As you may have seen from my final quarterly check-in of my 2018 resolutions, I did pretty ok at my somewhat ambitious yearly goals last year.
As always, I tend to do better at the reading goals than I do at anything else, partly because reading is always (and has always been) a priority of mine so I’ve never had to really work at those kind of resolutions. Even so, I still like making them because the process of deciding on them and actually checking in on how I’m doing at various points in the year actually really helps me to work out what I want to do with my year. Of course, it’s life so priorities shift throughout the year and I don’t expect any resolutions I make at the start of a year to have all been completed by the time we come to the end of a year, but it’s still nice to have something to aim for, isn’t it?
In that spirit, here are my 2019 goals…
1. Read the 5 books on my ‘Books I Didn’t Get To In 2018’ list
This is the first year in a while when ‘read 52 books for the Goodreads Reading Challenge’ hasn’t been my first resolution – I thought I’d mix it up! I also realised that I nearly always hit that goal so is it really a goal I need to specifically list alongside other more tricky resolutions? So, instead, I’ve swapped it out for this goal which is much more difficult, it seems. I need to read all the books on this list, some of them have been there for months/years at this point, and frankly it’s getting silly now.
2. Read at least 1 classic each month from my Classics Club list
After deciding to join the Classics Club partway through 2018, I’ve read some classics, but not a lot, not nearly enough to complete the list by its intended due date! So, I need to do something about that… and the first step is to make it one of my resolutions to read one classic a month in 2019. This will force me to choose at least one classic whenever I’m deciding on my monthly TBR and, hopefully, will inspire me to pick up more than just the bare minimum of one too.
3. Read at least 1 non-fiction book each month
Much like my second goal, I have included this one on my 2019 resolutions list in the hope that it will force me to think about reading non-fiction when I draw up my monthly TBR; it will, hopefully, make me choose ‘my monthly non-fiction pick’ as easily as I might also decide which other books I want to read. If I don’t put this as a goal, I know I’ll “forget” to read non-fiction for a large part of the year.
4. Read at least 4 books a month from Around the Year in 52 Books list
This is just a different way of saying ‘complete the Around the Year’ challenge, I know, I know, I cheated. However, I tend to do this thing where I forget about reading challenges for weeks and then panic read books back-to-back that fit for the reading prompts. In December, for example, 10 out of the 11 books I read in the month fulfilled Around the Year prompts and that was because I’d feel behind with reading for the challenge and ended up in a mad scramble at the eleventh hour to finish it on the evening of 31st December. I don’t want to do that this year, I want to pace myself with it.
5. Read all of the Penguin History of the World
This is an extremely specific goal and I’m not one, usually, for making such specific resolutions. However, you may have heard me lamenting in many a blog post that my historical awareness is pretty shoddy; there are large swathes of history which I just don’t know about, just as there are entire sections of the world that weren’t covered in my history lessons at school so I feel entirely ignorant about them. I would like to try to fix that and whilst I suspect no book can accurately claim to tell the entire ‘history of the world’, this one by Penguin gives it a good go, so I might as well start here.
6. Document read books better on Twitter and Instagram, with short reviews in the captions
I am so guilty of talking about books I love on this blog and flailing mid-read during the reading process itself on Twitter, but I rarely unite the two by making sure that, when I finish a book, I document it properly past popping it onto my Books Read page on this blog. I’d like to change that, I’d like to see if I can blow some dust off my Instagram account. Likewise, I’ll be properly updating a Twitter thread with books read so keep your eyes peeled on there.
7. Finish all NetGalley eARCS that I was approved for pre-2019
I’m not in the least bit happy with where my NetGalley ratio stands at the moment and I really need to try to approve that. Like most book lovers, I get overly excited when I see one of my anticipated reads on there and request it and then sometimes hesitate to read an in-progress version of a story I think I’ll love so I put off reading it until the final book comes out. That is SO not the point of eARCs and I feel enormously guilty about that mindset so I’m really going to try to clear some of the eARCs from my shelf on NetGalley and read/review them properly, as they deserve.
8. Watch at least 12 films that are new to me
I am a serial re-reader and re-watcher of media. What can I say, I LOVE to re-consume something I already know I will enjoy. It’s partly a nostalgia thing, partly a comfort thing, but it means I often let a lot of “new” media pass me by. I’m not necessarily talking Oscar-worthy films here (though I’ll try to watch some of them that I’ve managed to miss thus far), but I’m talking films that people consider on their must-have-seen films, you know the subset of films that make someone go ‘wait you’ve never seen that?!?’ in a slightly incredulous tone? I’m still taking suggestions for my list so feel free to chime in with your ‘must see’ films!
