I got the idea to do a discussion on New Year’s goals/resolutions, especially bookish ones, the other day when I was thinking about my reading goal for the year. So with 2017 having just begun, I wanted to discuss reading/book related goals for the year.
I love setting myself goals. Whenever I do this, for just about anything, it makes me much more motivated to do it and accomplish it. But sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to accomplish these goals, it’s not good. And then you feel bad because you were unable to reach your goal, which isn’t good either. There are so many great things about setting goals though, which is why I’m going to be discussing the pros and cons of it.
You’re more motivated to read that many books/achieve your goal
Like I said, setting myself goals really helps me to feel more motivated and get! it! done! This isn’t just for reading goals, but in general. I know if I wasn’t setting myself goals, I would still be reading a lot, but I wouldn’t feel as motivated to do it. I don’t know about you, but reading goals make me want to read that many books. So that’s mainly why I do it, so I feel motivated and really pumped to accomplish it.
You feel amazing when you reach your goal
Completing goals, especially super challenging ones, is the most rewarding thing ever! There’s nothing better than finally being able to relax after hitting it. 😉 Actually, this summer I was doing a lot of writing to hit my goal and once I finished, it made me feel amazing, and I got to take a nice little break from all the craziness. Reading is pretty relaxing for me, so I already feel relaxed when I do it. This is another one of my favorite things about goals. That amazing feeling you feel afterwards. 😀
Pressuring yourself too much to complete it
No! This makes me so sad when I see/hear people doing this. 🙁 Please don’t put too much pressure on yourself just to reach a reading goal. Seriously, if you don’t complete your goal, that’s 1o0% fine! I will admit to doing this sometimes, too, but it makes me so sad. I want to be trying hard to achieve my goals but still having fun and not feeling really pressured. in contrast to my last point, this is one of the worst feelings in the world.
Feeling bad if you don’t achieve it/your goal is lower than everyone else’s
I also hate seeing this. Just because you read less books than most people in a year, doesn’t make them any better than you, okay? I see some people feeling bad about themselves because they’re slow readers or can’t read a ton of books because life which makes me sad. Honestly, no one cares if your goal is low or high, because your goal is entirely for you! There’s no point in having a goal if you’re just going to feel bad and compare yourself to other people. And I’m not saying that to be harsh. I really don’t want people to get worried about people judging them, because trust me, they aren’t.
My Goals for 2016
Read 85 books
My 2017 is going to be a lot crazier than m 2016, so I set my goal a bit lower than last year. In the fall I’m starting a new school. I know that’s going to take up a lot of time. I’m also traveling for a little bit in the summer and leading up to that I want to get a lot of work done so I have enough money for my trip and enough to still spend on books. So yeah, I already know this is going to be a much busier year for me. That’s why I set a goal that I know I can achieve without feeling pressured to finish it. 🙂 Which I hope all you do, too!
Read more classics
The only classics I ever read are for school, and I want that to change. I already have copies of Les Misérables and Little Women waiting to be read, now I just have to read them. So many people love Jane Austen, so I want to read at least two of her works. There are so many great classics though, I don’t know where to start. Please let me know some of your favorites 😉
Read more diverse books
This goal is really important to me! I read some diverse books in 2016, but not nearly enough. So this year I plan to read more books about mental illness and LGBT+ characters, which are two types of books I don’t normally read. Naz @ Read Diverse Books is hosting this awesome quarterly link up for diverse books you’ve read and reviewed. I’m really excited to take part in this challenge, and it will definitely motivate me to read more diverse books!
Finish my novel
Not really a reading goal, but still. I’m not normally one for New Year’s resolutions, so that’s why my list is so short. I really want to finish my novel though by the end of the year. I plan on participating in Camp NaNo this spring then NaNoWriMo in November, but I want my novel done before the latter. Because I just hit 60k and there’s still so much left, I know I’ll have to work hard to finish it.
What are your goals for 2016? Do you like setting goals, or no? Also, are there any classic books you recommend? Let me know down below!
Oh I loved this post- I think you brought forward everything necessary really well, Adalyn! I’ve decided to bring down my goal to 50 this year because it’s my final year at uni and things are only going to get tougher from now on. I’m taking part in Diversity Bingo this year and I just set my tbr for it, so that’s 36 books I’ve planned to read so far xD It IS good to have a goal, but I feel slightly overwhelmed too. Let’s see how it goes, lol. Good luck with everything this year!
Thank you so much, Ruzaika! Yeah, I knew this year was going to be much busier than last, so I set my goal lower. Goals can be really overwhelming though. Good luck with your goals this year!
