Happy 2021 Everyone!!! I hope you’re all keeping safe and well.
I think we can all agree that 2020 was not great but I’m trying to be hopeful that 2021 will be better. I have to confess that I didn’t do very well with my reading (or blogging) goals last year. I found it difficult to focus for any length of time and counted pretty much any time spent reading as a win. I also sort of gave up tracking my reads and writing reviews so I have no idea how many books I actually managed to read and my NetGalley shelf got completely out of control.
2021 is however a new year and the chance for a fresh start so I’m setting myself some gentle reading and blogging goals yet again.
I found that over the last year my reading changed a lot. I seem to be craving the real so have been reading mostly contemporaries and rom coms with the odd crime/thriller book thrown in. Sci fi and fantasy has been a bit of a struggle and I’ve DNF’d more than one of my most anticipated reads in the genre. I’ve also found myself drawn to non fiction, a genre I don’t normally touch, and ended up loving those I read. I’m therefore sticking with my usual goal of trying to diversify my reads but I’m going to be kind to myself and set challenges that let me read what I feel like. There will be no book buying ban or netgalley request ban. Treats are allowed, and in my opinion should be encouraged, in 2021. My goals are therefore as follows:-
- GoodReads Challenge – I’ve set my target for 2021 at 100 books, just under 2 per week. This is roughly in line with what I usually read but I’m not going to stress too much about whether I hit it or not.
- Backlist Series – I read ACOTAR for the first time in December and absolutely loved it so I’m hoping to read a few more of those series everyone else seems to have read but that have been sitting on my TBR forever. My goal is to start at least 6 backlist series‘. Bonus points if I end up binge reading the full series.
- Most Anticipated – I have a tendency to get caught up in the pressure to read ARCs and those new releases I’ve been anticipating seem to get pushed aside. I’m therefore going to give myself permission to forget about the ARCs for a bit and read at least one newly published book each month.
- Translated / Non US/UK – I love translated fiction, it provides a wonderful opportunity to experience other cultures and places. I’m therefore aiming to read 10 books that have either been translated or are by a non US/UK author.
- Non Fiction – I’d like to try and read 5 non fiction books in 2021
- Bookclub/Buddy Reads – I’m a member of a few online book clubs and Goodreads groups and one RL book club and really enjoy a buddy read or group read. I have however been really bad in terms of participating over the last year. I’m going to make an effort this year to be more active. I’ve already signed up for a year long group read of Gone with the Wind on GR and am going to try and take part in a total of 6 buddy or group reads in 2021.
- Reading Challenges – I don’t have any plans this year to sign up for any team reading challenges this year as I’m trying to keep the pressure off. In terms of individual challenges I’m only taking part in the Popsugar Reading Challenge. I’ll probably pick and choose which tasks I do rather than trying to complete them all but I’m hoping it’ll help me discover some new genres. There’s also a big focus in this year’s challenge to read books from your TBR so hopefully that’ll help me get my TBR down a little.
From March 2020 I’ve been working from home on my laptop so I’ve been sort of avoiding using my laptop for non work stuff and my poor little blog has been suffering. As working from home is apparently now my new normal I need to find some way to get some balance and get back into blogging :-
- Regular posting – With all of the changes in 2020 I’ve gotten out of my regular blogging routines. There have been an awful lot of unexplained disappearances by me, mostly related to work commitments and general tiredness. I’m planning to develop some new routines that I’m hopeful will get me posting regularly. Once I have a routine I’m usually pretty good at sticking to it so fingers crossed.
- Blog hopping – I have to apologise as I’ve been really bad at this over the last year. I think I’ve been slightly avoiding all things blog. This year I’m committing myself to schedule time each week to go visit blogs. It’s such a brilliant and supportive community and I have been largely absent for far too long.
- Discussion Posts – I have so many ideas for discussion posts but never write them up. I’m therefore going to aim for at least one discussion post a month, even if it’s a list style post.
I like my routines and don’t cope well with change so all of the uncertainty and anxiety of 2020 really threw me for a loop. It’s probably going to still be a while before things return to any kind of normality but I am starting to feel like I can start making plans and finding new routines.
- Be more active – At the start of this year I struggled a lot with anxiety. Lockdown and working from home meant that I spent far too much time indoors, watching the news and getting caught in my head. It was a trip to the beach that made me realise just how bad I was feeling. Since then I’ve been making an effort to get out of the house more and out of my head. I’m therefore committing to get out of the house every day whatever the weather. Even if it’s a 10 min walk around the block, I will go outside.
- Limit social media usage – I have been spending far too much time doomscrolling on my phone and reading toxic and negative tweets and Facebook posts. I’m therefore limiting my social media usage and reviewing who I follow and interact with. I’ve already unfollowed some people who post toxic and inflammatory content and feel so much happier for it. I’m going to stick with positive influences and try to be more positive myself.
- Be more sociable – I’m an introvert who is perfectly happy spending time alone but even I have to admit the ongoing lockdowns and lack of social contact are proving difficult. I’m therefore setting myself a goal of speaking to people more. Whether that’s phoning up a coworker for a chat about nothing in particular, passing the time of day with neighbours or catching up with friends and family, I’m going to make more of an effort (within lockdown regs).
So those are my very loose goals for the year. I’ve tried to push myself a little but hopefully not too much. Are you setting yourself any reading or other resolutions for 2021? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy reading ❤