1. Cut down on the number of unhealthy snacks I eat
Ok so, at the time of writing this, I have an empty wrapper of Dairy Milk Oreo beside me… so maybe I’m already not off to the best of starts with this goal but, ultimately, I’d just like to try to cut down the number of times I snack on unhealthy stuff out of boredom. I don’t snack that much at work but I tend to crave things after my evening meal and usually give in to biscuits or chocolate or habas fritas or something else ridiculous. I need to stop doing that quite so often – everything in moderation etc. etc.
2. Go to the gym or exercise classes at least twice a week
This one should be relatively attainable since there is a regular Zumba class on Thursdays and Sundays that I like to attend at my local gym. However, I haven’t “regularly” attended it in… well, it must be since I went on holiday back in October, to be honest. I used to go with Liz and, since we live with each other, that motivated me but after injuries and various circumstances, my motivation to go has dive-bombed and I don’t like that; I always feel awful about myself when I skip a class. Plus, with Zumba, if you miss a class you are more likely to end up not knowing what the hell you’re doing when you attend the next class because they could have taught a new routine. You’d think that would be motivation enough not to skip a week’s worth of classes, wouldn’t you? Let’s see…
3. Completely block off one day a week to just chill
This may sound silly and like I shouldn’t need telling this, much less include it in a resolution, but I tend to have weekends of being productive and burning myself out OR of having a completely lazy weekend and then feeling like utter shit for the rest of the week because I feel like I’ve “wasted” my weekend doing nothing. In an effort to find a healthy medium ground between the two I’m going to try making Sunday my ‘do stuff day’ and Saturday can be my ‘you’re allowed to not do anything productive if you don’t want to’ day.
4. Improve daily water intake
I don’t drink enough, ever. I never have done. When I was introduced to tea and coffee in my early teens that made things a little better because at least I was drinking something, albeit drinks that famously aren’t that great for you. I love my coffee, I really do, but drinking as much of it as I do without also drinking some water every once in a while isn’t particularly good for my body or my mind. So, I’m really going to try to up my water intake – i.e. actually drink some every day – and I have a handy little 800ml water bottle for just that purpose. (Spoiler alert: it’s working out pretty well so far!)
5. Keep a better log of skin issues
I don’t know quite what would constitute succeeding at this goal but, basically, I have some ongoing dermatological issues that tend to affect my hands quite badly, especially when I’m stressed. I used to have atopic eczema growing up but I thought I’d “grown out” of such skin issues, to some extent, but they’ve reared their ugly head in the form of persistent irritations on my hands. I’m doing my best to stop these by doing things like sticking to one shampoo and shower gel I know won’t set off my skin, and wearing rubber gloves when I wash any dishes, but it still sometimes breaks out so I’d like to take better note of it so I can try to work out what the most persistent triggers of it are.
6. Save at least £100 every month (and don’t touch it!)
I’m not sure how well this one will go in 2019 because, as it stands right now, I have nothing “big” planned for 2019 that I will need a lot of money for. When I set this goal in years past it was because I was going to Disney World and that needed a decent chunk of savings. I haven’t booked any “big holidays” away for 2019 but that shouldn’t stop me from doing a bit of consistent saving in case I do decide to splash out (or be sensible and save it anyway).
7. Complete at least 5 of the things on my 30 Before 30 list
As is the nature of the passage of time, I’m inching closer to 30 and that makes me feel faintly sick at the thought. I’m the kind of person who can’t plan or think myself into a future mindset, so I struggle to even imagine being 30 but I’m told it’s pretty much inevitable so I have to start facing up to the likelihood of it happening. I’d feel better about myself and my life if I’d manage to tackle my 30 Before 30 list and, if i want that to happen, I need to start actually making it a priority. Obviously I’m hoping to do more than 5 of the things on it in 2019 but if I could manage even just 5, I’d be pretty damn happy with myself.
8. Cut down the time-wasting activities and use evenings/weekends more
Ah, here comes the kind of vague goal to round off my resolutions for 2019! This one is hard to quantify and measure so I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t like having a mindset where I think my life can only happen on weekends because I work 9-5 Monday-Friday… you know like a large portion of the population do! The benefit of working a 9-5 office job in town is that it doesn’t mean an entire day is wiped out or that I’m generally too wiped out from work to want to do anything but sleep. If I want to, I can easily go for a meal or go see a film or do something after work most days, yet I don’t take advantage of this nearly as often as I should. So, sure, this might seem a vague goal but, actually, this is a general, ongoing resolution that’s more about changing my mindset than necessarily “ticking” something off.
Well there we have it, those are my 2019 goals/resolutions. I hope you’ll all wish me luck and/or keep me accountable so that I achieve them? Because I’m gonna need that! What are your resolutions for the upcoming year? Do you like making resolutions or do you think they’re a waste of time? Please do share below, I’d love to chat about your attitude towards resolution-making, ambitions, and planning for the year ahead.