I have never really felt the need to have goals, because as often is the case, life happens. However, this is a new year and I am feeling physically better, so I wanted to share some of them with you.
1. Read more YA: Last year, I read While Beauty Slept, Eleanor and Park, The Fault in Our Stars, The Madman’s Daughter Trilogy, and maybe some more that I just can’t think of off the top of my head. However, I was really blown away with the content of the books and how much they truly capture the essence of our youth, today. So, this year, I plan to read more YA books, follow more YA bloggers, and participate in tours that are YA based.
2. Be on less tours: So, I know I just wrote that I want to participate in more YA tours. However, this means that I will be participating in less tours that are NOT YA. I also want to move away from participating in so many tours because I want to read through many of the book purchases I made last year. I love tours because they introduce me to great authors and I get the opportunity to read great books and help promote them, but I want to go to my first love: just reading and share what I already own. I remember a pastor saying once, “how you leave one _____,is how you enter the new _____”. Fill in the blank for yourself. In December, I was on very few promotional tours, that I actually was able to read some books that had been on my TBR list. I loved it and enjoyed having less stress and less pressure to read a book by a certain deadline, writing my review, and posting it on various social media and bookstore sites. So, I want to apply what that pastor said by ending last year with reading my personal books to continuing that trend for this year!
3. Attend more book signings: I don’t typically attend book signings because not many authors trek it over down to Houston. However, for those authors who do, I am going to be more intentional and plan to attend their signings to encourage, support, and promote their books. I attended my first book signing this past year. It was the fabulous Kathleen Kent! I learned a bit more about her and the creative writing process it takes for her to write a book. I also learned a lot more about the background story to her latest book, The Outcasts. So, I realized that attending a book signing is more than just going to get an autograph. It’s really quite intimate and very engaging! Author, Kathleen Kent, certainly raised my expectations of a book signing!
4. Attend a book expo or major event: I have never attended one in person. I have participated each year online, through BEA, and love meeting new bloggers and interacting with them. This year, I plan to attend at least one event and actually meet bloggers in person, meet more authors, and be introduced to great books that I can share with all of you!
5. Have book giveaways that are not limited to my blog: I love seeing book giveaways on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I think it’s easier, more fun, and engaging with all the reposts, shares, and retweets. The comments are awesome, too! So, I want to offer more giveaways that way, as they are less hassle and just easier!
6. Comment on more blog posts: I read a lot! From books, synopsis’, news, social media, and blogs. While I do respond a lot more on Twitter and Instagram, I am fairly quiet on FB and other’s blogs. So, this year, I have been making a conscious effort to reply to more posts from fellow bloggers, rather than just reading them and moving on, or simply “liking” their post. It’s usually because of time that I don’t comment on many posts, but I really want to be more engaging and interactive with others.
7. Offer monthly giveaways: I tend to do more than 1 giveaway a month, or sometimes not have a giveaway another month. I would like it to be more balanced and host a giveaway each month. Quite honestly, book giveaways are expensive because of postage. So, I typically only host giveaways in the US. However, I plan to offer some international giveaways, too. I will offer some e-giveaways, so that it’s easier for me and less costly! I don’t earn any revenue on this blog, so this comes out of my own personal finances. However, I believe in the importance of giving back and will continue to do this!
8. Donate more books: I usually offer books as giveaways and at hops. However, I would like to donate books to my local community so that people can read books and share them with others. I feel it is so important to share the gift of reading with others, and will do this more.
9. Have more author interviews: I am often asked if I would like to offer an author interview spotlight on my blog. I typically don’t because I don’t want like the standard q/a format that is usually given. However, I plan to host more and am thinking of questions I can ask that aren’t so standard. Nothing irks me more than reading an author interview that can be found on other blogs. Basically, the interview is cut and pasted (not my the blogger), but usually by the publisher or author to cut down on time for the author. However, if an author wants to provide an interview on my blog, it will be set up a little differently. Again, I’m thinking of ways to make it more fun and engaging. If it fails, I will just go back to the standard cut/paste….NOT! I just won’t have as many!! LOL!
10. Continue to not review DNF books: Back when I first started blogging, I posted 1 and 2 star reviews. If I didn’t finish, for whatever reason, I wrote about those books, too. However, I don’t get paid to review. I don’t work for anyone else. This is my blog. So, if a book isn’t really resonating with me, I won’t continue reading the book. The problem is that you, the reader, has no idea if I read a certain book or not. So, I plan to include a list of DNF books, just so that readers can know I attempted to read that book, but just couldn’t finish it (for whatever reason). I don’t want to torture myself or readers by finishing a book that is a 1 or 2 star rating, simply for the sake of having a varied amount of books with different ratings. It’s not necessary to me, I don’t want to waste your time, and I always hold onto the belief that just because a book wasn’t great for me, doesn’t mean it won’t be great for someone else.
1. Time Management: I bought a paper calendar, because let’s face it-nothing works better than paper and pen! I want to be intentional with my day and have a better routine. Even if I don’t complete everything on my list, I want to have at least recognized that item and attempted it. I’m not perfect. However, I can certainly plan better!
2. Use Social Media less: Unless it’s a scheduled part of my day, I don’t want to respond to every “ping” sound I get on my phone. I want to interact more with those around me and spend less time looking at social media. It’s time consuming.
3. Set aside prayer time and devotional: I bought a great devotional yesterday! I also bought a Bible that has it scheduled out for you, to read in one year! I have two of those Bibles on my iPad, but there is something about having an actual Bible and devotional, rather than it being on my an electronic device. I absolutely love my One Year Bible because it not only has my favorite translation: New Living Translation, but it has colored tabs for each day!! I love that!! Also, each day has all the scripture passages based on each day, rather than in the order of the books of the Bible. Love that feature, which isn’t as evident on my digital Bible.
4. More family time: I don’t think I can ever have too much family time. However, I want our time to be intentional. Having teenagers, one in high school and the other in college, it means making use of our time wisely-which doesn’t consist of sitting in front of the tv or gaming.
5. Planning my meals: I love when I already know what I am going to cook for the family, each day. However, I don’t always do that. So, each week, I’ve been menu planning and that has helped tremendously. It just feels good knowing what we are eating and that I have the necessary ingredients each week!
So, those are my goals for this year! Any goals that resonated with you? I’d love to hear your goals!