This year, I decided that I don’t want to do traditional New Year’s Resolutions. Sure I need to lose some weight and change my diet for health, and on and on and on, but I decided that I’d rather have a theme to 2023 instead of very specific goals. That allows me the room to change and adapt my goals as the year goes along.
I’ve learned over the past few years that you never know from one week to another what may happen, so making year long goals seems too ambitious and having quarterly goals feels too business-y. I already have professional development quarterly goals, and that’s enough.
After workshopping my original theme (“get better”), I came up with a three part theme:
get healthy | get moving | get thinking
I think it pretty much sums up what I want to do in 2023. I need to get healthy in more than 1 way, I want to get moving because it’s only going to get harder in years to come, and my brain has been stagnating for years.
It’s a little bit of a cop out, though, because anything can be said to fit the theme. For instance – anything related to me doing something that makes me happy can be “get healthy” related because mental health is health. Not piling up my TBR list fits “get thinking” because I have to consider every single book I want to read and decide if I want to search it out, and camping goes right along with “get moving” since I’ll literally do a lot of moving while camping.
When I decided to do my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ this way while super sick on the couch, I was really avoiding making any concrete goals since I had very little brain power. As 2023 started so slowly – I’m a month in and I’ve only been functioning at 100% for 2ish weeks – it became very very clear that this was the best decision for this year. I like not feeling like I’m behind on my goals and also thinking “how does this fit the theme” when I decide to do something. Like mindlessly playing a game on my phone – it doesn’t really fit any of the theme. It makes me feel guilty I’m not doing something else, I’m completely still, and I have no thoughts when I’m playing.
So, as 2023 starts it’s second month, I’m pretty happy with where I am with my theme. Maybe this is my new default – no goals, just theme.
I missed the whole “new year, new me” posting bonanza in January since I was too busy coughing out my lungs, so I decided to post a few now. First is my little list of reading goals for 2023, which I’m sure was one of the Top Ten Tuesday prompts for January that I missed.
- Keep going to book club (maybe 2, but definitely the one).
- This was a highlight of last fall, and I was able to go to January’s meeting, so I’d like to keep it up all year. I’m going to be trying another one as well – two whole evenings out of the house a month. What a social butterfly I’m turning into.
- No buying any new books. Ebook, paper book, or audiobook.
- I already own too many books, I honestly don’t need a single new one.
- There is an exception for this one, though. I don’t own many, if any, of the books I’ll be reading for book club(s). Obviously, if the library has a copy that I don’t have to wait too long for, I’ll get it from the library. If the wait is too long, or they just don’t have the book (which happens a lot), I’ll have to buy one.
- Challenge myself.
- I’ve been playing it relatively safe the past few years, and while I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve gotten to a point where I’d like to read outside of my comfort zone. Which is not to say I won’t be reading a Regency romance or zombie apocalypse…or even mostly reading them…just that I’d like to fit in a few books that make me think or might not be something I’d normally read.
- Stop piling up the TBR pile.
- I deleted every To Read book out of my Goodreads account. I made the decision that I would only keep TBR “lists” in my library apps and on Amazon if I really want to read it but the library doesn’t have it. I was having the Netflix problem – too many things to choose from so I only read whatever popped up without really consulting the list of things to read. So I want to keep it simple. Tag books I know I want to read in the library apps or put them on an Amazon wish list if I can’t find them there.
- Make the effort.
- One of the fundamental pieces to who I am is being a reader. Even when I haven’t read a book in months, it’s the first thing I say when people ask me what I do for fun. This year I want to make the effort to rediscover the love of reading that I remember so well and make it a part of my daily (or daily-ish) life.
Normally, I try to make a list equal to 10 items, but honestly, these are going to be tough enough. The 2 hardest will definitely be no piling up the TBR pile and challenging myself, though. And the no buying new books. So 3 of the 5 will be the most difficult. The easiest will be book club, for sure.
Maybe I’ll follow up at the end of the year to discuss how I did, but I probably won’t. These certainly aren’t SMART goals, and I’ve learned from experience that goals can grow, morph, and be supplanted within a year. But for now, these are my bookish goals.