9 Reading Goals for 2019! + tips on how to prioritise self-care for the New Year

Hello beautiful people! It’s currently the 24th of December and I am super excited to be back to blogging. I had one at the beginning of this year but unfortunately life and impossible expectations sent this lady burnt out and running. I aim to make this one more sustainable by making sure my goals are more realistic and that I am not setting unrealistic expectations for myself in any way, shape or form.

In this post, I will share with you 9 reading goals that I have set up for the New Year. These will be much more achievable and more concrete than my previous yearly goals (because I’m finally getting better at this!) and hopefully it will set up the year much more beautifully than the last. Let’s get started.

1.BUY LESS BOOKS, READ MORE OWNED

As stated, I would love to lessen, if not, completely stop myself from buying any new books, both digital and physical and start reading my owned books instead. I’ve been collecting so many physical books this year and the ratio of read and unread is a bit shameful. I own around 600 physical copies and over 5,000 e-books (all legally bought, I promise) and I’ve only read a few of them. It’s not that I don’t want to read them but not being intentional about them reinforces the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ part of my brain. I want to remedy that.

2. SET 52 BOOKS AS A GOAL ON GOODREADS

I admit, I love using Goodreads as a platform to track my reading and to see what others are up to, reading wise. This is my 3rd year participating in the GR Reading Challenge and it was a fail. I aimed for too many books without taking into account reading patterns and life changes and in the end, it bogged me down too much that I stopped reading altogether. One book a week seems a much more realistic goal especially since I will be going to college again next semester.

3. ROTATE BETWEEN MY KINDLE, PHONE AND PHYSICAL BOOK

Now this has been bothering me for the past few months. I impulsively bought a kindle fire some odd year or two ago even when I had a perfectly working kindle paperwhite. Then I subscribed to audible and collected quite a number of audiobooks there. Lastly, my vast collection of e-books and physical books mean that I tend to use one medium at a time, neglecting the others. I aim to rotate between these in the new year to help me read more and get my money’s worth.

4. READ MORE NON-FICTION

Pretty self explanatory. My goal is to read one non-fiction book per month for the whole of 2019. Again, intentions will definitely help this time around, hopefully.

5. READ MORE YA FICTION

What a surprise huh? Seeing that Young Adult is one of the most popular audience/genre in the bookish community, I am surprisingly not very much of a reader. It was probably the combination of growing up and discovering more adult fiction that made me less of a reader than I was. I don’t dislike it, I just realized how much I cannot relate to them anymore. Maybe if I start with fantasy YA, it will help me appreciate them more.

6. TRY HAVING A SET TO-BE-READ LIST

As someone who has ADHD and is experimenting with structure and systems in my daily life, I want to try having a specific set of books to work with monthly. I might try it for a month and decide I don’t like it, then I’ll stop. But my hopes for this is to help me methodically read through my piles while preventing burn out. Reading the same genre all the time leads to that I’ve noticed.

7. LEARN HOW TO WRITE BETTER BOOK REVIEWS

Now this goal can be considered more of a blogging goal but I really want to make more effort into writing better book reviews. Not just here but on Goodreads and Amazon as well. I find that making time to gather my thoughts actually help me with retention better and it will hopefully make me less anxious about writing in general.

8. ADD READING TO MY BEDTIME ROUTINE

I’ve just started having an actual routine in my day and I want to add reading to the list of steps I have before bedtime. I want to have a specific time of the day where I can always read no matter what, and to equate the activity with relaxation.

9. TRY NEW-TO-ME AUTHORS

Being a creature of habit, and as someone who LOVES working with backlists, I’ve noticed my tendency to stick with my comfort authors zone. That is not good because I have waay too many books to be picky. I aim to read more authors this New Year and expand my reading.

Don’t they seem more realistic to you guys? I hope I’m not setting up impossible standards for myself again but hey, we live and learn, right? This next part of the post will contain a few tips I want to share because they’ve worked and is still working for me! Let’s make ourselves a priority for 2019 so we can prosper.

Have a routine. For starters, pick one.

Now I, crave structure. More than anybody else perhaps because having ADHD means structure is none existent in my brain naturally. I highly recommend building one for yourself. It can be a morning routine for after you wake up or it could be a nightime one, before you go to bed. Doing routines everyday and turning it into a habit is a very healthy way to help our brains be less overwhelmed by daily life. It will ground us when faced with a hard day because it will not use more brain power when you’re already exhausted. The repetition can serve as a meditation too that will hopefully set the day straight.

When it comes to a reading habit, unwind first and then read.

This might sound counter intuitive to you guys because “why do that when reading is my relaxation?” Hear me on this one. Ever have those days when you’re just feeling too tight and irritated from sheer exhaustion? When you cannot sleep because you feel like a tightly coiled spring, full of tension? Before you hop onto your couch or bed and read, I suggest doing one thing: decompress.

What do I mean by that? As soon as you get home, try to ignore everyone and go up to your room and turn off the lights. Close the door so it’s just the dark and silence. Lay down on the floor, or on your bed and don’t do anything, not even use your phone, for about half an hour. The darkness and silence will help you to slowly decompress from the stresses of the day. You might try to watch your breathing, just like meditation, or you might fall asleep. This has honestly been a life saver for me the past few weeks. It prevents you from lashing out in anger at the people around you and it actually lessens your overall stress.

How does this connect to reading then? Because of your blissful state, it will now associate reading in your head as a pleasurable activity. Potentially, this can also prevent reading slumps.

Connect. Not just to people but through art or movies or hobbies.

This ties in greatly with reading. Art is universal because it has the ability to connect through people from the past and present in ways other things cannot. Having the opportunity to belong, to feel understood is a very healthy thing to have in our lives. Make it a goal to talk to friends more. Ask them how they’re doing even once a month. Use social media to share your passions and find like minded people to bond over what you find pleasurable. Engage. It’s what makes life worth living.

Practice mindfulness.

You don’t have to take up meditation to do this. Maybe you set a night routine where you have a small time to reflect on your day. What emotions were constant throughout the day? What do you think caused them? Can you do something more to prevent them from happening? Throughout the day you can also practice pausing. When you feel a strong emotion, pause for a bit. Name the emotion and why you feel this way. This can show you patterns eventually about what triggers you and you can develop strategies on how to deal with them or prevent them.

All these tips and goals I have laid out are long term ones. This will only start the new year but if you put in the effort, it will serve you a lifetime. This day and age where we are constantly bombarded with stimulus and distractions everyday, it’s nice to give ourselves some love. Make yourself a priority in 2019. What are your goals for next year?

Monica Rose

A blogger who talks about books and other bookish things while also navigating adult/college life.

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