Amazing post! I agree with a lot of these points. Personally I feel like having a number goal motivates me to actually read and since I’m an over achiever, I’d love to always be ‘# books ahead of schedule’. I can’t do that without reading goals, right? 😛 but I try not to set my goal too high. Last year I only aimed for 40 because it was my last year in uni. I was busy with internship and thesis and I failed last year, so yeah haha I ended up reading twice my goal buuut this year I only upped my goal by 5. It’s 45 now hahaha I guess I’ll just add the number once I read 45 😛 and I agree that people shouldn’t feel bad if their goal is lower, but what angered me (sort of) was those people who look at people whose goals are over 200 and tell them they have ‘no life’. I mean, some people just read really fast and all that, you know? ANYWAY, I’m also planning to write my novel this year so best of luck for both of us! <3
Thank you, Puput! I always get so giddy and motivated when I see that I’m over schedule whenever I look on Goodreads. I upped my goal from last year, but made it lower than how much I read because I now it’ll be a really busy year. It makes me so sad to see people feeling bad about how many books they read 🙁 And just because you read 200 books doesn’t mean you don’t have a life. Wow, that’s so weird to me that people would say that? Good luck with your novel as well! 😀
Your pros and cons for setting reading goals are so accurate! I’ve definitely set my goals too high before. I think at one point last year I was something like 30 books behind schedule, so I adjusted it to something a bit more reasonable. I usually just take a guess for my Goodreads goal – something that’s close to how many books I read the previous year, adjusted a bit if I know a year’s going to be busy. This year, I’m doing a lot more specific challenges – for rereads, backlist books, series enders, and 2017 debuts. I’m not really sure how that’s going to work out, since it’s something I haven’t done before, but I’m excited!
As for the genres/kinds of books you want to read more of – YES, I have recommendations! (And I LOVE giving recommendations, so if you ever want more, for anything, juts let me know. Or you could just ignore most/all of these because I definitely tend to go overboard with recommendations.)
Classics: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pride & Prejudice and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Macbeth by William Shakespeare. I also wrote a post ages ago with classics recommendations based on some YA books.
LGBTQ+ books: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, and I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Books about mental illness: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman, When We Collided by Emery Lord, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, and This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
(Okay, so that’s a lot.) I hope some of those help!
I can definitely relate with setting goals too high. I do the same with my goodreads. In 2015 I read 50 books, so my 2016 goal was first set at 60, but I moved it up. And this year even though I read 100 books last year, I set my goal lower just because I know I’m going to be a lot more busy. A lot of more specific challenges sounds like it could be a lot of fun! Good luck 😀
Thank you for all your recommendations! I really appreciate it <3 Pride and Prejudice, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and I'll Give You the Sun are all on my TBR, but I'll have to go check out the rest of those.
I agree, goals are great because they motivate you and guide you and then make you feel accomplished when you achieve them! But they can also put pressure, and if you start falling behind or something, you just start to feel bad and might give up entirely. But as long as the goals are doable and you don’t stress over them too much, I think they’re a good thing 🙂 And your goals sound great! I had reading more classics as a goal year, but I didn’t both this year. I just don’t tend to like them much, but I still like to read originals before I read retellings, so I’ll continue to do that. Good luck with all your goals!
Yeah, I love having goals, but sometimes if they put too much pressure on me, I’ll lower them or maybe take a break. Falling behind in goals is just such a terrible feeling because like, you don’t feel like you’re good enough? Thank you! I never read classics unless it’s for school (and normally we don’t ever read any good ones), so I’d like to change that.
I totally agree with your pros and cons for reading goals!! It actually disappoints me the amount of people I’ve had telling me they feel bad because they’re reading goals are much lower than mine. And…no??? That is not what reading is about!! We should read as much as we can and want and what makes us feel happy!! Not all years are good for reading either *nods*
Good luck finishing off your novel!! I HOPE YOU DO. I have a lot of writing projects to work on this year and aghhh deciding between them is super hard. But I’d like to write 2 novels and read 200 books, because apparently I like the number 2 this year.
Aww, that makes me so sad. 🙁 Not everyone has enough time or like not everyone is a super fast reader, so it’s just different for everyone. I don’t think anyone should ever feel bad because someone reads more books than they do.
Thank yous so much, Cait! I really love the idea for my novel (that sounds kind of self-centered?), but it’s just hard to get it all out right. I always have lots of ideas floating around in my head, but there are definitely some I like more than others. Good luck with your novels and reading goal, as well!
I like setting small goals because it gives me something to work towards – it helps challenge myself with reading more diverse books that I wouldn’t usually pick up, and it allows me to keep moving forward with my own WIP. All the best for 2017 and hope you get to finish your own novel.
Exactly! One of my goals is to work on reading more diverse books, too. Thank you, and good luck with your WIP too. 🙂 Happy New Year!
Awesome post! There are definitely both benefits and drawbacks to reading goals. The past few years, I’ve set my GR goal at 52 books (one per week). It’s much lower than the amount of books I normally read in a year, so it’s attainable, but it’s also a nice insurance policy in case anything crazy happens during the year that causes me to read less. Yay to reading more classics! I love them. Some of my all-time favorites are Emma by Jane Austen and East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Good luck finishing your novel this year! 🙂
Thank you! I think that’s a good goal because that way you know you can reach it without getting stressed. Ooh yes, I’ve been wanting to read Jane Austen but I wasn’t sure what book to start with. I’ll definitely be adding Emma to the list! I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of East of Eden, so I’ll be checking that one out, too. Thank you, again! 😉