DISCUSSION ~ How do you decide on YEARLY READING GOALS?

Discussion

We all know the drill by now, since it’s something that’s so “general” and.. world-wide known: setting yearly goals whenever the start of a new year is approaching. Those goals can include anything at all, but.. for us specifically? There’s always some kind of reading goal involved. Reading goals that remain goals for a while, but eventually turn into a challenge because.. we always, always need to catch up on them.

Then, after a while, the pressure comes into the mix because we really want to succeed and be able to say “I did it!” at the end of the year. But is it really all that realistic to put up a yearly goal without knowing what’s going to happen throughout the year?

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My life is going to change an awful lot in 2019. So much so that I can’t possibly predict how much time I’ll have left to read – or blog for that matter. I’m definitely lucky to know this up front since I can keep it in mind while planning next year’s goals, but.. in a way this is making it even harder for me to decide on my goals?

I know I’m a fairly competitive person. Not specifically towards others, but to challenges and goals I set myself in general. I love challenging, pushing and encouraging myself to read more and more diverse than I have in the past. This means I’m automatically tempted to take on a whole load of reading challenges and see how many of them I can tick off throughout the year.

But it simply isn’t realistic to sign up for all of them. Juggling a household, newborn baby, work and social life already sounds exhausting as it is without thinking of all the hobbies I want to include in my life as well. Long story short: I have no idea how much time I’ll have left to read and I don’t want to pressure myself by setting goals I’m not sure I’ll be able to reach.

Which leads me to the ultimate question I’ve been trying to figure out for a while now: How do I decide what goals are manageable without them feeling as “too easy” or “too hard”? I still want to challenge myself but lowering my 2018-goal of reading 150 books to, say, half.. feels weird and a bit like “the easy way out”?
I’ll probably think differently once the little one’s born and have realized how much my life will change throughout the year, but right now it still feels so far off and a bit vague. I honestly don’t know how to go about this.

Do I simply commit to the challenges I feel like doing, even though the combination of those might be impossible? Do I lower my goals in a – sort of – ridiculous way and up them as the year goes by? Do I only start a new challenge once I ticked one off?
At this point, I honestly don’t know. I’m not sure what I’ll end up deciding either, but wanted to talk about this struggle with all of you anyway. I cannot be the only one wondering about this, so maybe we can help each other out!

How do you set your yearly goals? Do you even set any?
Do you keep in mind how your life might change throughout the year?
What are some goals you are definitely setting in 2019? [Doesn’t have to be book-related!]

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56 thoughts on “DISCUSSION ~ How do you decide on YEARLY READING GOALS?

  1. I set my goal as the average between the goal of the previous year and the actual number of books read in that year. So if my goal for this year is 52 books and I finish at 58 read, I’ll aim for 55 next year.
    I agree with you that is quite impossible to predict next year’s reading potential – in the five or so years I’ve done reading challenges I have finished two university degrees, started two new jobs, and moved twice. The reading opportunities are ever shifting. I think it is not as important to actually meet one’s challenge as to actually aim and try!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a smart way to go about it for sure!
      Yikes, that’s a whole lot of changes too! But you’re definitely right – we can only try and reach those goals without forcing ourselves and pushing when we really shouldn’t. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never set a yearly goal before. I usually set monthly goals, or no goal at all. I would probably go with setting some general goals, and adapting them as time goes by. Making them more challenging if their too easy, or easier if they’re out of reach. But of course this year, I’ll be helping Mandy put together some yearly goals for BPR and I’m like… yeah, IDK. IDK. Post a lot? Is that a goal? Lol.

    I find with monthly goals, it easier to gauge where you’re at, and even focus some goals more during one month that you might skip another month. But hey. As long as you’re accomplishing things right? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m probably going with the adapting them as I go. It’s so hard to set goals when you don’t even know how much time you’ll have to invest in things. :’)
      Haha, now that you’re a part of BPR, there’s on escaping the yearly goals, Sha! I’d say you should definitely make “STAY with BPR” a goal because I’ll be damned if you disappear all of a sudden! I always liked Mandy on the blog – no doubt about that – but you definitely added a fresh vibe to it, hah. 😀

      Definitely true! I love goals and challenges because it does make me feel like I’m actually.. doing something and accomplishing things – even if it’s things most people [stupid book haters] don’t care about. :’)

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    2. Oh, yes, goal-setting is near impossible when you don’t know what time you’ll have to commit D: & well there you go, I have one goal now: stick with blogging! Now I feel accomplished. I wonder if I can get away with just the one… lol.

