How Less Can Equal More | 2016 Goals + Resolutions

Happy New Year, bookworms! It’s a new calendar year and although I never make personal New Year’s resolutions, I always try to make a few bookish and blogging ones. Each year I learn more about myself as a reader, a blogger, and really just as an individual and I try to think of how I can make this hobby even more fun for myself in the upcoming year.

This year, I’m really looking back at scaling down commitments… again. For a lot of people, scaling back means not pressuring themselves to write as much and blog but (thankfully) that’s not usually something I have issues with and when I do find that I don’t have the time to write, I’ve slowly made my peace with not posting something new all the time.

In 2016, I’m trying even harder to think “less is more” with commitments like challenges, read alongs, books for review, etc. I spend a lot of time getting so excited for all the NEW and can’t resist jumping on an idea/book/project because it sounds like fun. This year, I’m really going to try to reel myself in on the requests and post commitments and stop to think about the kind of time I really have to do them. I can always pick up new things but it’s terribly hard to back out of a commitment (and I always try to avoid backing out of anything unless I absolutely have to)!

I always like to take a step back and see what I wanted to work on in 2015 and see if I accomplished my goals, what I could improve on, and what totally didn’t work. Here’s what I wanted to try in 2015:

CHALLENGES

  • LAST YEAR: “I’m okay with taking on a couple challenge this year… Mostly because they’re ones I know I can accomplish easily and I’m not going overboard. In 2015, I will be taking part in my own challenge (of course) — the Book Blogger Organization Challenge — along with Flights of Fantasy, the Re-Read Challenge, and the Debut Author Challenge!”
    • HOW’D I DO? I totally dropped out of every single challenge. You think I’d learn because I did this same thing in 2014 where I swore off challenges and then thought I could do them in 2015 and that was so silly. The Book Blogger Organization Challenge was my own and it really did help me clean up my blog (sorry, though, not hosting it again this year) but other than that, I almost immediately dropped out of everything because it just added on more work/stress!
  • THIS YEAR: NO CHALLENGES! They’re lovely but I just don’t want to add any more stress onto my day/week/month/year. I always do a Goodreads goal which is my only challenge this year.
    Instead of reading challenges, I’m taking on different things like photo challenges! I’m still hosting #weeklybookstagram this year and it’s a fun and stress-free way to keep things interesting.

READ ALONGS

  • LAST YEAR:I’m sticking to the same thing. Happy to read books with my friends but with how busy things have gotten, I’m less likely to do read alongs.
    • HOW’D I DO? I’ve really only done the usual On the Same Page read alongs and then I did host the Lunar Chronicles (Re)Read Along. The TLC read along was fun but I should have learned from past experiences was also very long and people tended to lost interest or forget about it or not want to commit. I probably will not host another read along.
  • THIS YEAR: Just OTSP! I have no other plans for read alongs.

ARCs

  • LAST YEAR:Oh, brother, who knows. I really do want to try to catch up on ARCs this year but I also say that every year. Maybe I will actually find the time… but those new books are always coming out!!!!
    • HOW’D I DO: I caught up on some things but it was more backlist than ARCs.
  • THIS YEAR: I just really, really want to try to request less. It’s so very hard because SHINY but I really am trying to not just download things that I’m autoapproved for (I am SO bad at that) and I’m really trying to only request ARCs from publishers if it’s something I really plan on reading right away. Although ALA and BEA may be hard to resist with galley drops. I think it may be easier this year than it was last  year.

READ WHAT’S ON MY SHELVES

  • LAST YEAR:I should try to do this again! Maybe reading more ARCs and reading more books from my shelves count as one thing this year? Haha!”
    • HOW’D I DO? I have been finishing more series! I’m not doing AS well with backlist books but I’m trying to keep a good balance. I think I still read a ton of 2015 books this year though. It’s so hard to maintain!
  • THIS YEAR: I really want to work on finishing a few more series this year. I know I’ll have to read a lot of ARCs to catch up but I can also read ones I already have.

GOODREADS CHALLENGE

  • LAST YEAR:I actually think I’m going to aim LOWER. Sounds weird, right? I usually try to beat myself from last year. But I’m doing things differently in 2015. I really want to keep up with my reading challenge and not always feel so far behind. I think I’ll start my goal off at maybe 100 or 110.”
    • HOW’D I DO: I must have started at 110 and changed to 100 because that stupid stats page looks like I didn’t finish it. I really did though! My goal was 100 and I read 102.
  • THIS YEAR: I think I’ll try 100 again! It was a really nice pace to keep up with and I think I can do it again!

BLOGGING

  • LAST YEAR: I didn’t actually set any blogging goals for myself last year.
  • THIS YEAR: I really want to keep trying to stay creative and come up with fun new posts. I’ve never had an issue with reviews (though I do have some I need to catch up on) but it’s the fun and extra posts that I really need to stay creative with! I also want to try to do some more video reviews or BookTubing. I did exactly one video this year and then I never had time to film another one. I’d really like to start doing that every once in a while!

I also really want to try to do less THINGS. I’m going to try to say yes to fewer blog tours, take on fewer projects, etc. I tend to commit to a lot of fun things because it’s too hard to say no and then I put stress on myself!


