Greetings folks! Today I bring you the third of my quarterly check-ins on my 2017 Resolutions. As you may, or may not (I often don’t!), remember, I set some resolutions or goals for this year. I do it every year and every year, without fail, I forget my goals unless I keep them on a handily placed sheet of paper or, as is this year’s case, in the front of my bullet journal. I’m also doing check-ins every so often to keep myself accountable – so you can take a peek at my first quarterly check-in or my second quarterly check-in, and then let us now have a look at my progress in the months of July, August, and September, shall we?
READING, BLOGGING & WATCHING GOALS
1. Read at least 52 books in 2017
I’ve definitely smashed through this challenge this year, to the point that I’m considering whether or not to up it to at least 75 books, or maybe 100 if I’m feeling especially industrious. I’m currently sitting pretty at 67 though so I’ve upped my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 75.
2. Write more reviews
I’m getting better at writing reviews in general, even for books I was just so-so on but these reviews are rarely ever written on time. I like to leave a little bit of time between finishing a book and reviewing it, to let it really sink it etc. (and also because I’m lazy), but it’s just a joke sometimes. Must do better.
3. Blog more & comment more
Verdict: On Track(ish)
I’m really trying to get into a proper weekly schedule and, for the most part, I think I’m getting there. I’m now aiming to have 4-5 posts a week up, and these are usually a mixture of tags, weekly memes, discussions, TBRs, and reviews – I’d like to have more reviews and discussions and less tags but I’m happy-ish with the direction my blog is headed in. Actually scheduling ahead of time really helps me to read more of other people’s blogs and leave comments – I’m now trying to write my posts for the week ahead on a weekend but that doesn’t always happen.
4. Read at least 4 classics
As I reported in my last Quarterly Check-in, this year I’ve read Hard Times by Charles Dickens, A Room with a View by E.M. Forster, Howards End by E.M. Forster, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’ve since also read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express which could count as a classic? Otherwise, I haven’t read any more since the last check-in but I have got a considerable way through Tolstoy’s War and Peace – I’ve lost steam with it a bit in the last few weeks but I’m so determined to finish this, I only have about 300 pages left which sounds a lot but when it’s a 1300-page book it really isn’t in the grand scheme of things. Let’s hope I can add War and Peace to my number of classics read this year.
5. Be mindful of Reading Challenges and actually complete them!
Verdict: On Track
I achieved my Mount TBR Reading Challenge goal earlier in the year (admittedly because I set the bar low and aimed for the lowest peak, Pike’s Peak) but I’m yet to finish the Around the Year in 52 Books or Book Riot Read Harder challenges. If I’m honest Book Riot is always a challenge for me, and I’ve only completed 11 out of 24 challenges so far – I need to work on that in the coming few months. Around the Year is slightly easier to complete because I think there’s more wiggle room to make a book fit a challenge, if you’re so inclined – I have 41 out of 52 challenges complete so I should be able to finish that before the end of the year if I just have a little think about the books I’m choosing to read in October, November, and December.
6. Explore more TV shows/films
Once again, I really suck at branching outside my comfort zone with TV shows and films. And, once again, I tend to rewatch shows and then get stuck at a certain point, rinse and repeat – case in point, I have seen the first series of both Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders multiple times but I’m yet to make it any further than the first episode of the second series. I don’t know why this happens, especially with shows I’m really enjoying, but I’m trying to fix it. Since I’ve bought an iPad and Netflix introduced the capability to download certain shows and films, I’m trying to get in as much sneaky Netflix sessions as possible, especially on trains, but only time will tell if I will branch out or just keep rewatching my old favourites.
1. Exercise more regularly
Verdict: On Track-ish
I can’t say this has been a resounding sucess but I will say I’m making an effort to go to the gym more. Liz decided recently that she’d like to really make an effort in terms of healthy eating and exercising and I decided to join in because I’m not particularly fit and I’d like to eat better too. We’ve began to try out more gym classes (the plural is generous, we’ve only been to one – Yogalates), and I’m back in some sort of vague routine for going to the gym more often than once in a blue moon so hopefully I won’t fall off the wagon once it gets colder and darker earlier in the evening.
2. Experiment and find a skincare routine that works
Verdict: On Track
You know when people say to you ‘oh your skin is dry, it’d be much better if you drank more water’? Well, it turns out, they’re not wrong. At work we’ve developed a game of sorts, 16 things which, if they happen in the office, require everyone to take a drink of water and it’s working astonishingly well. I’m really trying to drink more water and less coffee and I think it’s helping with my skin a little bit so yay? Hopefully I can keep that up as we head into colder months and drinking ice cold water is about the last thing I want to do.
3. Travel more
Verdict: On Track
Since my last check-in I did something I’ve never done – I’ve flown in Business class upstairs on a flight to America. I know, I know, exciting or what?! Liz and I went to Washington DC and New York for a week and it was SO MUCH FUN, I loved it, and I’m SO glad I finally got to explore a little bit of America. I really liked DC, it was a great place to visit, and I was surprised by how much I also adored New York (minus the subway, I hated that). I want to go back to America for sure, if the money/time/opportunity is there in the future, fingers crossed it will be!
4. Allow myself to write more
I haven’t written a thing (aside from blog posts, obviously) since my last check-in. Not a single word. Luckily, NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, but I still haven’t decided whether or not to sign up. I want to write the idea I tried to work on in 2016, but my issue is that I have my characters and a vague concept but I haven’t planned, plotted, or outlined anything about my novel and, in fact, I’m not sure how people do that. Like, I understand how to outline, the different techniques and so forth, but I don’t understand how writers know what needs to happen in their story, like where they get the ideas from as to what should happen? (I realise I sound silly right now but there it is.) I need to somehow solve this mental block I’m having and actually at least vaguely plot out something so that I can give NaNoWriMo a better go this year. If anyone out there reading this is a writer and has any kind of tips or advice or links that will help me tease out what threads of plot I could have for my story, I would GREATLY appreciate it.
Overall, I don’t think I’m doing too badly, I seem to be making progress with quite a few of my outstanding goals for the year and I’m definitely getting into some kind of rhythm/routine with a lot of my blogging and personal goals. The key, unsurprisingly, seems to be getting into a routine so that these things are just habits rather than chores – oh my god, I know, who wouldve thunk it?! I’m pleasantly surprised by how well I seem to be doing on a lot of these so hopefully that sense of pleasant surprise will help energise me to continue with progress over the next few months so that I’ll be able to come back in the last check-in, Quarterly Check-in #4 at the end of the year, and say I’ve smashed all my targets for 2017! Wish me luck?
Did you make New Years’ Resolutions or goals for this year?
How are you doing at achieving them?