      There’s nothing like checking off items on a list! Ahhh, don’t even mention book haters!!! D: It’s your goals that matter, and how good accomplishing them makes *you* feel!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Exactly!
      Hahaha. You should find some other “easy” ones to add so it doesn’t really look like you’re taking the easy way out. Something along “do x buddy reads” should be an easy one too since you do those sometimes?

      I loooove lists. I’m addicted to lists. I actually made a list with lists I had to make once – I felt like a freaking pro at that moment. xD
      Exactly!

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Okay, you’re right, maybe a few others, haha. Buddy reads would be a good one! Kathy, you are being way more helpful for *my* 2019 goals … on YOUR post asking for goal help. Something is wrong here haha

      Okay, this makes me think of a book I wanted to recommend to you. (the list love) Have you heard of Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks? I know you love LGBT+ books, so I thought it might already be on your radar, but if not…?

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Sometimes it’s easier to throw ideas around for someone else than to actually figure out what works for yourself, okay?! :’) And I kind of figured mine out already. Sort of. They’ll be all over the place and probably half will be impossible but I’m SO over it. xD

      I had not heard of that one yet and it sounds.. so weird and different but that makes it all the more intriguing?! Also sounds a bit of funny with the glass shower thing.. Added it to my TBR. Thank you!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    6. I’m not complaining! I love the ideas. And… it’s so true, giving advice/ideas to others is always easier. OKAY. But you have some! Getting goals started is always the hard par– um. Well. *Completing* the goals is the hard part, but it’s not like making them in the first place is super easy either. It’s all hard, okay? XD

      You’re welcome! I do think it’s something you’ll enjoy! I was laughing throughout, and it had some serious heartwarming moments too.

      Liked by 1 person

    7. Hahaha! It’s like we go from one mission impossible to the next. “Set goals” AH. HOW. “Attempt goals” AGAIN. HOW. “Reach goals” WHAT IS THIS SORCERY. HOW DO I DO THIS. WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MYSELF.
      Literally me throughout the year. Always. xD

      Sounds perrrrfect!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great discussion, Kathy! I really don’t set many reading goals except for the goodreads challenge, and for that I look at how many I read the previous year and rounding it down. For me having too many goals, especially “challenges”, give me stress so I rather aim low and adjust!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      That just shows how people can be very different on that account, haha. I like having multiple challenges on the go because it makes me get out of my comfort zone and read things I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. 😀

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  4. This is such a good discussion! I know I don’t always apply this logic to my OWN goals (heheh), but I’m a big believer in setting realistic-if-slightly-“easy goals and then upping them later if you can. I think I feel this way because, even though *I* don’t tend to feel too bad about missing my own goals (maybe I would if I ever made them feasible… *rolling eyes at self*), I know a lot of people DO and I want people to be happy and take care of themselves. ❤ So long story short is that I think you should go with easy goals and you can always add on to them later if you find out that things are easier to juggle than expected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I guess we’re a bit the same when it comes to setting goals that actually challenge us instead of taking the “easy” way out. :’)
      I’ve already figured out something that I’m quite happy with right now, so we’ll see how it goes! Going to cut my Goodreads-goal in half and sign up for Popsugar BUT with the goal of ticking off half the prompts. :’) [And then there’s the boyfriend challenge, WHICH YOU SHOULD DO AS WELL. JUST SAYING. – Btw: do we secretly count the pre-2019 ebooks as owned as well because I can totally rock that boyfriend challenge if they do :’)]

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this discussion! I honestly try not to bite off more than I can chew with reading goals. I’ll set a Goodreads challenge that is usually pretty manageable, and adjust it as the year goes by. I’ve never really done any other reading challenge, because I’m awful with commitment to tbrs. 😂

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    1. Haha. I didn’t even up my goal this year! I simply kept going until I surpassed it? I didn’t even really feel the pressure since it said I was “ahead of schedule” for the entire year. [Which felt amazing every time I saw it.. 😂]

      But I do like those yearly challenges with prompts though.. I’m probably -very likely- signing up for one of those but with the intention of trying to complete half of them instead of all? Might be.. more manageable at least. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I dont have any advice about your goodreads goals, but as for other reading goals I just put mine as very general things like this year one of my goals is for half the books I read, out of however many I get to total, to be published before 2010. Obviously that doesnt have to be your goal, but I find that not setting hard numbers on things still gives you a sort of “challenge” without the mind altering STRESS of trying to achieve a specific number for that goal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hm, I can see how that would work for you! Unfortunately, I’m way too much of a “numbers”-person, haha. I’d keep putting numbers on it in my head anyway so I think doing it like that would only end up frustrating me? I’m currently making peace with how my reading goals will be all over the place and without any logic at all, haha.

