Sunday, January 04, 2009

2009 Reading and Blogging Goals

I thought Alice with her pack of cards looked like a good image for finding balance, my 2009 self-chosen life theme -- mostly because it looks like Alice needs to work on balance, as well. Look at those crazy animals running away! Aren't they the cutest?

Like most people who've posted their goals, I'm only writing mine down in order hold myself accountable for what I do or do not accomplish in 2009. We'll see whether or not I succeed, but I think it's good to write them down for future reference.

2009 Reading Goals:

1. Read what I love; love what I read - To prevent wasting perfectly good reading (and life) time, I shall be more cautious about accepting books for review and read more from my already-toppling stacks.
2. Permission to not finish - I've already mentioned this one, but I grant myself permission to stop reading a book if it's not capturing my interest.
3. Give away/donate/swap more books - I have too many in my house and the library still doesn't carry a lot of the books I desire to read, unfortunately, but since books have become easier to obtain via swap sites there's no reason to hang onto the books that no longer interest me.
4. Read at least 143 books - Last year's number is always my minimum for the following year. This year I shall attempt to read at least 143 books, preferably more.
5. Read more Christian books - I'm a Christian and I particularly like positive reads -- as well as any upbeat fiction that's clean and lacks graphic sex, violence and bad language. I'll read more Christian fiction and books that I know will be "cleaner" and occasionally more Christian nonfiction (depending upon the topic).
6. Read more classics - I read a few in 2008, but not as many as I'd hoped. At least one per month sounds like decent goal.
7. Read the entire Bible from cover to cover - So far, so good. I've got a Bible that's divided into 365 day's worth of readings and I'm making the daily reading a part of my routine.

I may come back and add to this list, later on.

2009 Blogging Goals:

1. Blog a little less frequently. 2009 is going to be all about finding balance in life, which probably means a bit less blogging and blog-hopping (but I'll still do both!), more exercise and photography, more time spent doing things I used to do like craft projects -- and more purging of possessions, fixing up the house and spending time outdoors. I may choose a couple of days per week to blog, but I haven't reached that point.
2. Finish the Canadian reading challenge and don't sweat the WWII - I still haven't written anything about the WWII challenge because I feel like challenges just make me feel stressed out. I may back out of it, but I still plan to cram in as much Canadian reading as possible, before the Canadian reading challenge ends.
3. No regular features - I'll post a Wahoo! Wednesday post when I feel like it, but I'm not going to apologize if I can't think of anything spectacular to write about. Sunday Pie will also be sporadic. I want my blog to be spontaneous and fun, not a burden. When I began blogging, I wrote about books and whatever else hit me. Back to that.
4. Spend less time editing - I can spend way too much time editing my posts and re-editing and re-editing, again, because I want to eliminate typos and make the spacing perfect. Now, I think I'll just let a typo or two go and move on. It needs to be done.

That's all for now! Up next will be my first DNF of the year, my first giveaway for 2009 and an update on current reads, unless I finish something before I get around to writing about how it's going -- and in that case, I'll just review it. Did that make sense?

Blog at ya later!

Bookfool, working on balance (not the kind with the narrow wooden thing that sits 3' off the ground -- you know, the other kind)

51 comments:

  1. Love your goals and agree with them all Nancy. I am planning to read the bible through this year too. I joined Becky's Operation Actually Read Bible Challenge.

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  2. Good luck with your goals. I think I'm going to adopt your 2nd reading goal.

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  3. Amy,

    Thank you! I didn't realize there's a Bible reading challenge! Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I've never added Becky to my google reader. Uh-oh. Ohhhh, dear.

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  4. Kathy,

    Thank you! And, good luck. It's hard for some of us to stop reading a book, but I truly believe life is too short to waste on books that don't give us joy. :)

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  5. Nancy
    I need to join you in some of your goals also. I have gotton out of reading my bible on a regular basis. Also there are several books I should have called DNF on but I wanted to finish just to finish last year. There is one I did not and I still feel guilty like I need to pick it back up and suffer through it. :)

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  6. All excellent goals indeed. I need to look into this balance thing of which you speak. :D

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  7. I hear you on the formatting of the blog! Right now I am fighting mine because no matter what I do, it refuses to space between paragraphs. I've adjusted everything I can think of but it periodically just does this. It's so frustrating... I should just let it go.

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  8. Those are fantastic goals Nancy! I really need to steal some of them ;) A big thing for me in 2008 was reading what I loved. I started making all of my challenges "fill in the blanks" that way I didn't commit myself to books that I may not feel like reading. I really should start giving away some books of mine, but I can never do it :/ I love my books too much. And whenever I put some on bookmooch I just get more with the points :p And that's fantastic that you found a bible divided into 365 days! I've always wanted to read the bible, but I usually quit after Genesis :/ Orson Scott Card has a fantastic biblical fiction series called "Women of Genesis" and it starts with Sarah. The next one is Rebekah, and the last is Rachel and Leah. I think you'd really like them!

