I'll be honest. I'm not good at goal setting.
I often want to be. I see people who set goals to do all kinds of interesting things — write a novel during the month of November, bake a certain number of treats or loaves of bread, do yoga each day, take a video each day, and on and on.
The trouble for me has two parts: I'm not always good at sticking with the goal, and for some reason, oftentimes when I share a goal publicly, I end up not sticking with it. I find I'll be enthusiastic about a goal for a few weeks or so, and then it just kind of peters out. Like I meditated a lot last summer, nearly every day for months, and then...that was it. I'd had enough, and since then I've found it hard to get back into a meditation routine.
But I keep trying, because I love the concept of following through with something regularly, and I love to track things and keep lists.
So enters reading 52 books this year. I absolutely love to read. The library is one of my favorite places, and not much makes me happier than sitting under a cozy blanket with a good blanket. But I found that I wasn't reading many books in the last few years. I'd have trouble finding ones I liked, or it'd be hard for me to make reading a habit. I'd see other people reading lots of books and be jealous.
Why wasn't that happening for me?
As we entered this new year, I found myself needing lots of breaks from the world. The news is never-ending, and all of my social media feeds, even Instagram, and loaded with political images and words. I want to be informed, for sure, but I also cannot follow the news all day and evening.
Enter: more reading, especially in the evenings.
My favorite thing to do these days is turn my phone off early, like at 7:30 or 8pm, and pick up a book. I keep a running list on my phone of books I want to try, and we try to visit the library once a week, where I leave with a stack of books that I can try.
So far I've read five books in 2017, and I'm halfway through a sixth. It feels really good to get absorbed in a totally different world each night. I've been sleeping better, and instead of spending my free time frantically reading through Twitter and Facebook and the news, I'm looking up new books to try.
We'll see what happens with this goal. But if the state of the world continues, I think I'll find myself being pulled towards books a lot in the next few years. I used to read tons of nonfiction, but these days I'm really into fiction, especially mysteries and thrillers.
If you have a Goodreads account, come find me there. And please share your favorite books in the comments — I love getting book recommendations.