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  7. From my experience a newborn does change your life, it’s a new chapter and although it’s hard first of all it all comes together and it’s the best story you can write yourself. Enjoy every minute ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you! ❤ I hope I'll be able to enjoy it, haha. It's so weird thinking about it, especially since we have no clue what the baby will be like. Will he be the easiest or an easy child to handle – like my boyfriend's godchild – or will he be a crying mess 24/7 like another baby I know? Who knows! 😛

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    2. My son is 9 now and my best friend had a baby at the same time. Her son was a dream and slept all night straight away, my son was the opposite! She was strutting up to the shops all groomed and I trudged up all zombie like! But it doesn’t last long, get into a routine is the only advice I can offer……and enjoy every minute ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Funny and a bit daunting how they can differ so much, hah. We’ll see how it goes though. I’m way too focused on actually getting to know the little guy instead of only feeling him to worry about those things too much at this point. We’ll have to get through it anyway, no matter if he’s a dream of a baby or an endless crying one, hah. 🙂 ❤

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    4. And that’s just it, you will cope no matter what the situation is, us women are so resilient! And also looking and cuddling the little bundle of joy that you created is the best feeling in the world! ❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Haha, that is SO true! I’m really, really looking forward to that. I’ve been making short clips of my belly moving these past few days and it just makes me want to actually hold him even more. Or to at least SEE what in skies’ name he’s doing that makes my belly move like that, haha. ❤

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  8. For me this is an easy one for next year: i just simply don’t set goals.
    This year was the first where i attempted a challenge (popsugar one), and i gave up around June when i realised for some prompts i just simply don’t feel like picking a book.
    On Goodreads i usually set my number of books to read to what i managed to read in the year before.

    You are right when you say it’s probably not realistic to set this goal now because you don’t know how things will be next year, and you might not have as much time as you thought. (You might have more time than you think, you never know)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I wish I could do that but I like goals and challenges to much to skip setting them? I did do the Popsugar one in 2017 but skipped this year’s because half the prompts were.. meh. I am thinking – and pretty much made up half my mind – about joining the 2019 one but in a very low-key “I just want to tick off half”-way which seems like the best thing to do right now. :’)

      I’m hoping to have more time than I’m anticipating at this point but we’ll have to see, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, challenges. I sort of have a love-hate relationship with them. I stay away from all reading challenges, except from the goodreads challenge, so I’m afraid I can’t really help you with that. What helps me though with challenges is…. well, I’m not really that competitive and I kind of hate feeling pressured to read books. Most likely the reason why I’m not doing too many challenges, haha. I often set my Goodreads goal depending on what I can realistically do, that way I’m always feeling good when I can reach above that goal haha. In 2016 I had a goodreads challenge at 50 books which I surpassed, with 69 books total. The next year, I raised it to 60 books. Not 70, 60. I ended up reading 73 books. This year I’m STILL at 60 books, because I’m trying to keep my expectations low because we never know and also, I don’t like to feel pressured. I’d recommend to maybe push yourself with a goal, too, if you like it, but maybe do it like me: a little lower than usual for all the new, exciting things to come in your life, but still a goal nonetheless for you to reach for and to motivate you a little bit? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hah, I sometimes wish I wasn’t competitive either. It isn’t even that I’m competitive towards people, it’s towards the challenges. :’) Which makes it all the more frustrating really..
      I admire you for not trying to overly push yourself when it comes to your Goodreads-goal! This year I put it at 150 books and I’m already past it,so I’m kind of thinking about doing half for 2019? My problem is that it doesn’t even feel motivating right now because I just don’t know what everything will be like and 75 sounds “easy” to me at this point. :’)

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    2. I think that half could be good and… I mean, if you look at it differently, it will be SO rewarding and fun to see you getting over your goal in no time 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. When I set my yearly reading goals I look at how many books I read the previous year and then use those numbers to set my goal for how many books I want to read in the new year. For instance, my goal for this year is 115 books, so for 2019, my goal could possibly be 120 books. I also see what challenges there are that look appealing and “doable” and then I decide what challenges I want to do.

