Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Reading and Blogging Goals

In 2015 and 2016, I established reading and blogging goals for myself at the start of the year on my professional blog, Story Time Secrets. Now that I am primarily blogging as a mom and not as a librarian, I've decided to make a similar post for 2017 here at Read-at-Home Mom.

Reviewing My 2016 Goals 

First, here is a look back at last year's goals: 

I posted these goals on January 1st and then posted a mid-year check-in on July 1st. Here is my final assessment of how I did.

  • Goal #1: Fumble Through Fantasy

    I had originally planned to read and review 25 fantasy novels for kids and teens in 2016. Up until I created this blog, I was counting the fantasy books I was reading and numbering them 1 to 25. After the move, I decided to make "Fumbling Through Fantasy" a label for all of my fantasy reviews past, present and future, and I stopped numbering the posts. I did, however, read 26 fantasy titles, and 25 of them were reviewed by the end of the year: 
    1. The Princess and the Goblin
    2. The Graveyard Book
    3. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 
    4. Savvy
    5. The Enchanted Castle
    6. The Amulet of Samarkand 
    7. My Father's Dragon
    8. The Little White Horse
    9. Skellig
    10. Tom's Midnight Garden
    11. The Phantom Tollbooth
    12. The Gammage Cup 
    13. Howl's Moving Castle
    14. The Thief
    15. Return of the Twelves
    16. Ella Enchanted
    17. A Wizard of Earthsea
    18. Tuesdays at the Castle
    19. The Neverending Story
    20. The Sherwood Ring
    21. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
    22. Something Wicked This Way Comes
    23. The Enormous Egg
    24. The Finches' Fabulous Furnace
    25. Time at the Top
  • Goal #2: Organize my social media content.

    I accomplished this goal, though not in the way I had originally imagined it. When I created the goal, I was thinking about using all of my social media outlets to promote my blog better. Instead, I ended up scaling back on blog promotion altogether and spending more time on Instagram. I really enjoying the book community on Instagram, and I have even started doing some book-themed challenges over there, so I'm pleased with how that turned out.
  • Goal #3: Participate in more read-a-thons and challenges.

    I didn't end up joining too many reading challenges, but I did participate in Bout of Books all three times, and I completed the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April. I also successfully completed Newbery Through the Decades, and I did Armchair BEA. I'll probably do most of these again, in addition to my own challenge, and the others I've posted about. I find that I enjoy reading toward a goal.
  • Goal #4: Write a page of fiction five days a week.

    I abandoned this goal almost right away. As much as I want to be writing fiction, I have a chapter due every six weeks in the textbook for which I have an actual contract, and it's just not feasible to have another project going on simultaneously. I haven't given up on the idea of writing fiction in some form in the future, but it might need to wait for a season of life when I don't have children under four. Or at least when I'm finished with my current writing project.
  • Goal #5: Relocate, rebrand and rename the blog.

    After deciding I was not going to do this for another year or so, the perfect name finally came to me, and I moved over here in September. Though this blog is not as popular overall as Story Time Secrets,  I am much more comfortable with the relaxed pace and more personal approach I'm establishing here.

Reading and Blogging Goals for 2017

This year's goals are a lot simpler, but hopefully they will help me find a sense of direction for this new blog and engage more fully with my readers and fellow bloggers.
  • Goal #1: Host a successful reading challenge.

    I have always wanted to host a reading challenge, but I was never sure others would participate. I'm very pleased by the response to the Old School Kid Lit Reading Challenge so far, and I have high hopes that I will not be doing it all alone.
  • Goal #2: Connect more with the book blogging community.

    In the past, my frenzied attempts to read as many new books as possible resulted in a ton of posts, but not a lot of interaction with other book bloggers. Now that I have slowed my reading pace and started focusing on the books I really enjoy and want my children to enjoy, I find that I have more time to chat with other readers and bloggers. I've done some networking on Facebook and Instagram, but I want to be more intentional about it in 2017.
  • Goal #3: Write more reflection posts.

    One of my hopes when I started this blog was that I would move away from strictly writing impersonal reviews of books and start writing more personal pieces about the role of reading in my life and in my family. I have started to keep a list of possible topics, and I hope I will have the time - and the guts! - one of these days to begin writing them up to post here.
  • Goal #4: Complete my reading challenges.

    I listed all the challenges I am doing in an earlier post. This goal is mainly on the list so I will have somewhere to sum up all my progress at mid-year, and at the end of next December.
  • Goal #5: Read only the books I want to read.

    For a long time, I have forced myself to finish books whether I like them or not. When I switched blogs, however, and stopped reviewing ARCs, I realized just how much time I was spending reading mediocre books out of a sense of obligation. I have started a did-not-finish shelf on Goodreads, and there are a few things there, but I still feel guilty about it. Hopefully, as the year goes on, I will feel less regretful about reading two chapters and deciding a book isn't for me.
What are your reading goals for the new year? Share in comments!


  1. Looking forward to reading your more reflective posts in 2017 :-)

  2. Good job on reaching your goals, and good job on recognizing which ones you really don't want to accomplish and tweaking accordingly. :-) I look forward to enjoying your blog in 2017!