2016 Resolutions — Bookish and Otherwise

January 5, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 30

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Resolutions We Have For 2015.

2016 Resolutions


Bookish Resolutions

  1. Read more of the books I really want to read. This means unread books I already own, books from my (mammoth!) TBR list, and authors/series I like but haven’t finished yet — as well as some new releases, of course! I’d like more flexibility in my reading schedule, too, so reading doesn’t feel like a chore.
  2. Request fewer ARCs  in order to make time for the books I really want to read. NetGalley and Edelweiss are so, so tempting, but I’ve got to cut back to make #1 a reality. Of course, when a book I desperately want to read comes up on NG or Edelweiss, I will request it!
  3. Catch up on some older ARCs and improve my NetGalley review percentage. Like a lot of us, I still have a backlog of ARCs to get through. I’ve joined the Blogger Shame Reading Challenge to help me get through some of them.
  4. Build and maintain a 3-week cushion of reviews and other posts. I tried this last year with mixed results, but I’m determined to do better this year. Ultimately I’d like to push it to 4 weeks, but that may be wishful thinking. There are also some posts I can’t prepare ahead (Sunday Post and News & Notes are both too topical to write ahead.)
  5. Cross-post reviews on time. I try to cross-post my reviews or review links on Goodreads, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest, and some of them on Amazon as well. But I want to get better about doing so within a few days after the review goes live on the blog, instead of (sometimes) weeks later.
  6. Stay on top of challenges. I’d like to start posting bimonthly challenge updates; I also need to link my reviews to the challenge pages in a timely manner. One way I plan to stay organized is to sign up for fewer challenges; that should simplify both keeping track and posting review links.


Personal Resolutions

  1. Find time and the discipline to write. I failed this one miserably last year, but I’ll give it another go.
  2. Clean and revamp my study. Because I spend so many hours on the computer (for both work and blogging), I need an adjustable sit/stand desk and an exercise ball for sitting on. But first I’ll have to declutter my home office/library space to make room, and find someplace to put all the stuff that’s now in my desk drawers.
  3. Exercise more. I gained weight this year, and now I’m really out of shape — something I need to attend to if I’m going to stay healthy now that I’m in my fifties. My goal is to drop at least a dress/pant size, improve my posture and flexibility, and increase my strength and stamina overall.
  4. Be more disciplined about my freelance work. I always get it done, and I do a good job, but I’m not good at setting a specific number of work hours per day and sticking to it. Then I end up with a crunch at the end. Sometimes a crunch/rush is unavoidable, but if I can manage to be more consistent in my work hours, I hope to have fewer weeks of working around the clock to get the project finished.
  5. Make more time and space for the things I love to do: reading, singing and directing, knitting, spending time with my family, taking photographs. That’s also going to require being more disciplined with my time overall, as well as more organized when it comes to blogging.


What are your New Year’s resolutions?


30 Responses to “2016 Resolutions — Bookish and Otherwise”

  1. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    You have some really good resolutions, Lark! I want to get in better shape, too. I plan on cycling to work starting next week. It’s not very far, about 6.5 km (4 miles) each way, but it would be something, right?
    The Blogger Shame challenge is for me, too. I found ARCs I have that were actually released in 2013. I have no idea how that happened, but it did.
    I hope you’ll be able to use your time better, so that you won’t have to crunch it too often.
    Have a terrific Tuesday and happy reading.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Review: The Fractured Heart – Scarlett ColeMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Good luck with your goals, Lexxie! Cycling to work sounds like a great way to work on fitness. Just stay safe around the cars. Since I work from home, I will have to build exercise time into my schedule.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Cross-posting takes extra time, especially since my hosting site won’t talk directly to Goodreads so I can’t cross-post automatically there. But I really need to stay on top of it. Which reminds me that I need to cross-post Monday’s review…

  2. Lianne @ eclectictales.com

    Requesting fewer ARCs was something I started doing…I think it was either last year or the year before. All the deadlines and neglecting my own TBR pile became a bit too much.

    Best of luck with your resolutions this year! 🙂
    Lianne @ eclectictales.com recently posted…Top Ten TuesdaysMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’m glad to hear from people like you who have cut back on ARCs and are still producing plenty of reviews I enjoy reading — and find new books from! I’m feeling the same way — too many deadlines and not enough reading of books on my TBR list.

  3. Hannah @ Broc's Bookcase

    Oooo great resolutions, I think I’m the same with a lot of these (especially the bookish ones).
    I had less ARCs as one of my resolutions for last year and have had such a more enjoyable year since I lessened the amount I was requesting. I felt like I was just simply reading all of these books because they were free and most of them I wasn’t actually enjoying. Now I am very particular about the books that I request and never let my Netgalley get over 5 books at once. It has really helped me this year and has actually helped me get approved for even better books (by the bigger publishers) because my reviews are better.
    I also put Cross-Posting my reviews on my list this week. It’s so easy to do and helps to promote the books even more, plus your own blog so I don’t know why I don’t do it more already!
    I didn’t put any personal resolutions on my blog this week (not enough space for them all!) but it is one of my goals to clean out my room this month. I’m planning on dragging all my clothes out of my wardrobe and anything I haven’t worn for the past year is being donated to charity.
    Good luck with your resolutions and happy new year!

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Keeping your NG to just 5 books at a time is a great idea. I’m toying with various limits like that; right now I’m aiming for no more than 4 or 5 for a given month (by publication date.) At the rate I read, that’s an ARC a week, which leaves room for at least one other book of my choice per week. But even that many may come to feel like too much. We’ll see.

