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:
- The Princess and the Goblin
- The Graveyard Book
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- The Enchanted Castle
- The Amulet of Samarkand
- My Father's Dragon
- The Little White Horse
- Tom's Midnight Garden
- The Phantom Tollbooth
- The Gammage Cup
- Howl's Moving Castle
- The Thief
- Return of the Twelves
- Ella Enchanted
- A Wizard of Earthsea
- Tuesdays at the Castle
- The Neverending Story
- The Sherwood Ring
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
- Something Wicked This Way Comes
- The Enormous Egg
- The Finches' Fabulous Furnace
- 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!