Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Originally, I was going to write a post reflecting on 2013 but it just came out really blah. And while I'm not one to be worried about bad juju typically, I just don't think that it's good for me to have my first post of the year about stuff that probably isn't worth going over again. What's past is past, right?

So instead I'm going to focus on my goals for 2014. Since today is a new beginning (though I find, for the most part, it's more mental than anything), I'm going to wipe my slate clean and walk into 2014 with a fresh mind, and a fresh set of things I want to achieve.

So without further ado, my 2014 goals!

Bookish Goals

1. Read at least 100 books this year. Since I'm starting to have less and less time for reading, I don't want to set my goal too high. I think 100 is a nice round number and it's something that I've achieved for the past few years so I know that I can do it. Of course, if I read more than 100, that's even better!

2. Expand my reading boundaries. I find myself reading a lot of contemporary YA so this year, I want to try and explore other genres and other types of books. There are so many great books out there and I just feel I'm going to miss out on all of them because I'm not willing to step out of my reading comfort zone.

3. Read at least 5 classics this year. Earlier this year, I made a list of ten classic novels I wanted to read. While I was working on compiling the list, I realized that there were so many classics that really appealed to me. 2013 was a flop, seeing as I really didn't read any classics at all so this year, I want to rectify that. 

4. Start recording what I read again. I stopped recording the books I read back in October and it's causing me such stress. I need to write a review for a book but I can't even remember the title! Obviously this whole not recording thing isn't doing really good for me so I want to start it up again. It's always good to have records and I find I do enjoy looking back on what I've read.

5. Read at least 5 non-fiction books this year. This kind of goes hand in hand with number two. I don't read a lot of non-fiction at all (except for maybe the occasional memoir) so I'm going to make it a point to get into it this year. And I'm only allowing myself one memoir.

6. Catch up on my NetGalley books. Even though I promised myself I wouldn't request any more until summer break, I went ahead and did so anyway. So now I have three books to read that should have been finished LONG AGO. And also one review request dating back to September. I really need to get my act together!

7. Complete reading all books I received in 2013. I have a bad habit of buying books that I don't finish and I still have about seven or six from 2013 that I need to finish. 

8. Reread more. This one is a bit more vague than the others because I wasn't sure if I wanted to put an exact number on how much I reread. All I know is that I do want to revisit some books I really enjoyed so I'm planning on doing that this year. Even one or two would be fine with me, as long as I do it.

9. Complete at least 5 series this year. You don't even know how many series I start and don't finish so I decided to sign up for the 2014 Series Challenge hosted by Read Sleep Repeat to reduce the amount of series unfinished on my list. I originally put the number down as ten but I realized that was a bit optimistic so I changed it to five.

10. Find and read more novels by Canadian authors. Similarly to non-fiction, I really don't read a lot of Canadian literature and I would like to change that this year! I feel like there are so many great Canadian authors out there that I'm not discovering because it's not really what I pick up.

11. Complete the 2014 Book Bingo Challenge (hosted by Another Novel Read). After seeing this on Book Blogging, I knew I wanted to participate. I do love me some bingo and this just seems like such a great and fun way to knock off some books on my TBR.

Bloggy Goals

1. Blog at least three times a week. Okay, so I know I said in my blogging manifesto that I wouldn't push how many times I blog but I know that with 2014, I want to have a stronger presence on here. It's also like wanting to prove to myself that I can juggle multiple responsibilities. I know two times a week is no biggie for me so I want to aim for three.

2. Redesign my blog. I'm starting to get really sick of those darn trees. They just feel so gloomy now so I definitely want to change things up a bit. Not sure what my plans are for my redesign but I WILL get to it this year.

3. Write more meaningful comments and comment MORE. I have been utterly crap at commenting this year so I'm absolutely determined to change this. Comment more and share more substantial and meaningful words.

4. Continue to reply back to my comments. I like when I get replies (even though I know sometimes, it's hard for bloggers to do so) so I'm going to continue to reply to my comments.