    I need to spend MORE time editing. I never look back when I type up a post. If it's not underlined in red from the browser spell checker then I don't worry about it, lol. I'm sure my posts are filled with typos and grammatical errors.

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  9. Brittanie,

    I'm loving my fat little Bible that's divided into daily readings. I found it at Walmart, of all places! That is just what I needed. Usually, I've gotten tired of all the "begats" somewhere in the Old Testament, glazed over and set it down. I think just knowing exactly how much I have to read each day is a lifesaver.

    As to forcing yourself to read books -- awful, isn't it? I don't know why we do that, but I feel so much better since I granted myself permission to set a book down. It's very freeing.

    Andi,

    I keep walking around the house saying, "Okay, have to go for a walk (or whatever) because this is the year of FINE-DING Baaaaalance," like I'm the narrator of some kind of nature special. I'm not sure if I've quite figured it out, myself, but I'm going to give it the old college try. LOL

    Tammy,

    When you can't get a space between paragraphs, use the letter "p" between the little <> brackets at the head of whatever sentence begins the next paragraph. That's worked for me. I have to go back after publishing and edit because you never know where it's going to deny you a space -- another irritating recent change at Blogger (the worst recent problems are not being able to hit "undo" when you screw up and not being able to cut and paste to move text -- which is ridiculous when you're in editing mode, but I don't know what to do to fix that).

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  10. Chris,

    I just wrote you a big old reply and then lost it. Bad word, bad word!!

    So, shorter reply . . . thank you. I'm very happy with my new goals. Last year I tried to "un-challenge myself" and I found that signing up for fewer challenges and choosing the books as I went did help.

    Gotta find those Card books. Keep reminding me! It's hard getting through the first few books of the Bible because of all the lists of offspring. I got my daily Bible at Walmart and it's great. I just skim the begats and move on. There's so much really good stuff in the Bible that knowing I only have a handful of pages to read, each day, really helps with the feeling that eventually I'll get to the fun parts. LOL

    You do fine. Don't bother editing more. Kill the inner editor, I say, and spend time reading. :)

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  11. Love your goals. Reading the Bible is on my list as well. I also have a 365 day Bible in chronological order that I tried to read last year. This will be the year! Right? Hopefully.

    Blogging is suppose to be fun, unless you are getting paid for it. As much as I love to read your quirky commentary of life, keep it fun for you! Whatever you decide to do, keep the life and pictures coming, do less reviews. Life and pictures are less work and more fun for you. And you're so good at them.

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  12. Balance is important, and I'm going to have to start finding it a little more soon. But right now I'm still going to be a wanton reader and book blogger for a few days. :)

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  13. Bree,

    I just found a 365 day chronological Bible about two weeks ago, in Walmart. So far, so good. It was actually getting so exciting that I read a little of the Jan.5 lessons! Yes, this will definitely be the year Bree reads her Bible from cover to cover. :)

    Well, I don't get paid for anything, unless you consider the free books as payment. If so, it's not very good payment, but I like to share what I've read, what's up with the family, etc., so I suppose what's most important is to stick with what works and doesn't make me tense. 2009 is going to be a very casual year, I think! :)

    Eva,

    Aren't you always a wanton reader? Have fun with it. :)

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  14. It sounds like your 2009 goals are a lot like mine. I feel like I'm constantly struggling for balance. And it's so frustrating because it seems to come to my husband so easily.

    Good luck with all your goals! I'm confident that you'll be able to meet them and we'll be here to cheer you along the entire time.

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  15. Nancy- I gave you an award. Go here to check it out: http://readingtoolate.net/?p=1406

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  16. Bookfool: "purging of possessions"

    Oh, what a wonderful phrase! Having just moved, having tons of boxes in my new place, and HAVING too much (especially books) -- I make "purging of possessions" my top (and so far only) resolution of 2009. Sounds good to me!

    About those begats in the Bible -- even those are interesting, but only after you've read the Bible through at least once and know the characters. Do you know the Bible is basically a family history? It's all about the offspring of Abraham. When you read the earliest genealogies in Genesis, notice they come in tens -- like the king lists of the Middle East in places like Babylonia and Persia (Iraq and Iran, today). Maybe that was a way for them to memorize the lists -- because the earliest histories were all oral histories. Later when you read genealogies in Matthew and Luke, notice they aren't the same -- was one Joseph's (as the earthly father of Jesus) and one Mary's? See, it can be interesting, if you ask the right questions. Maybe if you ask ME the questions and I flesh it out with the interesting stuff for you? (That's a serious offer.)