      I feel like I should clean out my wardrobe, too, but since a lot of what I can’t wear now will fit if I lose 15 or 20 pounds, I’m reluctant to give the clothes away yet. Still, I’ve got stuff I’ll probably never wear again, so I should prune at least a bit.

  4. Lindsay

    Great goals! I think choosing the books you really want to read is so important when it comes to keeping blogging and reading fun. That’s why I don’t really request ARCs — I tried it, but it made my favorite hobby feel like work, especially when it was a book I wasn’t enjoying but I felt compelled to finish it.

    I need to get more active this year too. Ohio hasn’t been all that kind to my waistline, and we’re moving back to Hawaii for another three years this spring, so I’m going to need to squeeze myself into shorts and swimsuits. Good luck with your exercise goals! 🙂
    Lindsay recently posted…Five Goals for 2016My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I do enjoy reading ARCs, but my hope is to cut back to just (or mostly) the books I would definitely/automatically buy or borrow from the library. (I still end up buying the ones I really love.) That way, it’s books I would probably read anyway.

      Hawaii! How exciting! I wish you luck with your fitness goals as well as your bookish goals. 🙂

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Moving is good. I’d like to lose weight, but I really want to improve my stamina and endurance and my flexibility. I’m hoping with healthier eating choices and more movement, some of the weight will come off as well. As for ARCs, I’ve been trying to cut back since October, when I first decided on this goal for 2016. I currently have 13 unread ARCs for books that haven’t come out yet, and a backlog of older ones I need to work on too.

  5. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    Yes to all! Especially the reading goals. Even though I really liked most of my 2015 reads I feel like I really neglected authors and books that I love because of newer and shinier review books. I’m hoping to do more rereads this year and just take on less review books. Good luck with your personal goals as well! I want to do more things that I enjoy this year as well. I somehow end up putting those kinds of things off for no real reason.
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 ResolutionsMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Taking on fewer review books seems to be a recurrent theme this year; I’ve seen it on a number of bloggers’ TTT or start-of-year posts. Hard to stick to when NetGalley and Edelweiss dangle all those gorgeous, shiny new books in our faces, though! 😉

  6. Literary Feline

    These are great goals. I found myself nodding along as I read. I got an e-mail for an ARC of one that sounds so tempting, but I refrained given my goal to do some major catching up with the ARC’s I already have. I like the idea of being ahead by 3 or 4 weeks. I was actually doing very well in that regard the last half of 2015. Unfortunately, I’m back to barely half a week ahead–and that’s not good. Your personal goal to lose weight and such is one of mine as well. Something I really need to work on this year, especially after last year.

    I wish you the best with all of your goals!
    Literary Feline recently posted…Where Is Your Bookmark? (01/052016)My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I had built up a decent cushion, too, and now I’m scrambling to finish this week’s posts. (Although I do still have a few unscheduled-but-finished posts in the can for whenever they’re needed.) And I caved and accepted an ARC today, when a publisher contacted me directly… but it was one I had requested in September and been turned down for, so it was hard to say no.

  7. Greg

    Isn’t it funny how time plays such a role in things? I know for me when I think of things I’d like to do or change, it seems like finding time is always a factor. I need to keep a cushion as well- last year for the first time I started doing posts in advance and I have a bit of a cushion now, but I used to just wing it. This way is better. 🙂

    And yes to Goodreads- I hardly ever use it although I love the idea of it, and need to crosspost there like I used to.

    Good luck with your goals (and with writing!).
    Greg recently posted…Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I swear, I wish I had a time turner. Except I have a sneaking suspicion the things shorten your overall lifespan. Or rather, since you’re living extra hours in each day, you end up living fewer years — same number of hours in your life, but spread over fewer years. (If they were real, it might still be a temptation sometimes…)

  8. Melissa (My World...in words and pages)

    I remember I started blogging to share about books I read. Then I started picking up ARCs, and have done so for so long that I don’t get to read the series and books I’ve picked up over the years. I’d love to get back to all those books some time this year. 🙂

    Best of luck with your resolutions!

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I think that’s exactly what happened to a lot of us, Melissa. And for those of us who have been doing this a while, a little of the thrill of being approved for an ARC, of reading a book before it comes out, has been overshadowed by both pressure and a desire to revisit the things we loved about reading whatever we chose, whenever we chose. I’m not saying I, or most of us, want to give up reading ARCs, but I sense from this year’s resolutions around the book-blogosphere that many of us want to find a balance between the two — the new books, and the older ones we’d also really like to read.

      • Melissa (My World...in words and pages)

        Oh the pressure… Yes. I have felt that over the years with ARCs. *sigh* I have been wanting to get away from the worry I do to myself with ARCs sitting here. lol. It’s nice to relax, now that the novelty has worn off a bit. 😉

        • Lark_Bookwyrm

          I think most of us became caught up in the fun and excitement of ARCs at first, but I’m seeing more and more of the bloggers I follow regularly beginning to make room for the older titles they missed or have wanted to read. It’s a balancing act. I don’t want to give up new books — there are plenty of authors I love who have new titles coming out each year, and I enjoy the thrill of finding and falling in love with a new-to-me or even brand-new author. But I need to get back to my roots, too – to make time to be the binge-reader I used to be, for instance, plowing through a whole series in a week or a month.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’ve worked from home since our daughter was about 2, and we only had one child, so the third bedroom became my study/office as well as housing some of my book collection. As for the older ARCs — you and me both! 🙂

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I think the two toughest for me to stick to are going to be exercising and writing… which may mean they are the two I need most. 🙂