5. Start doing Top Ten Tuesday again. I used to do Top Ten Tuesday posts all the time back on Random Reads and I do want to get back to them because I love making lists. I find that sometimes, the topics don't really interest me so I'm not going to do them every week but maybe at least one week out of a month.

6. Write more discussion posts. I never used to write discussion posts but they're actually so much fun! I feel like I have so much to say and I do find that they are more popular so this is definitely something that I want to achieve.

7. Maintain a blogging schedule. I'm going to kick myself for putting this on my list because God knows how many times I've tried scheduling and it just simply doesn't work. But despite my failures, I'm pretty convinced that I can make it work somehow. I don't need a really fancy schedule as long as it keeps me organized.

8. Finish coding that damn drop down navigation bar. That goddamn nav bar will be the death of me. I just can't seem to make it work. It's already been there for like four months and I'm getting sick of seeing it so this is definitely top priority at this point. Even though I'm kind of dreading jumping back into the coding. It's just such a mess!

9. Stop apologizing for taking breaks. I apologize a lot and I'm not sure if it's because I'm Canadian or something (ha ha) but really, it's pointless for me to be apologizing for something that's not wrong.

10. Follow up with all my features. I have so many ideas for features - some that I've started, some that I haven't - so in the new year, I want to follow up with all of them. I feel like having special features are a great way to be creative so it's certainly something I want to keep up with.

11. Think about hosting a giveaway. Just think about. When I started The Runaway Reader, I said that I wanted to host a giveaway and honestly, since October I haven't given a thought at all. While I don't think it's likely that I'm going to get one up by December, I do want to start planning and thinking about how to make it work. 

12. Start vlogging. I've tried so many times to film a vlog in the past and it just hasn't worked but again, I'm determined to make it work. I feel like a Youtube channel could really add a little extra to my blogging and it just seems so much fun.

Other Goals

1. Start working on my novel. I came up with an idea I really liked in October and have put off writing it ever since, even during Nano! So this year, I'm making it my goal to start writing it. I don't need to finish it but I definitely want to get started.

2. Keep up a journal. I've already started journalling and I want to keep up with it throughout 2014. 

3. Get more exercise. I sit around too much! I was actually really good about exercising this summer but it's just slowly slipped from then. 

4. Take more photographs. I love taking photographs but I haven't been lately so I want to get back to it. Maybe once I start photographing again, I can convince my parents to get me a Canon Rebel.

5. Learn to code. I'm actually really interested in coding so I want to learn it. I had a very tiny education back in the fifth or sixth grade but I've completely forgotten everything I've learned so it's back to square one for me. 

6. Take up baking. I enjoy baking. I'm not good at it and I don't bake often but I think it's so much fun so this year, I want to take up baking. I made spritzies this year which were really good so I think next on my list should be chocolate chip cookies. 

7. Drink more water. Oh god, I absolutely suck at drinking water. It's obviously not very healthy for me so I'm aiming for at least two glasses of water a day this year.

8. Get organized. I'm so incredibly disorganized so I would like to get my things straight. I don't know if I can deal with spending two hours pawing over piles and piles of crap to find my things.

9. Stop being so forgetful. I am also so incredibly forgetful which is such a bad habit. Can't count how many things I've lost in 2013. I feel like I just have a really bad memory but even so, I'm going to aim to devise a way to help me keep track of my things.

10. Expand my vocabulary. Sometimes, I get bored by my vocabulary. I feel like I'm using the same few words over and over again so this is definitely something I want to work on this year!

11. Eat more healthy. I'm not too great at eating healthy either so I'm going to work on cutting out junk food and just stuff that isn't really good for you. 

12. Take a break from technology every once in a while. I find I'm way too dependent on my phone and my computer than is good so this year, I'm going to aim to take some time and unplug from everything. 

13. Try new things. This is a big one for me. I shy away from challenges and new things a lot so I want to be more spontaneous and not fear experimentation!

So those are my goals for 2014! I know that was just like a wall of text. Oops. But anyway, hopefully, with these goals, I'll be able to have a productive year. Yay! 

Now tell me. What are you goals for this year?
This post is part of the Readiculous End of Year Celebration hosted by Shelly @ Readiculous Reads. Go and give her some love!

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