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  17. I will have to join you in giving myself permission not to finish a book. I don't know why I feel I have to finish a boring book. Must be a childhood complex from being told over and over that you have to finish what you start.

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  18. Bookfool--I'll be really interested to see what good Christian reading you find. I would like to do more Christian reading myself but I'm really picky. So far, I have really enjoyed the books by Lisa Samson.

    -Amy

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  19. Your goals seem geared toward a more balanced reading and blogging habit. I like that idea!

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  20. I"ve never really had a problem with not finishing books, but it's rarely a concious decision. I read a lot of books at the same time, and sometimes one won't get picked back up until I realize... uh, I didn't finish that and don't want to!

    The Year of Balance. That is perfect. I think that's my year too. I'm off to an ok start- Not so much wasted online time this weekend! Whooo!

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  21. Alice, you and I will work on the balancing act together this year. :-)

    Good luck with your goals this year. I am sure you will do very well. Have a great New Year, Nancy.

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  22. Nikki,

    Oh, good. We can cheerlead each other! It's not easy making your life more balanced, but I think it's worth the effort. I don't want to be stuck in a rut. That just gets you all muddy.

    Amy,

    Why, thank you! What a sweet award! I'll try to get this one actually passed on or at least written about, post haste.

    Bonnie,

    We've been in the same house since I was 5 months pregnant with my 17-year-old. Moving is good for the soul, partly because it does make you think about all that silly stuff you've accumulated and work to lighten up - honestly, I'm ready for a change and would love to do what you've done.

    Yes, I do know about the family history aspect of the Bible. I don't know the characters well enough not to zone out on some of the lineage, but it was getting pretty exciting, last night, when Abram had to go rescue Lot. I hated to stop. I think the Bible is really fun to read and I've studied the Old Testament in various Bible Studies and a college class on the prophets; I just want to read the entire thing from cover to cover. I'll ask you if anything baffles me. :)

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  23. Violette,

    I think childhood probably has a lot to do with my compulsive urge to finish a book. I know in the past I felt like I had to read everything because usually I'd spent good money on my books. Now, with the option to swap some of those old books I'll never get to or finish, I don't feel quite so guilty. The ARCs are a different story -- I do think I've agreed to give them some attention and mentioning who might enjoy them is what I've settled on as the best solution. Good luck! It's kind of difficult, but very freeing to let go of a book and move on. :)

    Amy,

    I love Lisa Samson!

    I'm really looking forward to more Christian reading. I've already enjoyed the titles I read toward the latter part of 2008. If you like historical fiction, Nancy Moser's historical bios are good.

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  24. Jenclair,

    Exactly -- balance is what I'm all about, this year! :) I'm glad you agree. I think if I'd added a few more personal goals "get more sleep" would also be in there, somewhere.

    Lisa,

    I've done that. It's a bit different, these days, in that the past couple of years I've received a lot more ARCs and I'm kind of "scheduled". I used to just read what I want when I desired. Those that I ended up inadvertantly abandoning I'd try again, later, though.

    Balance is good. I think many of us need to work on that.

    Wendy,

    I see you're off to a great start by taking a little break. That's a great idea; I've always admired your ability to say, "I need to take off for a week". I think that's a very positive thing to do.

    Thank you! I wish you a wonderful year, too!!

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  25. Oh I'm right there with you in those goals. I am finally going to quit reading a book (only fifty-ish pages left) because I just don't like it and it's leaving me in a bad mood. And tell myself it's ok not to finish a book I don't like. And I am doing the Bible reading thing too. Hope you have a great year!

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  26. Amanda,

    That's even more difficult, quitting close to the end. Good for you! Books should be good for us in some way -- whether uplifting or just pure fun to read (my opinion, again).

    I'm so excited to find that so many people are reading the Bible, this year!! Hope you have a great year, too, thanks!

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  27. Great goals, Nancy...can probably be summed up as "simplify," something I've been trying to do as well. And classics huh? I'll be hosting the classics challenge again mid-year. :) Ohhhh wait, simplify. I hope you have a wonderful 2009.

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  28. What a great list of goals!! Balance is something we all could use a little more of, I think. I know I could. I also think my life is a little too crazy for balance right now. What i really need is a little time for some yoga or meditation. More me time.

    I really hope you have a wonderful 2009, Nancy!

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  29. I need to work on establishing more of a balance too this year. Good luck with all your goals for 2009. I hope it's a fantastic year for you! :)

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  30. Stephanie,

    Definitely, I think most of the people I know have a little too much work or computer time, little enough exercise, etc. I like vigorous outdoor exercise, but I'm trying to convince my eldest to try yoga and meditation because he has anxiety problems. It's always nice to have a new year starting to think about regrouping and making changes, isn't it? Hope you have a wonderful year, too!

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  31. Nancy
    I did not know you came up with the Chunkster challenge. How cool!