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  11. This year was the first year where I set goals and challenges for the year. I started with the smallest numbers I knew I could reach and then just increased them when I was close to achieving them.

    Good luck with the new baby and your reading goals

    Happy Reading!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s definitely a good way to go! I’ve already considered signing up for challenges but only committing myself to completing half of them. If I should succeed at THAT, I can try and take on the other half or a quarter or something? I guess that’s also a way of increasing the goals throughout the year without feeling like I’m failing / cheating, haha.

      Thank you! You too!

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  12. I have three kids, teenagers actually. I didn’t get time to myself until they were about 8 years old. Seriously, you can’t take your eyes off them for a second.

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  13. Oh congrats on the baby!! How lovely! I know what you mean… my life changed a lot this year, and there were points when I just didn’t have the time to read or blog. I struggled with it. I’d set myself some rather loose goals, and I wasn’t meeting even them… I think next year I’m going to set different types of goals, and really think about what’s achievable…

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    1. Thank you!! =)
      Exactly. I realize that’s what I have to do right now, but it’s so hard to decide what kind of goals will be achievable and which ones won’t? Hopefully we can both figure something out!

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  14. Well, you can set some goals and you can just remind yourself that it’s not necessary to have them all done! You can just read every now and then and at the end of the year see your progress. You can use Goodreads to help you reach your goal and you can change it if you want, too!
    Personally, I have no kids and I’m sure I don’t want any, so I don’t know what it’s like. I wish you find the time to read anyday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, unfortunately that’s easier said than done. I’m way too competitive towards myself in general to be able to write off those challenges as “oh well, I failed”. And changing my goals throughout the year will still feel like failing to me? I’m so.. weird when it comes to these things, ugh.
      Hah, thank you! I’ve always wanted kids but I can definitely understand people who think the opposite. 🙂

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  15. When my kids were babies, I didn’t have a blog, so I had no reading goals, lol. I don’t even remember if I had a lot of time to read, but it didn’t matter since I had no expectations for myself. I would say maybe adjust your goal down a little and see how it goes. With Goodreads, you can always change your goal throughout the year so it’s less pressure 😁

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    1. Haha, funny how things like that aren’t really memorable looking back!
      Definitely true regarding Goodreads, but I’d rather up my goal than have to lessen it? I’d feel crap about myself if I had to do that, but that’s simply me and my competitive nature being the issue. :’)

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  16. Speaking from experience (I have a two year old and a two week old!) reading has definitely been on pause these past few weeks. I’ve been enjoying cuddles too much and catching up on sleep when I can. I’m hoping that when the interrupted sleep stops reading will become more of a priority. I’d make the most of reading before your baby arrives and cut yourself some slack the first few months when you have a newborn. You may find that your reading returns to normal quite quickly but don’t be too disheartened if it doesn’t. They’re only babies for a small amount of time so make the most of it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! And congratulations with your baby!
      I definitely realize I won’t be reading that much [if at all] the first weeks after the baby’s born so I’m definitely not fooling myself on that front, haha. I just hope I’ll at least have a bit of reading time eventually, since it’s one of those things I really enjoy doing to relax. [And if I really need to, I can always let the dad take over for a little while by locking myself up in a room with a book so I can have a breather? Hah. 🙂 ]

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  17. These are very good questions, and I think you are wise to consider them in advance. A newborn baby definitely changes things dramatically. And wonderfully! What if you set yourself two goals? One, reducing your typical reading output by half like you mentioned, and another one somewhere between that and your typical goals? That way, if time allows, you can continue to push yourself, but it you realistically can’t do it, you have still met your smaller goal.

    Good luck with your new baby, and your reading goals!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s definitely a thought! I’m still trying to figure it all out since there are some yearly challenges I’d love to participate in, but don’t know if it’ll work out. I might go with setting the goal of “doing half a challenge” for some of those or something and if that works out, I can always try doing the entire one!

      Thank you! And thanks for the idea!

      Liked by 1 person

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