I put goals in two categories. Either they are passing successes (only achieved if I complete the goal exactly as I had it written) or they are a total failure. Since I seldom deem anything perfect, my goal evaluations are mostly negative and discouraging.
I don’t want this to happen this year. I want to look at 2017 honestly. I want to enjoy the success and learn from the downfalls. So that’s what I’m going to do today. Here’s how I did on my goals from 2017:
The Reading Challenge. I ended up reading 33 books from the main list, plus 5 from the advanced list (I couldn’t help myself). I learned about some new genres, especially steampunk, found some new favorite authors, and had some laughs about terrible books that I read just for the challenge. I also read some books that didn’t fit on the list, just because I wanted to try them. Overall, the challenge helped me with what I wanted, which was consistent reading even when I was busy and an expanded reading repertoire.
The Writing Challenge. I did not do this well. I think my biggest problem was finding a time to consistently write every day. If I try something like this again, I should figure out a better system before I begin.
Anne’s Earworms. This was a fun way to find new things to write about. Although I only wrote 29 Earworms. I enjoyed trying to find new artists and songs, and finding interesting ways to talk about old ones. I want to keep doing these posts, so I can improve in consistency and in creativity.
The Bible in a Year. I did it! I had to do some catch up days, but I completed the Bible in a year. With this I wanted to prove to myself that I could, to grow closer to God, and to learn more about the Bible. This upcoming year I think I’ll do a different Bible reading plan, but this one was awesome.
Audible. This challenge was an unqualified success. I loved listening to audiobooks, and I found a few series that I listened through. Even now I’m still listening, currently swimming in a fantastic reading of Sherlock Holmes.
Overall, I did well on my goals. I have room to improve, and successes to celebrate, and I’m ready to move on to a few new goals. The biggest problem I had in 2017 was having too many goals to balance, so I’ve decided to cut back from so many year-long goals and try a few quarterly goals. Here are my three goals for January, February, and March of 2018:
Find and complete a new Bible study. Since my school semester is starting up again in a couple weeks, I want to find something to keep me in the Bible even when I get busy.
Read for 20 minutes. 6 days a week. This will help me continue to grow my mind and stay relaxed.
Raise $8,000. I am currently saving money for a study abroad program to Salzburg in the summer, and I’m also saving to stay in college debt-free. Because of this, I’m trying to raise some money by teaching, hosting murder mystery parties, and the like.
What are your 2018 goals? I would love to hear about them in the comments!
For the past six months I’ve been doing a self-made challenge to read an audiobook every month. I thought that it would be really hard to motivate myself to listen to books rather than look at them, but I’ve ended up reading more books than I planned so far. I’m realizing that audiobooks have some traits that are really cool.
They are portable. When I read a paper book, that’s pretty much all I’m doing except for eating. When I listen to audiobooks, I can workout, or draw, or even get groceries (that was a fun day). I really enjoy the freedom to listen to a book while being productive.
I can hear the correct pronunciation of words. I have the occasional habit of picking up words from books, using them in the correct context, but then saying the word entirely wrong. With a good audiobook, I can properly hear how to pronounce new words and names.
There are some downsides to audiobooks. It can be really hard to re-find information or reference parts of an audiobook. In a paper book, you can just turn the page. Also, technology just can’t replace the smell and feel of books. Physical books each have their own personality, and audiobooks don’t have that. But the downsides don’t always have to limit me from enjoying a new experience.
I used to not read audiobooks because they “just aren’t books,” but now I’m starting to appreciate them, not just to replace paper books (because that’s not happening anytime soon), but to compliment them. Books can remove you from the world. Audiobooks can give you new worlds even while your feet are still are the ground. If you don’t read audiobooks, give them a try. They might surprise you.
Since 2017 is upon us, I decided to try something new. I love challenges, but I’ve never completed a yearlong challenge before (I’ve only tried one, and I failed.) So here are five challenges I’m trying in 2017:
A reading challenge. When I saw the 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge at the library, I thought it was a great idea for finding new books and authors. Popsugar has a list of 40 book criteria (e.g., a book recommended by a librarian, or a book written by someone with a disability). Here’s the 2017 version that I’m doing: http://www.popsugar.com/love/Reading-Challenge-2017-42561300. My parents and my sister Sarah are also doing this one, and Christina is doing her own reading challenge.
Writing every day. This is largely to help me be more consistent with my blogging and journaling. I was originally going to write 100 words every day, but my mom recommended writing a paragraph instead of shooting for a word count because I wouldn’t be tempted to use filler words.
Anne’s Earworms. My sister Sarah invented this brilliant title. I love music, and I’m trying to find new music to enjoy, so I decided to write about the music that I find and enjoy, because other people might be interested in it. I’m going to continue my normal posts on Saturdays and post the Earworms on Wednesdays. This is the challenge that I’m most nervous about, because I’ve never written about my musical tastes, and I’m insecure about the fact that I don’t know tons of music. But I think it will be awesome to talk to my blog buddies about the music I love.
The Bible in a Year. I’m following one of the methods Don Whitney recommends in his book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Great book, if you’re interested). I’m starting in three different places in the Bible (Genesis, Job and Matthew) and reading three chapters every day, and five on Sundays. I tried to do this once before and failed, but I’m hoping that I can stay dedicated to it better this time with more accountability.
Audible. I’ve never been a huge audiobooks fan, but I think they could be a cool tool for me, especially now that I’m in college. Our family has an Audible subscription, so I’m going to try it for a year. This probably won’t be as hard as some of the other challenges, but I thought it would be helpful for my future reading life (especially since I’m learning to drive, and I can’t read while driving). I’m especially excited about this one since I started listening to podcasts and enjoying them.
Because I want to keep you up to date, I will write about how my challenges are going on the last Saturday of each month. I’m pumped to try new things in 2017, and I’m especially excited about blogging. How are you going to challenge yourself in 2017? Let me know in the comments.
If you want to see my mom’s reading challenge, go here