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  32. Brittanie,

    Yep, I did. But, then I didn't want to host it in 2007 because it was too much work! You have to appreciate Dana for doing it two years in a row and expanding the challenge in new ways.

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  33. This might be the Year of Balance.

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  34. Great goals! Have fun :-)

    I'm 'un-challenging myself" this year. I'm only doing a handful of my favorite challenges in order to not only read what I love, but to read it when I want to.

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  35. Carrie,

    I think so. Now, if everyone would just stop hanging around the house so I can get to my balance thing . . .

    Suzi,

    Thank you!

    Good thinking. I tried to un-challenge myself, last year, and kind of failed. But, I'm slowly getting there. I'm reading a Canadian book, which means progress toward finishing my possibly-last-forever challenge. Have fun with your reading, this year!

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  36. I love your blog goals! It's all about balance, isn't it? Good luck. I'm not joining any challenges this year and I'll only blog when motivated. However, I'll hop around and read my favorite sites as often as I can. But books are priority #1 and the less time I spend on the computer, the more time I'll have to read. So off I go.... :)

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  37. You have a great goal list there. We share some similar goals! I too am planning to read the entire Bible. I'm reading it in chronological order. I'm going to try not to get discouraged if I get behind--it's ok if it takes longer than a year!

    Good luck with your goals and happy new year!

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  38. Laura,

    Thanks and cool! I'm having fun reading the Bible. I think the way the daily Bible is set up, it will eventually appear to be out of sequence but it's chronological by time, not chapters, if that makes sense. I love having it all nicely laid out so I know how much I have to catch up on, if I miss a day or two.

    Good luck on your goals, too! Happy New Year!!

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  39. Good luck with all your goals, Nancy!

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  40. Thank you, Nymeth!

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  41. I'll be blogging less. Not that it's a goal, but I am winding down. When I get really excited about something I get hyper. That showed in massive posts. I feel my emotions and body slowing...or maybe Twitter is taking up some of that energy. Who knows. Bottom line is I am slowing down in that area...thank goodness! ;)

    You have a set of doable goals. Smart!

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  42. J. Kaye,

    I can understand that. I have a tendency to overdo and then burn out on certain things, so I try to pace myself. You've mentioned that you're OCD and I'm sure that makes it 10 times as hard to just relax and slow down. You're doing great so far, though! I'd noticed you're posting less.

    Thank you!

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  43. Great goals! I should think about giving away some of my books, too, but I keep telling myself I'm creating a library for The Girl for when she's older.

    Please don't stress about the WWII challenge. I'm glad you signed up, but I'll still love you if you don't read a single WWII book this year. ;)

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  44. Yes, I am winding down. I also have a new place for my energy - book challenges. Those keep me focused in a different area. ;)

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  45. Anna,

    I used to think I had to keep most everything for my sons, but now that they're older they help me go through books and eliminate some they don't believe they'll ever read, which is nice. I'm sure your daughter will help you with that, someday.

    I'll still read WWII books, for sure! I've got an ARC, here, that is next in line. The big problem I seem to have is that I always have a backlog of things to post about, so I think I might just read them and keep track then do a post when I finish, if that's okay. Buttons in the sidebar make me tense, so I may never get around to the button. I know that's weird, but I'm stuck with it. LOL

    You're too sweet. :)

    J. Kaye,

    I think we have to go with whatever works -- if challenges are making you happy, go for it. I never know what will thrill me, from one year to the next! :)

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  46. These are wonderful goals! I'm still stunned at the 143 books read but go you - you can do it again :)

    I'm trying to find a bit more balance in my life too but I guess that will be an ongoing goal.

    Best of luck with your goals!

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  47. Iliana,

    Thanks. I don't know if I'll make it to 143 books, since I plan to spend more time doing other things, but I'll give it the old college try. :)

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  48. Finding a balance is always a good thing. I started to spend more time away from the computer last year and found out by doing so I get more done when I'm on it. My only book resolution this year is to read less romance and more of everything else. I've started the year with an amazing memoir, Life is Like a Line by Cynthia Sabotka. It's an amazing and vivid description of living with bipolar disorder in a dysfunctional family.

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  49. Maggie,

    I've been on the computer quite a bit less, already, but I think I really do need to get caught up with blog-hopping, here. :) I'll have to read about Life is Like a Line, thanks. That does sound interesting.

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  50. I'm sure you've seen Becky's read through the Bible in a year challenge. If not, it's in my sidebar. I'd love to do this with you, as it's my goal too.

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  51. Bellezza,

    I've heard of Becky's challenge and didn't bother to join because I've found challenges just make me uptight, but I'd love to talk with you about what we're reading, any time! I am having such fun. What a wild bunch of characters there are in the Bible and the trouble they get into . . . it's just a hoot to read, honestly, don't you think?

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