I have been thinking over the last couple weeks on how to set up my “bullet” journal (it’s lined so it’s not really a bujo but I use it similarly) and so it has allowed me to reflect on what I achieved and what I want to do next year in a lot more detail, as I’m combining regular planner and reading journal. Thought I’d talk a bit about it here!
2021 personal life achievements
I’m still alive! Look, let’s not kid ourselves, this year was rough! As rough, if not more, than 2020. This whole pandemic business takes a toll and that’s not counting each of our own struggles. So I want to take the time to acknowledge that yes, shit happened, yes, people died, yes, stupid decisions were made by governments and by people we have no control over – sometimes even people we love. But in the end I’m here writing this, and if you’re here reading this, congratulations! You survived 2021. We deserve to give ourselves a pat on the back just for that.
On my end, I’ve also been struggling with some health issues, getting worse since last February. Add to that a whole pandemic and having to keep a full time job and take evening classes on the side (up til May), and 2021 did not start easy for me. I don’t know if it’s long covid, or something else, it’s still in the figure-it-out stages with doctors. But I’m really thankful for having a good GP who believes me (I’m well aware this isn’t as common as we’d like) and lovely people over on twitter cheering me along ♥
In the middle of all that, I did manage to complete my conversion course in psychology, which I’m really proud of! I did not manage to get a job in the field yet, so that’s moving to 2022, but I am still in the same job and I’m also gonna pat myself on the back for not rage-quitting it yet.
I’m also happy with myself that I’ve gotten so far with this little blog that I’d started almost on a whim, and I’m so so happy with my…
I have read over 125 books – from an early goal of 75. This is also more than last year, where I got to 123 books.
I’m also super happy with the little graphs and shelves I made in my journal for it!
I’ve also started tracking what format I read each day, and that in turns has motivated me to read more regularly. It’s one of my main pastimes (if you couldn’t guess) but I was sometimes getting distracted by things like uselessly scrolling through twitter for hours, and it got me nowhere… I’m much happier with this!
I have also un-hauled quite a few books, both at my apartment and when visiting my parents’ for Christmas, which makes me feel a lot happier about my shelves. Everything on there is books I love and want to keep, or books I’m still really excited to read.
In terms of authors this year, there’s a lot of new-to-me’s that I really enjoyed reading, like CL Polk or Tasha Suri, who’re already bookish community favourites. But my highlight of the year really is T. Kingfisher. I wanted to read her stuff for a while, and I ended up on a random audiobook on Scribd back in March, and I’ve read 5 books from her in total this year. Got another one in the library TBR pile… I just really needed the humorous fantasy with a side helping of romance this year, and I find it a great mood booster!
2022 goals – personal
I want to start with this because it’ll inform my reading goals too, but I want to keep it short. As I said, 2021 was a struggle. This coming year, I’m hoping to find a job where I’m happier – in the actual field I want to work in. If this doesn’t pan out, I’ll have to do some soul searching to decide what to do next… I don’t want a “well this pays my rent I guess” job forever, but I also know this isn’t always a choice.
My goal for 2022 is primarily to focus on my health. Whatever that means for me – finding what the hell is going on, but also finding a job that is more accommodating and ways for me to manage the bad days, and the pain especially.
I’m also hoping (hoping!) that in 2022 we can travel safely a bit more. Even when it was allowed, I did not move much in 2021 except some small, alone trips within Ireland, and going home at Christmas which was 2 years overdue. In 2022 I’m hoping I can visit more places, and especially see some good friends.
Finally, depending if I can carve out more personal time and less-exhausted time for myself, I’d really love to get back to writing some fiction again. But this is a completely out there goal, and health will be my first priority this year.
2022 goals – reading
First off, this blog – it’s over a year old now and I’m serious about it, so I’m looking to personalize it a bit more with some artwork and stuff – and I especially want to post more reliably in 2022.
As for reading – I’m setting a goal of 100 books, which seems reasonable enough that it won’t become a chore, and if I read more I’ll just up it. I’m not sure about page count because I find that very abstract – likely 25k, I think. I’d started 2021 with a goal of 15k and it was too little, but 35k felt like a reach even if I did get to it. I’m more motivated when I’m ahead of the curve, to keep getting that “ahead by…” counter up, than when I’m below or just about on track.
What I really want to focus on, is reading the books I’m interested in. I’ve got a lot of physical books of course, but I’m also always annoyed that I have a HUGE pile of ebooks (gathered through various Humble Bundle sales, mostly) which I’ve never read and likely never will if I don’t tackle it. If I look in my Storygraph TBR (which is mostly accurate) I’ve got 170 books on there that I own. But I’m certain over half of that is ebooks. So I want to have a good look through, starting with the older ones, and either read or DNF the shit out of it.
I’ve been following Clio’s youtube channel and she’s been slowly working towards TBR Zero, which isn’t a goal I’m aiming for at all, but it does make me want to sort through my stuff to make sure 1) I only have books on there I’m truly interested in and 2) I do get more quickly to the books I’m interested in, instead of having a mile long list of “this one next”. I don’t mind that there’s a lot on there altogether, just that there’s a lot I might just never want to read or actually like, so I think clearing 30 ebooks off that list would be a great goal. I might just do a post specifically about this later on.
In concrete terms there’s a few challenges I want to do:
- My own 2022 Nonfiction Reading Challenge (Storygraph challenge here for you to join)
- I want to finish reading all of Discworld. This is something I’ve been working towards for a while now and I really do want to get through the last few remaining ones.
- I’m looking to do a full reread of the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, to the tune of a bit more than 1 book a month.
- And finally, I’m setting up a list of New-To-Me Authors I want to try, in my reading journal. The list’s not full yet but this’ll be a half dozen authors that either my friends love, I see them all the time on twitter and want to actually read their stuff, or I just keep reading about/seeing them around and feel like I’m missing out. I’ll keep the list short because I do want to get to books I already own, but I feel like the library will come in handy on this one!
Any exciting goals for 2022? Any things you’ll be more than happy to leave behind in 2021?