 

So what are your 2016 goals? Request less? Blog more? It’s hard to stay on track but I think we learn a little bit every year and really develop our blogs/habits even better!

17 thoughts on “How Less Can Equal More | 2016 Goals + Resolutions

  1. Cristal

    I hope your able to stick to your goals this year. Every year I always say I want to read all my arcs so I won’t be behind, but that doesn’t really happen. So hopefully this year, I’ll at least be able to make a dent in my pile and not request as much.

  2. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

    I love your goals, Brittany. I am actually thinking of reading less this year since I want to review more. I’ve changed up my review style to make it more fun than the standard review format.

    I also want to to write more discussion posts and more personal posts. But then again, I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself.

    I joined a few challenges this year. These challenges were picked specifically to aid me in my goals. But basically just have fun. I just started connecting with the blogging community and I’ve been enjoying it so much!

  3. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    I completely relate to this post! I dropped challenges last year and the GR reading goal. It really helped me feel free. This year I want to try to request less arcs which is NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE for me. I am SO bad at seeing hype and WANTING. Ugh. I need to focus on what I’m most interested in and leave it there. But, theres that feeling of ‘don’t want to miss that next amazing book’ but I need to realize I can BUY the books that get amazing reviews. Happy new Year!

  4. Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    I love that you’re taking a step back to assess things. Like you, I’m not doing any reading challenges. I think I met all my goals from last year, but I was never really engaged and I just didn’t have the heart this year.

    Here’s to a more relaxed year!

  5. Emily Alfano

    Overcommitting is a big issue for me as well! (and I don’t mean just in blogging) which is why it was one of my own personal resolutions this year. I have a big problem saying “no” to people and things but then it backfires because I end up dropping out of things last minute or flaking altogether. Great resolutions and best of luck to you this year with them Brittany!

  6. ShootingStarsMag

    It’s good to know what you want to aim for in the new year when it comes to reading and blogging. It can become stressful and you want to remember that it’s all about having FUN and doing what you like. I do want to try and have more discussion posts and other fun posts too. I don’t want my blog to be full of the same things over and over; it’s nice to see different things every once and while, so we’ll see what I can come up with. I really want to work on graphics and all that more too – I know next-to-nothing, but we’ll see if I can learn some new skills.

  7. Katie @ ShelfishlyAddicted

    I love your recap of last year’s goals and resolutions. In general, when setting goals, we tend to set the bar high. We may fail at some, or not do as well as we had hoped, but the point is, we made the effort. Just remember that! 🙂

    I will make a similar post on my own blog, but thought I’d say here that my number one goal is to be consistent and regular with posting to my blog. I won’t commit to a set number of days a week or days per month, but I will commit to being consistent and regular, whatever that winds up being as I figure out my university schedule for the upcoming Spring semester (as well as working full-time and planning a wedding!) I love blogging, I love the bloggers I’ve met through blogging, and most of all, I love all the books! I want to share all of that, and more, on my blog this year.

    Wishing you success with your goals and resolutions for 2016, and most of all, wishing you lots of FUN!

  8. Morgan @ Gone with the Words

    LOVE THIS. I’m all for scaling back! I love signing up for posts and then get so stressed out when it comes time to write them and participate, ack. Same with arcs, I’m trying to be a lot more selective (BEA nonewithstanding). And I’ve come to the realization that readalongs and buddy reads aren’t for me. I’m such a mood reader that I always end up flaking or not wanting to read the book (even though I want to read it in general). I’m doing the Goodreads Challenge this year and that’s all. I really enjoyed the ones I did last year and hit all my goals, but I don’t want to do the challenge recap posts every month lol. 2016 will be the year of simple pleasures for reading and blogging I hope!

  9. Danielle @ Love at First Page

    I love this, Brittany! I’m participating in a few challenges still, but I made sure they were ones I definitely wanted to do and not ones that would put too much pressure on me. I’m right there with you on requesting ARCs- I’m going to try harder to limit myself. Nothing wrong with reading more backlist books or waiting for release day!

    Happy New Year, friend!

  10. Alexa S.

    I definitely love that you’re trying to scale back on commitments, B! I particularly agree with the item about ARCs. It’s really hard to resist shiny new titles, but I’m going to try even harder to be more picky about what I decide to accept or request or download for review. I’d like to have less commitments reading-wise!

  11. Jen D. @ Not Now...I'm Reading!

    I decided to go with the keep it simple route as well. I had what I like to call a rebuilding year in 2015. I realized I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself when all I really needed to do was take a step back and breathe. Good luck with your goals for this year! I’m sure you’ll do great.

  12. Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA

    I dropped out of all of my challenges last year (and the year before) too. This year I’m only doing Goodreads and the Contemporary Romance challenge. Most of what I read is contemporary romance anyway so I should be good. I just need to remember to link up my reviews every month.

  13. Karen @ One More Page...

    Happy new year, Brittany! I so hear you on the “less is more” front. Over the past year I’ve been so selective with the books I choose to accept/review, and it has honestly made my life so much better. Same goes with challenges – when it started to feel like an obligation, it wasn’t relaxing anymore. I’d totally watch your videos if you start booktubing! It sounds like a lot of fun. 🙂

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