Happy New Year, friends!
I don't know about any of you, but I am definitely the type of person to set goals for myself. Whether I actually achieve those goals, is another story, but I do like setting them. Last year I didn't do too great on the blogging front: I graduated from the undergrad degree, had a minor breakdown in the summer, started my postgrad degree, and sort of figured out how to manage blogging, reading, and uni a lot better. This year, I want to be able to do a lot better. Blogging is something that I've enjoyed for almost six years (six years, good grief) and it's not something that I want to give up any time soon.
I've never been one of those bloggers who somehow manages to post something every single day. For me, it's just not a realistic goal to want to post every day, my brain just doesn't churn out content like that, and if it did, I'd be posting total garbage. In November, I did pretty okay with posting three times a week and I hope to keep it up again this year. However, even though I do post on set days, I don't want to have an incredibly rigid schedule of, for example, meme-review-discussion because that feels too restrictive to me. I do like participating in Top 10 Tuesday, but if I can't come up with anything, or I don't like the prompt for the week, I'll skip it and plan something else instead. I don't want my content to go stale, so by not focusing on memes and reviews, I'll be able to keep it as fresh as I can.
Comment Regularly/Reply to CommentsGuess who's terrible at both commenting and replying to comments? It's me. Hello, I suck at being social. This has to be my absolute worst blogging habit and there are three things to blame: me, my shyness, and my memory. You'd think that after five years of blogging I'd be perfectly okay with typing out a comment and clicking send, but no. Shyness is something that doesn't disappear from my personality once I go online, and it's always been difficult for me. Replying to comments, however, is down to my horrendous memory and I hate it because it makes me look so terrible and antisocial. This is probably my biggest goal of the year because I've boxed myself in my own little corner for way too long and I need to get out of it. It actually embarrasses me to say that I don't have any blogger friends because I never make any attempts to talk to me people.
Read More Posts from Blogs I Don't Follow
A bad habit of mine is that I tend to only read blogs that I follow, and obviously it's not doing me any favours because there are so many great posts out there that I'm missing out because I don't follow the blogs they're posted to. Reading posts from previously unknown blogs will be a great way for me to find more blogs that post the kind of things I like to read, and even from there I'll be able to expand my reading list even more because after unfollowing people who's posts I didn't read anymore, it's a bit bare on its bones.
Read At Least 50 Books This Year
I am really not very good at reading challenges. I didn't take part in any challenges last year because I knew that I wouldn't be able to complete them, but this year I'm feeling a little bit more confident. I'm not a speedy reader and I get easily distracted so I'm only able to read one book a week. I used to read at least two books a week when I first started this blog, but brain things happen and now I can only manage one. If I do some very basic maths, there are fifty-two weeks in a year and I read at least one book a week so I think that fifty is manageable. I don't think I'll ever have the superhuman ability to read one hundred or more books in a year, so fifty will do me just fine.
Give More Genres a Chance
I don't really consider myself to be a "genre snob" but I can sometimes have a tendency to stick to what I like. Every now and then (usually when i'm not feeling well) I fall down into a YA contemporary hole and have difficulty getting out of it, and I really do want to try to branch out my reading tastes and be a more indiscriminate reader when it comes to different genres. The biggest hurdle for that will more than likely be high fantasy for me. My concentration isn't great and my memory is shocking so whenever I open a book and see a map or family tree, my brain tends to shut down, so I want to try to keep it awake and give high fantasy more of a chance.
Read More Diverse Books
I'm actually somewhat embarrassed to admit that I don't read a lot of diverse books, and I'm something that I really need to change. For a while, to me, "diverse" meant LGBT+ books, which is so incredibly wrong because diverse means so much more than that. I was doing better with reading more LGBT+ books, but I don't think that's good enough. I want to read more books that feature POC characters or disabled characters, and by disabled I don't just mean pretty white girls who have depression because there are so many disabilities that need to be represented. Quite a few bloggers that I follow have great discussions about diverse books (Chiara from Books for a Delicate Eternity especially sticks out in my mind) and it's high time that I got my ass in gear.
Complete Required Reading Lists
I've been studying Literature since I was in school and probably the worst crime you can commit as a Literature student is to not read the required texts. You might be able to somehow scrape by on SparkNotes, but it's way better to actually knuckle down and do the required reading. It's painful, but it's necessary. During my undergrad degree, I had a bad habit of not reading all of the required books because I either hated them or was lazy, but still managed to do particularly well. With my postgrad, I've only missed three books on my required reading, one because I've already read it, one because I hated it, and one because I completely forgot that it was on the reading list (oops). I want to keep going with this because I think that I'll be able to do so much better in my assignments if I actually know what I'm talking about.
I am a lazy potato, I will admit to that. I'm very comfortable to be at home lazing around, but obviously that isn't good for my health at all. Last year I went to the gym on a pretty regular basis because my cousin-in-law wanted some company while she slimmed down for her wedding, and I just needed to be more active. Recently, I haven't been going at all and I'm not happy about it. I don't hate exercise like I used to because I know that it's good for me and it's a waste of money to pay for a gym membership and just not bother to go, and I really can't afford to waste money like that. Plus, I do want to lose some weight. I'm not fat, but I'm certainly not at a healthy weight and I'm not happy about it, so I do want to get to a point where I can feel comfortable with my body.
Here's the thing: to say that I have the diet of a five-year-old would be completely false because five-year-olds eat better than me. I tell myself every single year that I want to eat better, and I never manage to because I am such a picky eater (hold your judgements, please. i don't have the patience for people who hate picky eaters anymore). I don't like healthy food at all and every single method of trying to get myself to eat it never works. Trust me, I've tried everything: hiding it in other food, trying "gateway" vegetables, cooking veggies differently, just forcing it down my throat, nothing works. Nothing stops vegetables from tasting, smelling, and feeling like something that should not be swallowed. Trying to get myself to start eating vegetables is hopeless so I want to try eating more fruit because that's something that's doable for me, and also to not eat so much greasy food and start cooking again.
Figure Out What the Hell I'm Doing
This is the exact reason why I'm still in university: I have absolutely no idea of what I want to do with my life. I have no career plans because the thought of working in a normal job and having to talk to people all the time terrifies the living bejeebus out of me and there's not a lot that I want to do that doesn't involve being creative. I do want to write, but at this moment in time, there isn't a way that I'd be able to make a living off of writing because I haven't written anything since summer last year and I'm still trying to find my niche. Speaking of writing, though...
Start Writing Again
I really, really need to get back into practice with writing. I'm hoping to do another creative dissertation for my masters degree because writing 1600 words of pure academic work is not something that I can see myself doing. Last year I didn't do as well in my dissertation as anyone I knew and it was all down to leaving everything until the last minute and having not had any good writing habits for a long time. My way of writing was to have one really good draft that I didn't proofread and then hand it in, hoping that I would get a good enough grade for it. That didn't work for my dissertation and I don't want it to happen again (i was also ill at the time, so that didn't help) This year, I really want to make a good stab at actually writing and finishing a novel for the first time because novel writing is something that I've never been good at, but I do have a pair of characters that I want to expand on. Hopefully this will be something that I'll finally be able to achieve.
What are some of your goals for 2017?