, and not feel any guilt about choosing to read a book that I purchased with my own money instead of picking up an ARC.
Cut back on requesting ARC’s
At the beginning of last year, I was really good at not requesting or accepting ARCs that I wasn’t going to have the time to read. Unfortunately as the year went on, that resolve slipped quite a bit! In general, I want to cut back on requesting books I’m not super anxious to read. (Yes, Netgalley, I’m looking at you!) Essentially, I want my resolution to be if they’re not already on my to-read radar, then I won’t request them.
Keep my Netgalley ratio above 80%
It took a lot of eyestrain, sweat and tears last year, but I managed to reach that lovely 80% ratio and I want to do everything within my power to keep it that way! As of writing this post, I’m at 85%, and if I can maintain 85-90% consistently, I’ll be very happy. Also, this will combine nicely with my “Cut back on ARC’s” goal. All I have to do it threaten to obliterate that ratio, and I’ll run away from the request button in fear. (Well… that’s what I hope my reaction will be, anyway!)
Only one reading challenge
I love reading challenges, but in my effort to have as unrestricted a year as I possibly can, I’m only signing up to one reading challenge, and that will be the Goodreads yearly reading challenge. I’ve set it at 50 books, and I hope to increase that number as the year goes on. This year I’d prefer to participate in shorter and more spontaneous challenges – like read-a-thons or mini-challenges. I’m a natural procrastinator, so when I think I have 12 months to complete a year-long challenge, I’ll leave it all until November/December to even begin considering what I’ll read to complete it!
Last year, I wasn’t happy with how little I commented on other blogs. It’s not because I don’t WANT to comment, sometimes I get incredibly shy and self-conscious and I don’t feel my comments are good enough, so I convince myself it’s best not to leave a comment at all. My shyness is strongest on new blogs, but I do really want to try and work through this and become more confident commenting.
Catch up with my TBR jar
I started a TBR jar (well, technically it’s a box… but, details!) last year where each month I choose a book to read from my never-shrinking TBR shelves. I’ve been consistent at choosing a random book each month, but very inconsistent with actually reading the books and updating my picks on the blog. For 2016, I intend to keep this updated each month in my monthly wrap-up posts.
Get back to eating healthy.
This is a similar resolution to one I had last year, and I stuck with it for most of 2015, but once Halloween hit I began to slide. And then Christmas happened. *Sigh* I don’t really regret it as the food was awesome, but I want to balance out the bad eating days with healthier eating days. (And shift some of the inevitable pounds that Christmas packed on! I mean, when you’re walking along and all of a sudden you realise you jiggle in places where you shouldn’t be jiggling… something has to change!)
Thanks for stopping by and for sticking with me in 2015. Happy Reading!